Examining the Cost-effectiveness of Continuous Improvement Models for Preschool Teachers: Balancing PD Structures to Match Teacher Need

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Timeline:

2018-2023

Principal Investigator:

April Crawford, Ph.D.

Co-Investigators:

Michael Assel, Ph.D.

Hsien-Yuan Hsu, Ph.D.

Susan Landry, Ph.D.

Tricia Zucker, Ph.D.

Funding Agency:

Institute for Education Sciences

Description of the Project:

The goal of this project is to evaluate the efficacy of a statewide professional development (PD) program called Texas School Ready (TSR) that has been utilized in three IES-funded randomized control trials and other experimental studies. In this replication study, researchers will implement three contrasting professional development approaches, which represent routine and scalable practice using widely available resources and evaluate the efficacy and cost effectiveness of each approach.

Intervention group teachers will participate in one of three PD approaches:

  1. Guided self-study that includes reflection, action planning, and practice;
  2. Facilitated professional learning communities (PLC)that diversifies feedback; or
  3. Remote coaching that allows for highly individualized feedback.

All public pre-K programs in Texas (including public school pre-K, Head Start) have free access to the intervention’s digital tools via a state-supported technology platform (CLI Engage). By testing the efficacy of the intervention under contrasting approaches, researchers will be able to provide these various programs with research-driven guidance for implementing the tools in cost-effective ways that maximize their impact while also taking into account local needs and constraints.

Researchers will conduct this study over a five-year period. They will use a four cohort design to conduct a cluster randomized trial to evaluate the efficacy of the TSR PD program approaches. For each cohort, they will recruit and randomly assign classrooms/teachers to one of four conditions (guided self-study, PLC, remote coaching, or BAU), resulting in a total of 110 teachers per condition across the four years.

  • In Years 1-4, the research team will implement the three TSR PD approaches, and collect data from 440 classrooms/teachers and 5 children per classroom in fall and spring of each school year.
  • In Year 5, researchers will conduct data analysis using all four years of data and disseminate study findings.

Participants:

The sample will include 440 pre-K classrooms and teachers and 2,200 students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.

Research Sites:

This project will take place in public schools serving primarily low-income students in several regions across Texas representing urban and rural locations.