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1.

"What do we do? This is not our area". Child care providers' experiences when working with families and preschool children living with parental mental illness
Laletas, Stella, March, 2017
Children and Youth Services Review, 74(), 71-79

The prevalence of developmentally vulnerable children living with parental mental illness has been well documented, however due to stigmatised attitudes and prejudice these children may be 'hidden' and not identified as requiring additional assistance in early childhood settings. The aim of the present study was to explore the experiences and workforce needs of centre-based child care staff working with families living with parental mental illness. Eight staff (four child care workers and four child care directors) who worked in centre-based child care were interviewed using a semi-structured interviews. The data were analysed using an Interpretative Phenomenology Analysis framework. The findings of the present study highlighted four central themes: child development issues, tension around referral and worker anxiety, inadequate knowledge and training about parental mental illness and sensitivity when working with families. While these participants knowingly prioritized the importance of working with families in their daily work, they described feeling stressed and anxious about discussing referral options with these parents, and often worried about 'making things worse' for the child and the parent. The present study has contributed knowledge in regard to an important segment of the early childhood workforce; such information can inform the development of tailored professional training and resources that provide information about referral procedures and support programs for these families. (author abstract)

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2.

Is dosage important?: Examining Head Start preschoolers' language and literacy learning after one versus two years of ExCELL
Hindman, Annemarie H., March/April 2017
Early Child Development and Care, 187(3-4), 342-357

The current study examined whether Head Start children who experienced a high-quality preschool intervention, Exceptional Coaching for Early Language and Literacy (ExCELL), as three-year-olds began the subsequent pre-kindergarten (or four-year-old) year with stronger language and literacy skills than same-age peers who entered ExCELL in pre-kindergarten, as well as whether any differences remained at the end of the pre-kindergarten year. A total of 159 Head Start preschoolers participated, including 88 four-year-olds who had 1 year of ExCELL and 71 four-year-olds who had participated in ExCELL for 2 years. All children were assessed on language and literacy measures assessing vocabulary, alphabet knowledge, and phonemic awareness. Results showed that children who experienced ExCELL at age 3 had stronger vocabulary, sound awareness, and alphabet skills at the start of the pre-kindergarten year than peers who were new to the programme. However, there were few differences between these groups in their learning over time, and they concluded the pre-kindergarten year on equal footing. Thus, two years (at ages 3 and 4) of participation in the ExCELL intervention was not associated with better early-reading-related outcomes than one, pre-kindergarten year (at age 4) alone. (author abstract)

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3.

Social experiences of children with disabilities in inclusive Portuguese preschool settings
Ferreira, Milene, March, 2017
Journal of Early Intervention, 39(1), 33-50

Based on peer sociometric reports, we examined how number of friendships, social acceptance, and characteristics of social networks vary as a function of disability profile. We also investigated teachers' awareness of the sociometric status of young children with disabilities. Participants were 86 children with disabilities (63 boys) enrolled in inclusive preschool classrooms of the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon, Portugal ([mean age] = 67.33 months, SD = 10.54). Findings suggest that children with severe or sociobehavioral disabilities may be at increased risk of social rejection and isolation, having fewer friends and lower social network centrality than children with mild disabilities. Low agreement between teachers' classifications of the social status of children with disabilities and classifications based on peer nominations raises concerns about their awareness of processes of social rejection and neglect. Findings highlight the need for interventions to support positive social experiences at the dyadic and group levels in Portuguese inclusive preschool classrooms. (author abstract)

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4.

Identifying common practice elements to improve social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes of young children in early childhood classrooms
McLeod, Bryce D., February, 2017
Prevention Science, 18(2), 204-213

Educators are increasingly being encouraged to implement evidence-based interventions and practices to address the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of young children who exhibit problem behavior in early childhood settings. Given the nature of social-emotional learning during the early childhood years and the lack of a common set of core evidence-based practices within the early childhood literature, selection of instructional practices that foster positive social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes for children in early childhood settings can be difficult. The purpose of this paper is to report findings from a study designed to identify common practice elements found in comprehensive intervention models (i.e., manualized interventions that include a number of components) or discrete practices (i.e., a specific behavior or action) designed to target social, emotional, and behavioral learning of young children who exhibit problem behavior. We conducted a systematic review of early childhood classroom interventions that had been evaluated in randomized group designs, quasi-experimental designs, and single-case experimental designs. A total of 49 published articles were identified, and an iterative process was used to identify common practice elements. The practice elements were subsequently reviewed by experts in social-emotional and behavioral interventions for young children. Twenty-four practice elements were identified and classified into content (the goal or general principle that guides a practice element) and delivery (the way in which a teacher provides instruction to the child) categories. We discuss implications that the identification of these practice elements found in the early childhood literature has for efforts to implement models and practices. (author abstract)

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5.

Defining and measuring access to high-quality early care and education: A guidebook for policymakers and researchers
Friese, Sarah, February, 2017
(OPRE Report No. 2017-08). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

Establishing a common understanding of ECE access, and how to measure it across different types of early learning settings, is essential for state and local policymakers responsible for improving access. A common understanding of access allows policymakers, administrators, and researchers to communicate clearly about this important concept. A common set of measurable indicators of ECE access allow for accurate longitudinal and cross-state or intrastate comparisons, as well. The ECE Access Guidebook was developed to address the need for developing a common understanding and approach to measuring access. Ultimately, this Guidebook is intended to support states' efforts to assess the reach and effectiveness of their policy initiatives aimed at expanding ECE access. The Guidebook provides information in four sections: Clarifying and Defining Access; Describing the Indicators of Access; Measuring the Indicators of Access; and Identifying ECE Access Datasets and Sources. (author abstract)

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6.

Examining the predictive relations between two aspects of self-regulation and growth in preschool children's early literacy skills
Lonigan, Christopher J., January, 2017
Developmental Psychology, 53(1), 63-76

There is strong evidence that self-regulatory processes are linked to early academic skills, both concurrently and longitudinally. The majority of extant longitudinal studies, however, have been conducted using autoregressive techniques that may not accurately model change across time. The purpose of this study was to examine the unique associations between 2 components of self-regulation, attention and executive functioning (EF), and growth in early literacy skills over the preschool year using latent-growth-curve analysis. The sample included 1,082 preschool children (mean age = 55.0 months, SD = 3.73). Children completed measures of vocabulary, syntax, phonological awareness, print knowledge, cognitive ability, and self-regulation, and children's classroom teachers completed a behavior rating measure. To examine the independent relations of the self-regulatory skills and cognitive ability with children's initial early literacy skills and growth across the preschool year, growth models in which the intercept and slope were simultaneously regressed on each of the predictor variables were examined. Because of the significant relation between intercept and slope for most outcomes, slope was regressed on intercept in the models to allow a determination of direct and indirect effects of the predictors on growth in children's language and literacy skills across the preschool year. In general, both teacher-rated inattention and directly measured EF were uniquely associated with initial skills level; however, only teacher-rated inattention uniquely predicted growth in early literacy skills. These findings suggest that teacher ratings of inattention may measure an aspect of self-regulation that is particularly associated with the acquisition of academic skills in early childhood. (author abstract)

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7.

The effects of language- and literacy-focused professional development on early educators and children: A best-evidence meta-analysis
Markussen-Brown, Justin, Q1 2017
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 38(), 97-115

Professional development (PD) is increasingly used to improve early childhood educators' skills and knowledge in providing quality language and emergent literacy environments for children. However, the literature does not clearly indicate the extent to which such efforts reach their goals, or whether improvements in educator outcomes translate to learning gains for children. In the current synthesis, we conducted meta-analyses to evaluate the effects of language- and literacy-focused PD on process quality, structural quality, and educator knowledge as primary outcomes. Furthermore, we estimated effects for three child outcomes: receptive vocabulary, phonological awareness, and alphabet knowledge. PD produced a medium effect for process quality and a large effect for structural quality but no effect for educator knowledge. PD also produced a small to medium effect for phonological awareness and a small effect for alphabet knowledge, but these were not predicted by gains in educator outcomes. Although course and coaching intensity and duration were related to effect sizes, the total number of PD components was the strongest predictor of process quality. The results suggested that PD is a viable method of improving language and literacy processes and structures in preschools, but effects may need to be substantial if they are to translate into higher child outcomes. (author abstract)

Literature Review

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8.

Universal screening to promote early identification of developmental delays: Exploring childcare providers' beliefs and practices
Boh, Andrea, 2017
Early Child Development and Care, (), 1-15

Despite the availability of tools for conducting universal developmental screening, only a fraction of children who could benefit from early intervention services are actually identified before reaching school age. Childcare providers are in a unique position to enhance early identification efforts. A web-based survey was distributed to all licensed childcare providers (centre- and family-based) throughout one Midwestern state to learn about their beliefs and practices associated with universal screening. Preliminary results, based on 1565 responses, indicate that only 16.3% of licensed childcares are conducting developmental screening. However, 54% reported believing it to be part of their role. In addition to this discrepancy, beliefs about their role in developmental screening were also related to other practices that are associated with early identification efforts. Implications and suggestions for practice and policy changes related to early, universal developmental screening in childcare are discussed relative to existing belief systems and professional development needs. (author abstract)

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9.

Child care providers' competence and confidence in referring children at risk for developmental delays
Branson, Diane, January-March 2017
Infants & Young Children, 30(1), 41-57

Despite the benefits of early intervention for children, the majority of children with developmental delays are not identified prior to the age of 5 years. Child care providers could aid in recognition of children at risk for developmental delays; however, there is little research on this topic. This article reports on a qualitative research study used to investigate child care providers' ability to accurately assess child development and make appropriate referrals to Child Find agencies. Initial data analysis suggested that child care providers were able to recognize children at risk for developmental delays with or without using a standardized screening tool. The child care participants did not, however, always indicate that they would refer those children with whom they were concerned. Qualitative interview results revealed important supports that aid in child care providers identifying children at risk for developmental delays, as well as barriers that interfere with child care providers making appropriate referrals to Child Find agencies. (author abstract)

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10.

Differences in childcare quality -- a matter of personality traits, socialization goals and pre-service curriculum?
Eckhardt, Andrea G., 2017
Early Child Development and Care, (), 1-12

International findings indicate only moderate childcare quality and results revealed significant differences between regions. So far, this difference cannot be explained by structural characteristics. Based on the National Study on Education, Learning and Upbringing in Early Childhood (NUBBEK) sample of 215 lead teachers, the influence of personality traits (Big Five) and socialization goals of childcare teachers on classroom quality (Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale) and teacher-child interaction (Caregiver Interaction Scale) was investigated. First, significant differences in childcare quality were found between East and West Germany regarding classroom and interaction quality. Second, hierarchical linear regression analyses revealed differential effects in quality by region. Besides structural characteristics, personality traits and socialization goals provided additional information to understand variations in childcare quality. Further, type of pre-service education curriculum played an important role in predicting childcare quality. The analysis revealed substantial differences which can be attributed to pre-service education. Findings are discussed with respect to models of pre-service and in-service educational approaches in early childcare. (author abstract)

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11.

Pathways to relational family engagement with culturally and linguistically diverse families: Can reflective practice guide us?
Virmani, Elita Farine Amini, 2017
Advances in Early Education and Day Care, 20(), 91-115

This chapter reviews conceptualizations of parent involvement and family engagement as they aim to support children's learning and development and introduces the reader to relational family engagement, a new approach to engaging families in their children's early learning. Relational family engagement is discussed as central to effectively engaging culturally and linguistically diverse families as active contributors to their children's lifelong success as learners. The authors delineate three principles fundamental to relational family engagement, supported by an interdisciplinary review of research. Reflective practice is explored as a pathway to relational family engagement. The authors assert that the integration of reflective practice holds promise as a way to facilitate and deepen relationships among staff in early childhood programs, between the early childhood education program staff and families, and between families and children, such that children's early learning experiences are enhanced across both home and preschool contexts while drawing upon their families' cultural and linguistic assets. (author abstract)

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12.

Efficacy of a supplemental phonemic awareness curriculum to instruct preschoolers with delays in early literacy development
Goldstein, Howard, January, 2017
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60(1), 89-103

Purpose: Children who do not develop early literacy skills, especially phonological awareness (PA) and alphabet knowledge, prior to kindergarten are at risk for reading difficulties. We investigated a supplemental curriculum with children demonstrating delays in these skills. Method: A cluster randomized design with 104 preschool-age children in 39 classrooms was used to determine the efficacy of a supplemental PA curriculum, PAth to Literacy. The curriculum consists of 36 daily scripted 10-min lessons with interactive games designed to teach PA and alphabet skills. A vocabulary intervention (Story Friends), which also uses a small-group format, served as the comparison condition. Results: Multilevel modeling indicated that children in the experimental condition demonstrated significantly greater gains on the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) First Sound Fluency (Dynamic Measurement Group, 2006) and Word Parts Fluency (Kaminski & Powell-Smith, 2011) measures. Educational relevance was evident: 82% of the children in the experimental condition met the kindergarten benchmark for First Sound Fluency compared with 34% of the children in the comparison condition. Teachers reported overall satisfaction with the lessons. Conclusions: Results indicated that the vast majority of children demonstrating early literacy delays in preschool may benefit from a supplemental PA curriculum that has the potential to prevent reading difficulties as children transition to kindergarten. (author abstract)

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13.

Implementing positive behavior support in preschools: An exploratory study of CW-FIT Tier 1
Jolstead, Krystine A., January, 2017
Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 19(1), 48-60

Challenging behavior in preschool is a serious concern for teachers. Positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) have been shown to be effective in reducing such behaviors. Class-Wide Function-Related Intervention Teams (CW-FIT) is a specific multi-tiered intervention for implementing effective classroom management strategies using PBIS practices. CW-FIT has been shown to be effective in elementary classrooms but has not yet been evaluated with younger age groups. CW-FIT Tier 1 is a group contingency utilizing social skills training, teacher praise, and positive reinforcement to improve student behavior. The present study examined the effects of CW-FIT Tier 1 implementation on student group on-task behavior and on teacher praise and reprimand rates in four preschool classrooms. A single-subject delayed multiple baseline design with embedded reversals was used to evaluate impact. Results indicated the intervention increased student group on-task behavior and teacher praise to reprimand ratios. Both teachers and children found CW-FIT Tier 1 to be socially valid. Limitations and implications of this study for researchers and practitioners are discussed. (author abstract)

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14.

Bornlearning(R) Academy: A school-based program for strengthening families with children under age five
Gilbert, Jaesook, 2017
Advances in Early Education and Day Care, 20(), 23-49

This chapter describes the Bornlearning(R) Academy (BLA), a school-based family engagement program predicated on the notion that families come to the table with knowledge and skills and can support children's learning by building on what they are already doing. It takes place in a school building within the families' school district, and it is a six-workshop series that utilizes materials available for free at bornlearning.org, a United Way Worldwide public engagement campaign. The goal of the BLA is to increase parents'/caregivers' understanding of their role in the education process of their children and to facilitate familiarization and establishment of positive experiences with the school personnel and the school district for the children and their families. Survey data demonstrated that parents/caregivers from a range of backgrounds enjoyed and learned from various BLA workshops. Gains on content questions indicated the BLA attendees learned, and responses indicated that attendees both intended to use what they learned at the workshops in their own interactions with their children and actually followed through on those intentions. (author abstract)

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15.

Examining quality in two preschool settings: Publicly funded early childhood education and inclusive early childhood education classrooms
Pelatti, Christina Yeager, December, 2016
Child & Youth Care Forum, 45(6), 829-849

Background Although classroom quality is an important consideration, few recent research studies have examined the process and structural quality in publicly funded early childhood education (ECE) and inclusive ECE classrooms. This study provides an important contribution to the literature by comparing two conceptualizations of quality in classrooms serving children from low-income households and those with disabilities. Objectives (1) To characterize and to determine differences with regard to process and structural quality in publicly funded ECE and inclusive ECE classrooms, and (2) to examine whether and to what extent the process quality varied when controlling for structural quality and classroom income/race variables. Method One hundred and sixty four classrooms (85 ECE, 79 inclusive) that were enrolled in two large-scale intervention studies examining a book-reading program were included in the present study. The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS; Pianta et al. in Classroom assessment scoring system, Paul H. Brookes, Baltimore, 2008) and three detailed questionnaires were used to quantify process and structural quality, respectively. Results Results revealed quantitative differences in process quality, specifically in the emotional support dimension of negative climate as well as all dimensions of instructional support, between the two settings. In addition, teachers' education was a significant predictor of process quality, and publicly funded ECE classrooms scored over two points higher on the instructional support domain of the CLASS when controlling for other structural quality measures and income and race. Conclusions Our findings have implications for best practice guidelines and policies, particularly for classroom environments serving children with disabilities, which are discussed. (author abstract)

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16.

Dialogic reading: Language and preliteracy outcomes for young children with disabilities
Towson, Jacqueline A., December, 2016
Journal of Early Intervention, 38(4), 230-246

Dialogic reading is an evidence-based practice for preschool children who are typically developing or at-risk; yet there is limited research to evaluate if it has similar positive effects on the language and preliteracy skills of children with disabilities. This quasi-experimental study examined the effects of dialogic reading, with the incorporation of pause time, on the language and preliteracy skills of 42 preschool children with disabilities. Following random assignment of students at the classroom level, participants were equally distributed into an intervention (n = 21) and a comparison group (n = 21). Children received either dialogic reading or typical storybook reading for 10 to 15 min per day, 3 days per week, for 6 weeks. Children in the intervention group scored significantly higher on receptive and expressive near-transfer vocabulary assessments. This occurred both for words that were specifically targeted during dialogic reading, and for additional vocabulary words in the storybook. (author abstract)

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17.

Policy statement on expulsion and suspension policies in early childhood settings
United States. Department of Health and Human Services, 07 November, 2016
Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development.

The purpose of this policy statement is to support families, early childhood programs, and States by providing recommendations from the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Education (ED) for preventing and severely limiting expulsion and suspension practices in early childhood settings. Recent data indicate that expulsions and suspensions occur at high rates in preschool settings. This is particularly troubling given that research suggests that school expulsion and suspension practices are associated with negative educational and life outcomes. In addition, stark racial and gender disparities exist in these practices, with young boys of color being suspended and expelled much more frequently than other children. These disturbing trends warrant immediate attention from the early childhood and education fields to prevent, severely limit, and work toward eventually eliminating the expulsion and suspension -- and ensure the safety and well-being -- of young children in early learning settings. (author abstract)

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18.

Recent coverage of early childhood education approaches in open access early childhood journals
Keskin, Burhanettin, November, 2016
Early Child Development and Care, 186(11), 1722-1736

A content analysis of the coverage of the major approaches to early childhood education in the early childhood research journals, published between 2010 and 2014, that are early childhood research oriented and have free online access were investigated. Among 21 journals in early childhood education, two journals were selected for the content analysis of the major approaches to early childhood education: Early Childhood Research and Practice and International Research in Early Childhood Education. These early childhood journals are the only journals that are fully online and available for free. The results showed that Head Start was the most frequently used approach that appeared in these journals followed by Reggio Emilia. The theory of Internet Information Gatekeepers guided this current research's theoretical framework. A brief overview of each approach was provided along with the significance of the study. Concerns about the ways approaches were mentioned in the studies were discussed. (author abstract)

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19.

Impacts of the Boston prekindergarten program on the school readiness of young children with special needs
Weiland, Christina, November, 2016
Developmental Psychology, 52(11), 1763-1776

Theory and empirical work suggest inclusion preschool improves the school readiness of young children with special needs, but only 2 studies of the model have used rigorous designs that could identify causality. The present study examined the impacts of the Boston Public prekindergarten program--which combined proven language, literacy, and mathematics curricula with coaching--on the language, literacy, mathematics, executive function, and emotional skills of young children with special needs (N = 242). Children with special needs benefitted from the program in all examined domains. Effects were on par with or surpassed those of their typically developing peers. Results are discussed in the context of their relevance for policy, practice, and theory. (author abstract)

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20.

Positive behavior support in early childhood programs [Special issue]
Dunlap, Glen, November, 2016
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 36(3),

A special issue of the journal Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, focusing on positive behavior support for early childhood educators/programs, with particular attention centered on the Pyramid Model support framework

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21.

Opening editorial [Introduction to a special issue: Positive behavior support in early childhood programs]
Dunlap, Glen, November, 2016
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 36(3), 132

An introduction to a special issue of the journal Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, focusing on positive behavior support for early childhood educators/programs, with particular attention centered on the Pyramid Model support framework

Other

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22.

Group coaching on pre-school teachers' implementation of Pyramid Model strategies: A program description
Fettig, Angel, November, 2016
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 36(3), 147-158

The purpose of this article was to describe a group coaching model and present preliminary evidence of its impact on teachers' implementation of Pyramid Model practices. In particular, we described coaching strategies used to support teachers in reflecting and problem solving on the implementation of the evidence-based strategies. Preliminary results of six pre-school teachers in an early childhood education program who participated in the group coaching were presented. The exploratory data provided findings of impact of the group coaching model and demonstrated that teachers' implementation of the Pyramid Model practices increased after receiving group coaching. Implications for practice and future research were discussed. (author abstract)

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23.

Culturally responsive Pyramid Model practices: Program-wide positive behavior support for young children
Allen, Rosemarie, November, 2016
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 36(3), 165-175

This conceptual article reviews current research on racial disparities in disciplinary practices in early childhood education and work to address these issues within a positive behavior support (PBS) framework. Building largely on the Pyramid Model, recommendations and a culturally responsive approach are suggested for use within a program-wide PBS framework in early childhood settings. Future directions are discussed to guide efforts toward reducing disparate racial discipline practices in early childhood programs. (author abstract)

Other

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24.

Parents' experiences when seeking assistance for their children with challenging behaviors
Doubet, Sharon L., November, 2016
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 36(3), 176-185

The experiences of seven parents, whose preschoolers engaged in persistent challenging behaviors, were investigated. Individual interviews with each parent, member checking, and follow-up discussions to seek clarity on participants' comments were conducted. Four major categories of responses emerged from the data as parents shared their journeys of seeking assistance for their children: (a) challenging behaviors and first concerns (i.e., ages and descriptions of concerns), (b) steps taken to access support (including the number of times parents sought support and from whom, as well as the type of feedback they received when seeking support), (c) challenges faced when seeking assistance, and (d) supports that were helpful for parents. Results revealed that parents initially sought support from child care staff and medical professionals, persisted when seeking support, and offered several suggestions to improve the systems of support and services. Implications for practice and further research are discussed. (author abstract)

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25.

The evaluation of a three-tier model of positive behavior interventions and supports for preschoolers in Head Start
Stanton-Chapman, Tina L., November/December 2016
Remedial and Special Education, 37(6), 333-344

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the overall effectiveness of a three-tier model of positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS), which was developed and tested in Head Start (HS) programs. Ten HS classrooms from five HS programs participated in the current study. Results indicated that PBIS was effective in improving classroom quality as evidenced by a statistically significant change on the classroom organization domain on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System and the overall score on the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale-Revised. We also found that children's social skills on the Social Skills Rating System significantly increased from the pre- to post-assessment whereas problem behaviors on the Child Behavior Checklist decreased. The data described here are encouraging and add to the expanding database supporting the value of the three-tier model of PBIS. (author abstract)

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26.

Evaluating the implementation of the Pyramid Model for Promoting Social-Emotional Competence in early childhood classrooms
Hemmeter, Mary Louise, November, 2016
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 36(3), 133-146

We conducted a potential efficacy trial examining the effects of classroom-wide implementation of the Pyramid Model for Promoting Young Children's Social-Emotional Competence on teachers' implementation of Pyramid Model practices and children's social-emotional skills and challenging behavior. Participants were 40 preschool teachers and 494 children. Using a randomized controlled design, 20 teachers received a professional development (PD) intervention to support their implementation of the practices. The 20 teachers in the control condition received workshops after all study-related data were collected. Teachers who received PD significantly improved their implementation of Pyramid Model practices relative to control teachers. Children in intervention teachers' classrooms were rated as having better social skills and fewer challenging behaviors relative to children in control teachers' classrooms. Exploratory analyses showed that children at elevated risk for behavior disorders in intervention teachers' classrooms had improvements in their observed social interaction skills relative to similar children in control teachers' classrooms. (author abstract)

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27.

One state's systems change efforts to reduce child care expulsion: Taking the Pyramid Model to scale
Vinh, Megan E., November, 2016
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 36(3), 159-164

This article describes the efforts funded by the state of Colorado to address unacceptably high rates of expulsion from child care. Based on the results of a 2006 survey, the state of Colorado launched two complementary policy initiatives in 2009 to impact expulsion rates and to improve the use of evidence-based practices related to challenging behavior. The primary policy initiative involved the funding of a center to develop model sites, a state-level planning team, ongoing practitioner training, and certification of coaches and trainers all built around the Pyramid Model. The secondary initiative involved expanding the number of early childhood mental health consultants and modifying their reimbursement/payment formula such that direct preventative work with adult providers, consistent with the Pyramid Model, was reimbursable. A follow-up survey in 2011 showed a dramatic reduction in expulsion rates and a corollary increase in providers' teaching of prosocial skills to children with challenging behavior. (author abstract)

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28.

Professional Development Tools to Improve the Quality of Infant and Toddler Care: A review of the literature
Aikens, Nikki, November, 2016
(OPRE Report 2016-96). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

The literature review report for the Professional Development Tools to Improve the Quality of Infant and Toddler Care (Q-CCIIT PD Tools) project summarizes the state of the field, highlighting the most promising methods and approaches for enhancing caregiver interactions with young children, particularly caregivers serving infants and toddlers, those with limited education, and those in home-based and family child care (FCC) settings. The review is not exhaustive; instead, it identifies the professional development (PD) resources and components most pertinent to the development of new PD tools and the project's conceptual framework. We begin by offering an introduction to the report that describes the methodology used to identify and screen studies included in the review (Chapter I), and provide contextual information relevant to the review (Chapter II). We then provide a summary of key findings from the literature (Chapter III) and conclude by suggesting implications of the findings (Chapter IV). (author abstract)

Literature Review

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29.

Professional Development Tools to Improve the Quality of Infant and Toddler Care: A review of the literature: Appendix tables
Aikens, Nikki, November, 2016
(OPRE Report 2016-96). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

The literature review for the Professional Development Tools to Improve the Quality of Infant and Toddler Care (Q-CCIIT PD Tools) project summarizes the state of the field, highlighting the most promising methods and approaches for enhancing caregiver interactions with young children, particularly caregivers serving infants and toddlers, those with limited education, and those in home-based and family child care (FCC) settings. The review is not exhaustive; instead, it identifies the professional development (PD) resources and components most pertinent to the development of new PD tools and the project's conceptual framework. It draws on 122 studies, including 31 focused on caregivers serving infants and toddlers and 26 with caregivers in home-based or FCC settings. In this set of appendix tables, we summarize key aspects of each study included in the review. A separate report, "Professional Development Tools to Improve the Quality of Infant and Toddler Care: A Review of the Literature," highlights key findings from the review and their implications. (author abstract)

Other

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30.

A brief description of the Examining Data Informing Teaching (EDIT) measure
Akers, Lauren, November, 2016
(OPRE Brief No. 2016-104). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

This brief introduces the Examining Data Informing Teaching (EDIT) measure for researchers who seek to learn about preschool classroom teachers' use of ongoing assessment data to individualize instruction. In this brief, we discuss the EDIT's multi-method procedures, structure, and scoring; testing to date and future testing needs; a process for training EDIT raters; and potential uses of the measure. (author abstract)

Fact Sheets & Briefs

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31.

Developing a tool to examine teachers' use of ongoing child assessment to individualize instruction
Monahan, Shannon, November, 2016
(OPRE Report No. 2016-103). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

In 2012, the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) engaged Mathematica Policy Research and its partners to conduct a project titled "Assessing Early Childhood Teachers' Use of Child Progress Monitoring to Individualize Teaching Practices." The purpose of the project was twofold: (1) to develop a research-informed conceptual model for early childhood teachers' use of ongoing assessment to individualize instruction, and (2) to create a measure to examine this process. Prior reports describe in detail the results of a literature review, conceptual framework, and measurement plan (Akers et al. 2014; Atkins-Burnett et al. 2014). This report describes the iterative development of the Examining Data Informing Teaching (EDIT) measure. This report includes the results of a pretest study in 18 classrooms and a proposal for next steps for the EDIT. (author abstract)

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32.

"You're playing because it's Fun"?: Mothers' and teachers' perspectives regarding play interactions with children with ASD
Pinchover, Shulamit, October, 2016
Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 28(5), 643-664

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) differ from typically developing (TD) children in their play and social abilities. Consequently, play-interactions, commonly shared enjoyable experiences that create positive connections between caregivers and children, can be complex and challenging for children with ASD. Little is known, however, about the subjective experiences of caregivers (mothers and teachers) who play with young children with ASD. The current study investigates their subjective perspectives and related beliefs through qualitative semi-structured interviews with 12 mothers of children with ASD and 11 preschool teachers who work with children with ASD. As part of the interviews, caregivers were asked to comment on videotaped observations of half-hour free play-interactions between themselves and the child with ASD. The study revealed four distinct caregiver perspectives: playful, goal-oriented, integrated, and perceived incompetence perspective. Each type was characterized using three themes: the child in the interaction, the purpose of the interaction, and the caregiver's role. These findings contribute to the understanding of subjective perceptions regarding play-interactions with children with ASD. This may be useful for professionals working with caregivers of children with ASD and helpful in developing more effective play interventions. (author abstract)

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33.

Parenting gains in Head Start as a function of initial parenting skill
Ansari, Arya, October, 2016
Journal of Marriage and Family, 78(5), 1195-1207

Using data from the Head Start Impact Study (n = 3,696), this article examines whether one year of Head Start differentially benefited parents as a function of their initial parenting behaviors. Four outcomes are examined, namely, parents' rates of engaging in cognitive stimulation, reading to their child, and spanking, as well as their depressive symptoms. In general, most parents demonstrated improvements in their reading practices and cognitive stimulation regardless of their parenting behaviors at baseline. However, depressive symptoms and spanking behavior showed improvements only among parents who began the Head Start program with the most depressive symptoms and the most frequent spanking, respectively. These findings suggest that treatment-induced changes in parenting can vary by parents' incoming attributes and that heterogeneity of effects should be considered. Implications for Head Start and other parenting interventions are discussed. (author abstract)

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34.

Exploring the quality indicators of a successful full-inclusion preschool program
Warren, Susan R., October-December 2016
Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 30(4), 540-553

A growing body of research and legislative policies support the importance of high-quality early intervention systems for preschool children with disabilities. Inclusion programs are viable means for providing this support, yet limited progress has been made in the past decade to increase the placements of children in inclusive settings or define quality programs. This study was a 1-year exploration into the quality indicators of a full-inclusion district preschool program identified as successful based on academic and social growth for students with and those without disabilities. An interdisciplinary team of seven researchers examined the progress of 46 students and then analyzed program quality indicators identified by the adults associated with the program as contributing to student success. Mixed methods were utilized combining quantitative measurements of student growth with qualitative analysis of perceptions regarding the children's development in the program by parents, teachers, and other school personnel. Findings indicate significant academic and social gains for both groups of children connected to specific program quality indicators. These results will inform teachers, districts, and outside agencies as they structure and implement full-inclusion programs at the preschool level. (author abstract)

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35.

Interaction processes as a mediating factor between children's externalized behaviour difficulties and engagement in preschool
Sjoman, Madeleine, October, 2016
Early Child Development and Care, 186(10), 1649-1663

This study examined social interaction as a mediator between externalized behaviour difficulties and children's engagement in preschool. Data from 663 children (340 boys), aged 18-71 months, were collected at 81 Swedish preschool units in six municipalities to test a path model that included child, teacher, and child groups. The results indicated that behaviour difficulties and engagement may occur simultaneously. Hyperactivity had a direct negative influence on engagement, which was not the case with conduct problems. Teachers' responsiveness as well as positive interactions with peers had an indirect influence on the relationship between hyperactivity and engagement. Responsive staff and positive interactions within the child group seem to contribute to children's engagement despite hyperactivity. Children's engagement, as well as special support to stimulate engagement in preschool, is discussed. (author abstract)

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36.

The home-literacy environment of young children with disabilities
Justice, Laura M., Q4 2016
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 37(4), 131-139

Some studies have reported that young children with disabilities have qualitatively distinct home-literacy environments and interests than young children without disabilities. Such differences may contribute to differences in the early-literacy skills of children with and without disabilities. This study was designed to measure three distinct features of the home-literacy environment for children with and without disabilities (frequency of storybook reading, literacy teaching during book reading, children's print interest; hereafter frequency, teaching, and interest) and determine the extent to which these may vary for the two groups of children. Parents of 692 preschool-aged children (57% with disabilities), all enrolled in inclusive early children special education classrooms, completed a comprehensive assessment of the home-literacy environment in fall of the academic year. Children's teachers completed an assessment for each child on their early-literacy skills. The home-literacy environments of children with and without disabilities was distinguishable only for children's interest; frequency and teaching were comparable. Importantly, children's interest was positively associated, concurrently, with early-literacy skills. This study helps to pinpoint which aspect of the home-literacy environment distinguishes between children with and without disabilities. Findings also suggest the potential importance of identifying avenues to improve the print interest of young children with disabilities. (author abstract)

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37.

Fidelity of implementation for an early-literacy intervention: Dimensionality and contribution to children's intervention outcomes
Guo, Ying, Q4 2016
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 37(4), 165-174

This study examined fidelity of implementation (FOI) in the context of an early-literacy intervention involving 83 early childhood special education (ECSE) teachers and 291 three- to five-year old children with disabilities in their classrooms. Adherence, dosage, participant responsiveness, and program differentiation were assessed as multiple dimensions of FOI. Results demonstrated that a three-factor model of adherence and dosage, participant responsiveness, and program differentiation offered the best fit to the data to represent FOI. Further, program differentiation significantly related to children's early-literacy gains, and the effects of the intervention on children's gains in early literacy were fully mediated by program differentiation. Findings have implications for the design of effective early-literacy interventions and also for theorizing the construct of FOI. (author abstract)

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38.

Teaching vocabulary to preschool children with hearing loss
Lund, Emily (Emily Ann), October, 2016
Exceptional Children, 83(1), 26-41

Despite poor vocabulary outcomes for children with hearing loss, few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of specific vocabulary teaching methods on vocabulary learning for this group. The authors compared three vocabulary instruction conditions with preschool children with hearing loss: (a) explicit, direct instruction; (b) follow-in labeling; and (c) incidental exposure using an adapted alternating-treatments single-subject experimental design. Nine preschool children with hearing loss participated in the study across 6 weeks, with intervention implemented by 4 teachers of the deaf. Visual analysis of the results of the data indicated that participants learned the most words in the explicit, direct instruction condition and the fewest words in the incidental exposure condition. These results are not consistent with some recommendations currently made to educators. The authors discuss implications for practice, including emphasis on direct instruction. (author abstract)

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39.

Family engagement in the delivery of the health services component in Head Start and Early Head Start
Auger, Anamarie, October, 2016
(OPRE Report 2016-86). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

The 2012-2013 Head Start Health Manager Descriptive Study (HSHMDS) provides a unique opportunity to examine issues of family engagement in the context of health-related services in HS/EHS programs (see the text box). In this brief, we use data from the study to address the following questions: 1. In what ways do EHS and HS programs support family engagement in health-related aspects of program services? 2. What are the barriers to family engagement from the health manager perspective? 3. To what extent do the barriers to family engagement differ by program or health manager characteristics and the populations served? 4. What are the implications of the HSHMDS findings and the current knowledge base regarding family engagement for the HS/EHS health services area? To address the first two questions, we review descriptive findings from the Health Manager Survey component of the HSHMDS regarding the strategies HS/EHS programs use to engage parents or guardians in health-related services and programming and the reported barriers that health managers encounter. Where possible, we integrate more qualitative information gleaned from the interviews that followed the structured survey. To address the third question, we extend those findings to examine the factors associated with family engagement as one of the key barriers cited by HS/EHS health managers. In answering the final question, we conclude the brief with insights from the broader family engagement literature and how research can inform approaches to family engagement in the context of health-related services in Head Start. (author abstract)

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40.

Effects of a teacher versus iPad-facilitated intervention on the vocabulary of at-risk preschool children
Dennis, Lindsay R., September, 2016
Journal of Early Intervention, 38(3), 170-186

This study examined the effects of an adapted alternating treatments design (AATD) consisting of teacher-facilitated and iPad-facilitated instruction on at-risk preschool children's vocabulary. Instruction was provided on 42 verbs, divided equally between treatments, across five participants over the course of 7 weeks. Dependent variables included expressive (i.e., providing a definition) and receptive (i.e., identifying the target verb from a picture menu, and yes/no questions including correct and incorrect definitions of the verb) probes of instructional targets. All five participants demonstrated increases from pretest to posttest in their expressive and receptive understanding of the verbs. Implications for research and practice are provided. (author abstract)

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41.

Change in child behaviour concerns associated with childcare quality features among a sample of low-income Latino children
Hartman, Suzanne C., September, 2016
Early Child Development and Care, 186(9), 1378-1391

This study explored the relation between childcare quality (staff-child ratio and staff-child interactions) and behavioural development between the beginning and the end of the childcare year among a sample of 44 low-income Latino four-year-olds in 14 childcare programmes. Neither staff-child ratio nor staff-child interactions were related to children's behaviour at the beginning of the childcare year. Further, staff-child ratio was not significantly related to changes between the beginning and the end of the childcare year in children's behaviour skills. However, staff-child interactions characterised as warm and involving direct instruction related to the development of positive social skills (e.g. taking turns, solving peer conflicts) were significantly associated with decreases in children's behaviour concerns from the beginning to the end of the childcare year. Staff-child interactions characterised negatively (e.g. overly controlling, strict scheduling) were also associated with decreases in children's behaviour concerns. Implications for improving behaviour skills of low-income Latino children by adjusting non-familial childcare features and measurement of childcare features are discussed. (author abstract)

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42.

Associations between problem behaviors and early vocabulary skills among Hispanic dual-language learners in pre-K
Hagan-Burke, Shanna, August, 2016
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 36(2), 91-102

This study examined the relations between problem behaviors and early learning outcomes among 138 children in dual-language pre-K programs who were identified at the beginning of the school year to be at risk for difficulties in early language and literacy development. Children's expressive and receptive vocabulary, listening comprehension, and conceptual thinking skills were assessed at the beginning of pre-K and again at the end of the school year. Their problem behaviors (externalizing, bullying, hyperactivity, and internalizing) were assessed midyear via teacher ratings. With the exception of internalizing problem behaviors, bivariate correlations indicated virtually no associations between children's entry-level academic skills and midyear ratings of problem behaviors. However, multilevel models controlling for student- and teacher-level variables revealed that midyear ratings of problem behaviors were statistically significant predictors of poor outcomes on several vocabulary-related measures administered at the end of pre-K. (author abstract)

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43.

Preschool children's use of thematic vocabulary during dialogic reading and activity-based intervention
Rahn, Naomi L., August, 2016
The Journal of Special Education, 50(2), 98-108

An adapted alternating treatments design was used to compare the expressive use of thematic vocabulary by three preschool children with developmental delays during Dialogic Reading, a shared book reading intervention, and Activity-Based Intervention, a naturalistic play-based teaching method. The design was replicated across two early childhood themes. For each theme, five vocabulary words were randomly assigned to Dialogic Reading, Activity-Based Intervention, or a control condition. Intervention was delivered 2 times per day for 5 days across 2 weeks. Results suggest both methods increased children's use of target vocabulary and were similarly effective for increasing expressive use of thematic vocabulary by preschoolers with disabilities. (author abstract)

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44.

The relation between inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive behaviors and early mathematics skills
Sims, Darcey M., August, 2016
Journal of Attention Disorders, 20(8), 704-714

Objective: Despite strong evidence that inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive behaviors are associated with mathematical difficulties in school-age children, little research has been conducted to examine the link between these constructs before the start of formal education. The purpose of this study was to examine how different manifestations of inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive behaviors, as measured by different assessment tools, are related to early mathematics skills in preschoolers. Method: Eighty-two preschool children completed a measure of early mathematics and the Continuous Performance Test (CPT). Teachers rated children's behaviors using the Conners' Teacher Rating Scale-15 Item. Sixty-five of these children completed mathematics assessments 1 year later. Results: Teacher ratings of inattention were uniquely related to concurrent early mathematics skills, whereas CPT errors were uniquely predictive of early mathematics skills 1 year later. Conclusion: Findings have implications for the understanding and assessment of behavior problems that are associated with early mathematics difficulties. (author abstract)

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45.

Towards a framework for the validation of early childhood assessment systems
Goldstein, Jessica, August, 2016
Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Accountability, 28(3), 273-293

American early childhood education is in the midst of drastic change. In recent years, states have begun the process of overhauling early childhood education systems in response to federal grant competitions, bringing an increased focus on assessment and accountability for early learning programs. The assessment of young children is fraught with challenges; psychometricians and educational researchers must work together with the early childhood community to develop these instruments. The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual framework for the validation of such instrumentation and examine its implications for early childhood educators. We formulate a validity argument for early childhood assessments providing a pivotal link between validity theory and early education practice. Recommendations for the assessment field are also considered. (author abstract)

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46.

Factor analysis of the Preschool Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scale for children in Head Start programs
Cress, Cynthia J., August, 2016
Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 34(5), 473-486

Strength-based assessment of behaviors in preschool children provides evidence of emotional and behavioral skills in children, rather than focusing primarily on weaknesses identified by deficit-based assessments. The Preschool Behavioral and Emotional Rating Scales (PreBERS) is a normative assessment of emotional and behavioral strengths in preschool children. The PreBERS has well-established reliability and validity for typically developing children as well as children with identified special education needs, but this has not yet been established for children in Head Start programs, who tend to be at high risk for development of emotional and behavioral concerns. This study explores the factorial validity of the PreBERS scores for a large sample of children participating in Head Start programs around the United States. Results not only confirm the fit of the four-factor model of the PreBERS for this population, but also demonstrate the application of a bifactor model to the structure of the PreBERS which, in turn, allows for the computation of model-based reliability estimates for the four subscales (Emotional Regulation, School Readiness, Social Confidence, Family Involvement) and overall strength index score. The implications suggest that the PreBERS items are reliable scores that can be used to identify behavioral strengths in preschool children in Head Start, and support planning of interventions to selectively address component skills to promote child social and academic success. (author abstract)

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47.

Mothers' attention-getting utterances during shared book reading: Links to low-income preschoolers' verbal engagement, visual attention, and early literacy
Son, Seung-Hee, July/August 2016
Infant and Child Development, 25(4), 259-282

This study examined associations among low-income mothers' use of attention-getting utterances during shared book reading, preschoolers' verbal engagement and visual attention to reading, and their early literacy skills (N=51). Mother-child shared book reading sessions were videotaped and coded for each utterance, including attention talk, contextualized talk, de-contextualized talk, and print talk. Preschoolers' attention during book reading was assessed using two measures: verbal engagement by using a rating scale of preschoolers' involvement in book reading discussion and visual attention by coding visual gaze. Findings indicated that mothers' attention talk was positively associated with children's verbal engagement, while maternal print talk was associated with children's visual attention. Further, low-level maternal print talk was associated with higher early decoding scores of children when it was accompanied with high-level maternal attention talk. (author abstract)

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48.

An efficacy trial of Carescapes: Home-based child-care practices and children's social outcomes
Rusby, Julie, July/August 2016
Child Development, 87(4), 1291-1310

This study reported findings from a longitudinal randomized controlled trial of Carescapes, a professional development program for home-based child-care providers in promoting children's social competence. Participants included 134 child-care providers and 310 children, ages 3-5 years, in Oregon. The Carescapes intervention group made significant improvements in observed caregiver responsiveness and monitoring, and showed decreased caregiver-reported child problem behavior and improved parent-reported peer relationships compared to the control group. Increased caregiver-reported cooperation skills were found for the intervention group at follow-up. No differences in condition were found for kindergarten teacher-reported social- behavioral, classroom, and academic skills. Moderation effects on children's behavior and peer relations were found for child age and exposure to the intervention child care. (author abstract)

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49.

Exploring teachers' depressive symptoms, interaction quality, and children's social-emotional development in Head Start
Roberts, Amy M., July, 2016
Early Education and Development, 27(5), 642-654

This study explored the role Head Start teachers' (n = 355) depressive symptoms play in their interactions with children and in children's (n = 2,203) social-emotional development, specifically changes in children's problem behaviors and social skills as reported by parents and teachers during the preschool year. Results of the multilevel path analyses revealed that children in classrooms with more depressed teachers made significantly fewer gains in social-emotional skills as reported by both teachers and parents. We found no evidence of mediation by the quality of teacher-child interactions. Practice or Policy: These findings have implications for understanding and supporting Head Start teachers' mental health and potentially improving children's social-emotional outcomes. (author abstract)

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50.

Relations between social skills and language and literacy outcomes among disruptive preschoolers: Task engagement as a mediator
Vitiello, Virginia E., Q3 2016
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 36(3), 136-144

Preschool children with disruptive behavior problems are at risk for social and academic difficulties. Many studies have shown a positive link between social skills and child outcomes, but the mechanism driving the link is not well understood. One possibility is that children with better social skills are better able to engage in tasks within the classroom, since preschool classrooms place significant social demands on children. The purpose of this study was to examine task engagement as a mediator between social skills at the start of the year and gains in language and literacy among children with disruptive behavior problems. Participants were 470 children aged 30 to 66 months (M = 48.7, SD = 6.7). Preschool teachers rated children's social skills and language and literacy, and independent observers rated their task engagement across multiple classroom settings. Path models showed that task engagement significantly mediated the association between social skills and language and literacy gains. When task engagement was divided into engagement during free play and engagement during whole group, only task engagement during whole group time, and not free play, was a significant mediator, although the size of the indirect effect was very small. Results suggest that stronger social skills help disruptive children engage in classroom activities, which in turn leads to stronger language and literacy gains. Results provide very limited support for the idea that task engagement during whole group, rather than free play, is important to language and literacy gains, although this finding needs replication before conclusions can be drawn. (author abstract)

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