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Improving school readiness of high-risk preschoolers: Combining high quality instructional strategies with responsive training for teachers and parents

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Description:
This study evaluated whether the combination of two proven interventions, one in Head Start classrooms (The Early Education Model, TEEM) and one in the home (Play and Learning Strategies, PALS) resulted in enhanced effects on at-risk 3- to 5-year-old children's school readiness skills when compared to either of these interventions alone. Teachers and parents were trained to use a responsive style and strategies that supported children's school readiness skills with the goal of providing children consistency in responsive practices across the school and home environments. The study was conducted in 77 classrooms with teachers randomized to either the TEEM (n = 39) or No TEEM (i.e., control or business as usual, n = 38) conditions. Six to eight children in each classroom were randomly assigned to either have their parents receive PALS (n = 314; 210 after attrition) or to a No PALS condition (n = 309; 221 after attrition) resulting in four conditions: TEEM/PALS, TEEM/No PALS, No TEEM/PALS, and No TEEM/No PALS. Results showed greater gains in the TEEM teachers' language and literacy instructional practices and sensitivity compared to control teachers, but there were few significant findings for child cognitive outcomes. Parents receiving PALS, as compared to those without PALS, showed greater increases across play and book reading contexts in numerous responsive behaviors linked to the attachment and socio-cultural theories. Children whose parents received PALS versus those whose parents did not showed greater gains in direct measures of print knowledge and self-regulation and in social and language skills observed during interactions with their parent. Interactive effects of TEEM plus PALS were seen for increased engagement in shared book reading but not for other cognitive or social outcomes. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
Country:
United States
State(s):
Texas

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