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IES Grant

Title: Building Coaching Capacity: Development of the Core Competencies for Coaching Professional Development Program (C3PD)
Center: NCER Year: 2021
Principal Investigator: Crawford, April Awardee: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Program: Early Learning Programs and Policies      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years (07/1/2021 – 06/30/2025) Award Amount: $1,999,928
Type: Development and Innovation Award Number: R305A210075

Co-Principal Investigator: Varghese, Cheryl

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to develop a generalizable professional development model, Core Competencies for Coaches Professional Development Program (C3PD), that supports coaches who work with early childhood classroom teachers in diverseprogrammatic contexts (public school pre-k, Head Start, childcare). The research team  will iteratively develop a scalable, technology- mediated professional development model that trains coaches to implement evidence-based coaching strategies with early childhood classroom teachers, regardless of their setting.

Project Activities: In Years 1 and 2, the development team will use collaborative, systematic, and iterative process approaches to develop and/or refine key C3PD intervention materials (e.g., coaching video and resource library, video submission guidelines and rubrics, online professional learning series, implementation toolkit). In Year 2, a small sample of coaches (n = 6) will participate in a feasibility study to pilot a subset of course material and engage in two trial professional learning communities (PLCs). Feedback and findings from the feasibility study will be used to revise C3PD intervention materials. An underpowered RCT will be conducted in Years 3 and 4 to evaluate the promise of C3PD on coach-, teacher-, and child-level outcomes. Coaches will be randomly assigned to C3PD or to a control group. Coaches will participate in Years 3 and 4, and teachers and students will be assessed only in Year 4. Implementation fidelity and coaches' perceptions of C3PD usability and feasibility will continue to be assessed and monitored in Years 3 and 4.

Products: The core C3PD intervention components include a set of generalizable, evidence-based coaching competencies, a collection of online professional development resources for coaches (e.g., video and resource library, online professional learning series), and professional learning community sessions designed for coaches. At the culmination of the study, a C3PD implementation toolkit will be developed. The toolkit will include ways that state agencies and local organizations can use the C3PD resources with varying levels of intensity (e.g., independent coach self-study vs. PLC facilitation). Additionally, the implementation toolkit will include practical resources (e.g., guiding questions, learner guide of coaching competencies, coach fidelity observation tool) for administrators who supervise coaches across ECE settings.

Structured Abstract

Setting: This study will take place in preschool classrooms across urban, suburban, and rural areas of Texas.

Sample: The research team will recruit coach participants (n = 48) from Head Start, public schools, and QRIS contexts. For each coach participant, 3 of their preschool teachers/classrooms (n = 144) will be recruited. Within classrooms, we will randomly select 4 consented children (n = 576) will be randomly selected for testing.

Intervention: Treatment coaches (n = 24) will participate in C3PD across two years. After an initial training orienting coaches to the core coaching competencies, coaches will complete an online professional learning series (PLS; brief PD modules) to increase understanding and recognition of quality coaching practices. Coaches will submit evidence of mastery of the competencies and receive feedback from a lead coach trainer as part of a micro-credentialing framework. In monthly PLC meetings, coaches will engage in collaborative peer discussion and reflect on the coaches' own practice recordings and set professional goals.

Research Design and Methods: Iterative development of C3PD materials (e.g., coaching video and resource library, PLS, PLC facilitation guides, implementation toolkit) will take place during the first two years of the project. In Year 2, a small sample (n = 6) of coaches will provide feedback on online learning sessions, materials, and PLC procedures. During Years 3 and 4, an underpowered RCT will be conducted to evaluate the promise of C3PD. Coaches will be randomly assigned to C3PD or to a control group. Coaches will participate in the C3PD intervention components in Years 3 and 4, and teachers and students will be assessed only in Year 4. Implementation fidelity and coaches' perceptions of C3PD usability and feasibility will continued to be assessed.

Control Condition: During the pilot study, control coaches will continue routine coaching practices. At the end of the study, control coaches will have access to all of the C3PD intervention materials and training (except for the PLCs).

Key Measures: The research team will develop project-aligned measures in Years 1 and 2 to gauge coaches' fidelity to C3PD. Coach measures include coach knowledge, self-efficacy, and growth in coaching competencies; teacher measures include self-efficacy, satisfaction with coaching, and classroom observations. In Year 4, the research team will assess children on language and literacy measures; teachers will rate children's behavioral and social competencies.

Data Analytic Strategy: Analyses, including latent growth curve modeling and ANCOVA models, will explore the relation between C3PD and 1) changes in coaches' competencies, 2) improvements in teaching quality, and 3) academic and behavioral/social outcomes for pre-k children.

Cost Analysis: The team will calculate the costs of providing C3PD using the ingredients method. These costs and the effect sizes of coach, teacher, and student outcomes from the pilot study will be used to calculate cost ratios.

Related IES Projects: Scaling Up a Language and Literacy Development Program at the Pre-Kindergarten Level (R305W020002); Internet Implementation of Empirically Supported Interventions That Can Be Remotely Delivered in Authentic Preschool Programs for Mothers and Teachers: Evaluation of Direct Child and Teacher Outcomes (R305A140386); Scalable Approaches for Preparing Early Childhood Teachers: Identifying Costs and Effectiveness of Evidence Based Approaches to Coaching (R305A140378)