Researchers will evaluate the impact of two theoretically distinct versions of an intervention called Developing Talkers (DT) that uses a Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS). The Developing Talkers adaptive system of supports includes:
DT is designed to improve teacher facilitation of academic language skills and the academic language skills of kindergarten students. The two versions are the Scripted Approach and the Teacher-Inspired Approach. Researchers will monitor teacher uptake of evidence-based practices during a first stage of intervention. At the second stage, researchers will provide additional individualized professional development (PD) resources based on teacher performance. Researchers will explore aspects of cognition, such as memory and vocabulary and other behavioral factors, including, self-efficacy and social norms, that may explain changes in teacher knowledge and behavior.
Researchers will use a Sequential Multiple Assignment Randomized Trial (SMART) design to provide adaptive PD approaches tailored to teacher needs. In the first stage, researchers will conduct a randomized control trial evaluating the impact of each version of the Developing Talkers versus business-as-usual. In the second stage, researchers will identify teachers within each intervention condition as responders or non-responders in terms of implementing focal evidence-based practices for academic language instruction. Then, researchers will re-randomize these teachers to increasingly intensive interventions (that is., coaching or professional learning communities) or to stay in their initial conditions.
Tricia Zucker, Ph.D.
Jessica Logan, Ph.D., Ohio State University