The Effects of Promoting Engaging Early Literacy Interactions in Preschool Environments: Literacy 3D
Co-Principal Investigator: Judith Carta (University of Kansas)
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of the fully developed Literacy 3D (Data-Driven Decision Making) intervention which was developed to increase and sustain prekindergarten teacher's literacy focus by enhancing instruction through professional development combined with ongoing practice-based coaching, data-based feedback, and 10 evidence-based teaching strategies. Preliminary findings from a development project funded by the Office of Special Education Programs showed that teachers' increased use of early literacy practices was associated with positive changes in children's literacy engagement, early literacy skills, and expressive language. In this project, the researchers will test the efficacy of literacy 3D to improve children's language and literacy skills by increasing teachers' literacy focus.
Project Activities: The researchers will evaluate the effects of Literacy 3D on teachers' literacy practices and children's language and literacy skills. They will examine the degree to which the intervention is beneficial for specific subgroups of children, including children with IEPs and dual language learners. The research team will work with two cohorts of teachers (60 teachers/classrooms in cohort 1 and 60 in cohort 2). They will randomly assign teachers in each cohort to either the treatment or waitlist control groups. Teachers will receive training and coaching support to implement the intervention. The researchers will collect data from parents and teachers, conduct classroom observations, and assess children. They will also conduct a cost study.
Products: Researchers will produce evidence about the efficacy of the Literacy 3D intervention for increasing preschool teachers' literacy focus and improving the literacy skills of preschool-aged children, and produce peer-reviewed publications.
Setting: The study will take place in inclusive pre-k, Title 1, and Head Start preschool programs in Kansas and Missouri.Sample: Study participants will include 120 preschool teachers and the 2,160 children in their classrooms, including those with and without IEPs and dual language learners.
Intervention: Literacy 3D is a fully developed, multi-component, supplemental intervention consisting of five two-hour literacy-focused (i.e., comprehension, vocabulary, etc.) workshops for teachers held at their school. Once per week coaches work with teachers in their classrooms for about 1 hour face-to-face, and/or communicate with them at distance via email and text messaging. The Literacy 3D intervention components include: (a) teacher professional development, (b) teacher coaching, (c) data-based decision-making with feedback, (d) a tune-up checklist for planning implementation plus fidelity of implementation, and (e) 10 evidence-based literacy strategies.
Research Design and Methods: Researchers will conduct this study over a four-year period. They will use a waitlist randomized control trial with four waves of data collection each year and a year of follow-up data collection. The researchers will work with two cohorts of treatment and waitlist control group teachers (60 teachers/classrooms in cohort 1 and 60 in cohort 2). Each year, the researchers will randomly select 6 children per classroom. In each implementation year, treatment group teachers will receive professional development training and support to implement Literacy 3D. In the year following implementation, teachers who were in the treatment will be assessed for sustainability of implementation of the intervention. In addition to data collected from both parents and teachers, and measures of instructional quality and fidelity, the team will administer measures of child outcomes in the fall and spring of each year. The research team will conduct data analyses to evaluate the initial impact of Literacy 3D on teachers' practices and child outcomes and sustainability of implementation of the intervention. They will also conduct a cost analysis study and disseminate the study findings.
Control Condition: Students in the control condition will receive business-as-usual preschool instruction.
Key Measures: Primary measures include standardized direct child assessments of children's language and literacy skills, measures of fidelity of implementation and instructional quality and teacher and parent surveys. The researchers will use the Preschool Early Literacy Indicators (PELI) as a progress monitoring tool. Direct assessments of children include the Get Ready to Read-Revised screener, the IDEA Oral Language Proficiency Test, and the definitional vocabulary, Phonological awareness, and print knowledge subtests of the Test of Preschool Early Literacy. the will include the Woodcock Johnson-IV Picture Vocabulary, Letter-Word Identification subtests, and the Print Knowledge and Phonological Awareness subtests of the Test of Preschool Early Literacy (TOPEL). The Code for Interactive Recording of Children's Learning Environments will be used to assess the quality and quantity of language and literacy experiences in the classroom and children's engagement in literacy behaviors.
Data Analytic Strategy: Researchers will use multilevel modeling to examine the efficacy of Literacy 3D on children's emergent literacy skills. They will also examine the possible moderators such as IEP status and dual language learner status.