WWC review of this study

Print-focused read-alouds in early childhood special education programs

Justice, L. M., Logan, J. A. R., Kaderavek, J. N., & Dynia, J. M. (2015). Exceptional Children, 81(3), 292-311. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1055246

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    184
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: May 2021

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

Composite Measure of Print Knowledge

Teacher Read-Alouds (TRA) vs. Business as usual

0 Weeks

PF/PF vs. RR/RR;
187 students

1.74

1.41

No

--
More Outcomes

Composite Measure of Print Knowledge

Teacher Read-Alouds (TRA) vs. Business as usual

0 Weeks

PF/RR vs. RR/RR;
180 students

2.08

1.41

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Upper/Lowercase Letter Knowledge

Teacher Read-Alouds (TRA) vs. Business as usual

0 Weeks

PF/PF vs. RR/RR;
197 students

0.82

0.55

No

--

PALS-PreK - name writing subtest

Teacher Read-Alouds (TRA) vs. Business as usual

0 Weeks

PF/PF vs. RR/RR;
198 students

0.46

0.46

--

--


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.


  • Female: 19%
    Male: 81%

  • Rural, Suburban, Urban
    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y

    Midwest
  • Race
    Black
    13%
    Other or unknown
    15%
    White
    73%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    3%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    97%

Setting

The study took place in early childhood special education programs in one midwestern state (p. 294). The article mentions working through districts to recruit the programs, so it is assumed they are school-based programs and not private centers (p. 294). The programs were located near one of two universities and were predominately in urban and suburban locales. Only about 10% of the programs were located in rural areas (p. 295). Greater than 90% of the programs were part-day programs that offered inclusive programs. That is, they served both children with disabilities and children without disabilities (p. 295).

Study sample

In the regular reading/regular reading (RR/RR) comparison condition, the mean age was 52 months; 30% of the children were female, and 98% spoke English as their first language. The racial/ethnic breakdown for this group was as follows: 74% white, non-Hispanic; 11% African American; 8% other; and 7% missing. Maternal education for this group was as follows: 8% no high school diploma, 15% high school diploma, 29% some college, 10% associate's degree, 13% bachelor's degree, and 23% graduate degree. Family income for this group was as follows: 14% $15,000 or less, 13% $15,001-30,000, 16% $30,001-45,000, 12% $45,001-60,000, and 45% $60,000 or more. In the print-focused/regular reading (PF/RR) intervention condition, the mean age was 51 months; 26% of the children were female, and 100% spoke English as their first language. The racial/ethnic breakdown for this group was as follows: 68% white, non-Hispanic; 11% African American; 7% other; and 14% missing. Maternal education for this group was as follows: 13% no high school diploma, 12% high school diploma, 17% some college, 11% associate's degree, 20% bachelor's degree, and 27% graduate degree. Family income for this group was as follows: 12% $15,000 or less, 11% $15,001-30,000, 10% $30,001-45,000, 13% $45,001-60,000, and 55% $60,000 or more. In the print-focused/print-focused (PF/PF) intervention condition, the mean age was 51 months; 23% of the children were female, and 98% spoke English as their first language. The racial/ethnic breakdown for this group was as follows: 75% white, non-Hispanic; 16% African American; 8% other; and 6% missing (note that these percentages do not sum to 100 as they did for the other two groups). Maternal education for this group was as follows: 7% no high school diploma, 16% high school diploma, 28% some college, 3% associate's degree, 22% bachelor's degree, and 24% graduate degree. Family income for this group was as follows: 14% $15,000 or less, 16% $15,001-30,000, 13% $30,001-45,000, 12% $45,001-60,000, and 43% $60,000 or more.

Intervention Group

The intervention is print-focused read-alouds, implemented by early childhood special education teachers alone or in conjunction with caregivers. In the study, all teachers and caregivers were given a set of 30 commercial storybooks, reading one target book per week. Teachers read the target book aloud four times per week and caregivers read the target book aloud two times per week. In the print-focused/regular reading (PF/RR) intervention group, teachers read the program storybooks using print-focused strategies that were specified by a scope and sequence provided by the researchers to integrate discussion about specific print-related targets into their read-alouds. During the book readings, teachers engaged in discussion related to 15 objectives (e.g., understanding that letters are a symbol used in written language and that letters are different from words) in four broad categories: book and print organization, print meaning, letters, and words. In this condition, caregivers read the storybooks using their normal reading style. In the print-focused/print-focused (PF/PF) group, both teachers and caregivers used the same print-focused strategies described above.

Comparison Group

The comparison condition, regular reading/regular reading (RR/RR), was implemented by early childhood special education teachers in conjunction with caregivers. Teachers and caregivers were given the same set of 30 commercial storybooks, reading one target book per week. Teachers read the target book aloud four times per week and caregivers read the target book aloud two times per week. Both teachers and caregivers read the storybooks using their normal reading style.

Support for implementation

Teachers in the treatment group were provided with a two-page insert for each book that gave examples of how to implement the print-focused discussions with that particular book (p. 299). They also participated in a 1-day training in the fall and a 3-hour refresher training in the winter. The training content included the rationale for the intervention and opportunities to practice all 15 objectives. Teachers also received feedback on their performance (based on the ongoing assessments of fidelity; p. 299). Caregivers were instructed on how to implement the print-focused reading style during a 2-hour training that took place in the fall. They were provided with a DVD that included videos of caregivers reading with a print-focused style that they could review as needed. The books that were provided to caregivers also included inserts with examples. These were similar to the inserts provided to teachers, but written in a more caregiver-friendly style. Each caregiver was visited in their home during the winter. During the visit, they read a book to their child and the home visitor provided feedback on their implementation. Finally, researchers called caregivers five times during the study. During these calls, researchers provided suggestions for implementation of the print-focused reading style.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Pelatti, Christina Yeager,Dynia, Jaclyn M.,Logan, Jessica A.,Justice, Laura M.,Kaderavek, Joan. (2016-12-00). Examining Quality in Two Preschool Settings: Publicly Funded Early Childhood Education and Inclusive Early Childhood Education Classrooms. Child & Youth Care Forum v45 n6 p829-849 Dec 2016.

  • Kaderavek, Joan N., Pentimonti, Jill M., Justice, Laura M. (2014). Children with Communication Impairments: Caregivers' and Teachers' Shared Book-Reading Quality and Children's Level of Engagement. Child Language Teaching and Therapy v30 n3 p289-302.

 

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