WWC review of this study

The Ounce PDI Study: Development evaluation of a job-embedded professional development initiative for early childhood professionals.

Whalen, S. P., Horsley, H. L., Parkinson, K. K., Vasquez, J., & Tozer, S. E. (2016). Chicago, IL: Center for Urban Educational Leadership. Retrieved from http://urbanedleadership.org/.

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
     examining 
    1,150
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: January 2017

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Academic achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Bracken School Readiness Assessment

Ounce Professional Development Initiative vs. Head Start

2 Years

Full sample;
58 students

97.55

96.93

No

--
More Outcomes

GOLD: Cognitive

Ounce Professional Development Initiative vs. Head Start

2 Years

Full sample;
1,092 students

587.77

597.29

No

--
Teacher instruction outcomes—Substantively important positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS): Emotional

Ounce Professional Development Initiative vs. Head Start

2 Years

Full sample;
10 teachers

6.00

5.35

No

--
More Outcomes

CLASS: Facilitation of Learning

Ounce Professional Development Initiative vs. Head Start

2 Years

Full sample;
12 teachers

3.13

2.19

No

--

Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS): Classroom Organization

Ounce Professional Development Initiative vs. Head Start

2 Years

Full sample;
15 teachers

5.75

4.92

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Urban
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    Illinois

Setting

This study was conducted in early childhood education Head Start centers in Chicago. There were five centers in the intervention group and 40 centers in the matched comparison group. The teacher training began in the summer of 2012. The student cohorts participated in the program for either 1 or 2 years starting in the Fall of 2012.

Study sample

Teachers and students in the sample were demographically diverse, though the diversity varied by center. In one center, the majority of students were Black predominantly low socioeconomic status. In two centers, Black, Hispanic, and White students were about equally represented. In the fourth center, the neighborhood was relatively affluent and about half of the students were White. Demographics for the students in the study sample were not reported.

Intervention Group

The Ounce Professional Development Initiative (Ounce PDI) is a job-embedded professional development program which was implemented in early childhood education centers in this study. The program involves three core "contexts of learning:" learning labs, coaching, and reflective practice groups. These strategies are designed to support early childhood teachers improve instructional planning and teaching practice. The Ounce PDI initiative is implemented with teachers, center leaders, family support specialists, and coaches via the three learning contexts. Teachers, leaders, and coaches are engaged in parallel learning designed to improve knowledge and skills in the areas of organizational systems, instructional planning and implementation, professional development, and children's early achievement. The training labs promote knowledge development, coaching helps transfer knowledge into practice, and the reflective practice groups promote collaborative practice and planning.

Comparison Group

The comparison centers in the study were all Head Start centers in the Chicago area. These centers presumably followed the typical Head Start practice and structure.

Support for implementation

The intervention itself is designed to support implementation of the skills through the inclusion of teachers, leaders, and coaches in the training and the embedded coaching and reflective practice groups. Although an extensive fidelity study was described in the study, there was little specific information about how the implementation of the Ounce PDI was supported.

 

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