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IES Grant

Title: Impact of Professional Development on Preschool Teachers' Use of Embedded-Instruction Practices
Center: NCSER Year: 2007
Principal Investigator: Snyder, Patricia Awardee: University of Florida
Program: Early Intervention and Early Learning      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3/1/2007 to 2/28/2010 Award Amount: $1,288,510
Type: Development and Innovation Award Number: R324A070008
Description:

Purpose: Despite a clear relationship between the quality of teaching practices and improved child outcomes, high quality, evidence-based practices are not typically used in early childhood special education or early childhood education settings. To improve the quality of instruction, practitioners need access to high quality professional development programs.

To address this need, researchers are developing and conducting an initial evaluation of a professional development program called Tools for Teachers. Tools for Teachers is a multimedia toolkit with corresponding professional development materials. The purpose of this study is to develop and validate Tools for Teachers and to conduct an initial evaluation of whether its use leads to increased implementation of evidence-based practices and improved child outcomes.

Project Activities: This research team is developing the Tools for Teachers professional development program. The program is designed to help teachers use embedded-instruction practices. Tools for Teachers development and initial evaluation will occur in three phases. During Phase 1, the program will be developed and refined with a panel of experts validating its materials and the corresponding professional development processes. Phase 2 involves conducting studies to inform revisions to Tools for Teachers. In Phase 3, the research team will conduct an initial evaluation of Tools for Teachers using a randomized experimental trial. Data will be analyzed to assess the potential efficacy of the program on teachers' quality and use of embedded-instruction practices and on children's engagement, school readiness, language, emergent literacy, behavior, and social skills.

Products: Expected products include a multimedia toolkit and professional development materials designed to support teachers' use of embedded-instruction practices and improve multiple child outcomes.

Structured Abstract

Purpose: Despite a clear relationship between the quality of teaching practices and improved child outcomes, high quality, evidence-based practices are not typically used in early childhood special education or early childhood education settings. To improve the quality of instruction, practitioners need access to high quality professional development programs.

To address this need, researchers are developing and conducting an initial evaluation of a professional development program called Tools for Teachers. Tools for Teachers is a multimedia toolkit with corresponding professional development materials. The purpose of this study is to develop and validate Tools for Teachers and to conduct an initial evaluation of whether its use leads to increased implementation of evidence-based practices and improved child outcomes.

Setting: The preschools are located in Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Population: Approximately 48 teachers of young children with disabilities and 120 children with disabilities, across three states, will participate in the study. Eligible teachers are those working in preschool classrooms that enroll at least three children with disabilities who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Children eligible for the study must have an IEP and be between 3 and 4 years of age at pretest.

Intervention: Two experimental interventions are being developed. Both experimental intervention conditions include the Tools for Teachers toolkit and accompanying workshops. The toolkit is comprised of multimedia professional development materials (e.g., CD and web-based materials) that provide information about embedded-instruction practices and why and how these practices should be used. In addition, teachers in both experimental intervention conditions will participate in workshop sessions designed to provide a practical and focused overview of embedded-instruction practices, deepen their content knowledge about these practices, and help them understand the coherence between embedded-instruction practices and early childhood curricular practices.

The two experimental conditions will differ in terms of coaching approach provided. In one condition, teachers will participate in four hours of interactive professional development once a month for four months. This professional development will be conducted by project staff. Teachers will work in study groups and will discuss real-world cases of application of embedded instruction. In addition, teachers will receive individual expert coaching by project staff at least once a week for 30 minutes for four months.

In the second experimental condition, teachers will participate in self-coaching. Teachers will access a website that will contain forms useful for self-monitoring and self-regulating embedded instruction implementation fidelity. The website will also include materials useful for goal-setting, self-evaluating, time planning and management, vignette analysis, and help-seeking.

Research Design and Methods: An experimental study implementing random assignment of teacher to treatment condition will be implemented to determine the potential efficacy of the two intervention conditions as compared to each other and to a business-as-usual control group. A sample of 36 preschool teachers will be recruited from Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin, with 12 teachers recruited from each state. Teachers will then be randomly assigned to treatment condition. In each condition, approximately three children with disabilities will be randomly selected to participate in the study.

Control Condition: The control group will receive professional development typically given by the district.

Key Measures: Outcome measures include a rating scale to evaluate the quality of instructional goals, an observational measure to document implementation of planned learning opportunities, and an observational coding system to evaluate implementation of embedded learning trials. In addition, children's engagement, school readiness, language, emergent literacy, behavior, and social skills will be assessed. Finally, administrators will be interviewed to identify the contextual variables that might mediate or moderate the effect of professional development on teachers' use of embedded instruction, and they will complete self-report rating scale measures on embedded-instruction interventions and the social validity and the sustainability of the interventions.

Data Analytic Strategy: Data will be analyzed using analysis of variance and analysis of covariance to show evidence of the potential efficacy of the interventions for improving teachers' instructional practices and children's engagement, school readiness, language, emergent literacy, behavior, and social skills.

Publications

Book chapter

McLaughlin, T., and Snyder, P. (2014). Using Embedded Instruction to Enhance Social-Emotional Skills. In J.E. Hart, and K.J. Whalon (Eds.), Friendship 101: Helping Students Build Social Competence, Prism Series, Vol. 8, DADD Prism (pp. 63–78). Arlington, VA: Council for Exceptional Children.

Snyder, P., Crowe, C., and Crow, R. (2012). Responsive Instructional Leadership for Early Intervention. In B. Billingsley, M.L. Boscardin, and J. Crockett (Eds.), The Handbook of Leadership and Administration for Special Education (pp. 315–336). New York: Routledge.

Snyder, P., Denney, M., Pasia, C., Rakap, S., and Crowe, C. (2011). Professional Development in Early Childhood Intervention. In C. Groark, and L. Kaczmarek (Eds.), Early Childhood Intervention Program Policies for Special Needs Children: Vol. 3, Emerging Issues in Research and Practice (pp. 169–204). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Snyder, P., Hemmeter, M.L., McLean, M.E., Sandall, S., and McLaughlin, T. (2013). Embedded Instruction to Support Early Learning in Response-to-Intervention Frameworks. In V. Buysse, and E. Peisner-Feinberg (Eds.), Handbook of Response-to-Intervention in Early Childhood (pp. 283–300). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

Snyder, P., McLaughlin, T., and Denney, M. (2011). Frameworks for Guiding Program Focus and Practices in Early Intervention. In J.M. Kauffman, D.P. Hallahan, and M. Conroy (Eds.), Handbook of Special Education (pp. 716–730). New York: Routledge.

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Barton, E., Bishop, C., and Snyder, P. (2014). Quality Instruction Through Complete Learning Trials: Blending Intentional Teaching With Embedded Instruction. Young Exceptional Children Monograph Series, 16: 73–96.

Bishop, C., Snyder, P.A., and Crow, R. (2015). Impact of Video Self-Monitoring with Graduated Training on Implementation of Embedded Instructional Learning Trials. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 35(3): 170–182. doi:10.1177/0271121415594797

Fox, L., Hemmeter, M.L., Snyder, P., Binder, D., and Clarke, S. (2011). Coaching Early Childhood Special Educators to Implement a Comprehensive Model for Promoting Young Children's Social Competence. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 31(3): 178–192. doi:10.1177/0271121411404440

Hemmeter, M.L., Snyder, P., Kinder, K., and Artman, K. (2011). Impact of Performance Feedback Delivered via Electronic Mail on Preschool Teachers' Use of Descriptive Praise. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26(1): 96–109. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2010.05.004

McLaughlin, T., & Snyder, P. (2014). Teaching children social-emotional skills through embedded instruction. DADD Prism Monograph Series, 8, 68–79.

Rakap, S., Snyder, P., and Pasia, C. (2014). Comparison of Nonoverlap Methods for Identifying Treatment Effect in Single-Subject Experimental Research. Behavioral Disorders, 39(3): 128–145.

Shannon, D., Snyder, P., and McLaughlin, T. (2015). Preschool Teachers' Insights About Web-Based Self-Coaching Versus On-Site Expert Coaching. Professional Development in Education, 41(2): 290–309. doi:10.1080/19415257.2014.986819?

Snyder, P., Hemmeter, M.L., and Fox, L. (2015). Supporting Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices Through Practice-Based Coaching. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 35(3): 133–143. doi:10.1177/0271121415594925 Full text

Snyder, P., Hemmeter, M.L., and McLaughlin, T. (2011). Professional Development in Early Childhood Intervention: Where We Stand on the Silver Anniversary of PL 99–457. Journal of Early Intervention, 33(4): 357–370. doi:10.1177/1053815111428336

Snyder, P., Hemmeter, M.L., Meeker, K.A., Kinder, K., Pasia, C., and McLaughlin, T. (2012). Characterizing Key Features of the Early Childhood Professional Development Literature. Infants and Young Children, 25: 188–212. doi:10.1097/IYC.0b013e31825a1ebf

Snyder, P., Rakap, S., Hemmeter, M.L., McLaughlin, T., Sandall, S., and McLean, M. (2015). Naturalistic Instructional Approaches in Early Learning A Systematic Review. Journal of Early Intervention, 37(1): 69–97. doi:10.1177/1053815115595461


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