The Incredible Years® Blog


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Inspire, Innovate, Impact: IY Aotearoa National Forum

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New Zealand Inspires the Road Forward Promoting Children’s
Social, Emotional and Educational Outcomes

Incredible Years (IY) Parent Programs

Since 1997 the Incredible Years Parent Programs have been rolled out by The Werry Centre and other NGO’S in New Zealand. During that time 1,367 group leaders have been trained in the IY Parent Program. Of these, 145 have become accredited as group leaders and supported by parent peer coaches.

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Children present songs to open forum.

Since 2010, the IY Teacher Program has been delivered in New Zealand as part of the Ministry of Education’s wider Positive Behavior for Learning (PB4L). During that time, 581 group leaders were trained in the IY teacher program and 73 in the IY Child Program. Of these, 80 RTLBs and psychologists have become accredited as group leaders. Furthermore, 36 of accredited teacher and parent group leaders have achieved accreditation as peer coaches and 6 as IY mentors (a very extensive and time consuming process!). This phenomenal achievement has occurred because of the collaborative work of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and the Werry Centre Parenting Team.

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Werry Center Incredible Years Parenting Team with Carolyn (Center)

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Parent Peer Coaches and Mentors (Not all pictured)

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Teacher Peer Coaches and Mentors

Recently a forum was held in Wellington with over 220 parent and teacher group leaders from New Zealand. Keynote speakers included Dr. Russell Wills, Children’s Commissioner and Professor Carolyn Webster-Stratton. Special topics included a focus on Māori Cultural enhancements and how to adapt the IY program with fidelity to be sensitive to family culture. Parents, teachers and principals who have participated in these IY trainings talked about their experiences. Dina, Molly and Wally also participated in several presentations by IY Accredited Mentors!

NZ-Infrastructure

New Zealand’s Support Infrastructure includes many key people!

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Group leaders with Carolyn

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Pacific parent group leaders

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Inspiring children


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Join our team! The Incredible Years is hiring

We are now accepting applications for a Layout Designer/Administrative Assistant to join our team! This is a part-time position and we are seeking candidates in the Seattle area. See the details below.

JOB DESCRIPTION

The Incredible Years, Inc. is seeking a part time Layout Designer and Administrative Assistant to join our team! This person will be responsible for layout design and ongoing maintenance of educational manuals, which are frequently translated and/or updated. You will work closely with the Program Developer and Graphic Design/Marketing Coordinator. Additional responsibilities will include a number of administrative tasks, such as assisting in the organization of local trainings, customer service, and other miscellaneous office duties. We are a small team operating out of an office in residential Queen Anne neighborhood. We are looking for someone who is a flexible team player and is committed to our mission of serving families around the world!

REQUIREMENTS

  • Bachelor’s degree and minimum 1 year related experience
  • Proficient in Adobe InDesign
  • A visual eye for layout
  • Basic understanding of printing processes and prepping files for print
  • Familiarity with Mac
  • Highly organized and able to multi-task
  • Excellent communication
  • Able to work with relative speed and accuracy
  • Extremely detail oriented
  • Receptive to feedback
  • Excellent spelling and grammar; experience proofing documents is preferred
  • Customer service experience is preferred
  • Willingness to take on new tasks and learn the “ins and outs” of the company

The ideal candidate will be a strong independent worker, have excellent interpersonal skills and be highly organized. Must be comfortable asking questions! We are looking for candidates who are interested in growing with the company, and the potential to take on more responsibility as time progresses.

To apply, please e-mail your resume along with a cover letter detailing your interest in the position to alysonb@incredibleyears.com.


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Gardstunet Barnehage School in Norway uses Puppets to Engage Children

At the Gardstunet Barnehage School in Norway, Incredible Years implementation is incorporated into children’s daily activities. This includes a teacher whose full time duty is to “be” the Molly puppet used in IY! Molly accompanies the students throughout the day and encourages the different concepts taught in Incredible Years (such as problem solving, coping strategies, social skills, and being gentle). We previously wrote about this school when Dr. Webster-Stratton went for a visit earlier this year.

Here are two videos from a day in the life at the Gardstunet Barnehage school. Watch as Molly helps the children feed horses and play on a swing set. (The videos are in Norwegian, but even if you don’t understand the language, it still clearly shows the children are interacting with Molly and how the teacher facilitates their positive interactions!)


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Incredible Years Implementation in Hong Kong

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Maureen Kong received her doctorate from the University of Hong Kong in August 2014.

Her dissertation was an evaluation of the Incredible Years BASIC Parenting Program in a community clinic setting in Hong Kong. Parents of 52 preschool children with developmental delays were randomly assigned to either the IY program or waitlist control.

Assessments included self and spouse reports and video coding of parent-child interactions.  

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Results indicated significantly more frequent positive parent-child interactions during observed structured play, reports of less parental stress, improvements in parenting practices according to spouses/kin, and fewer child oppositional behaviors by parents and spouses/kin. Parent attendance rate and program and satisfaction was high.  

This paper is currently under review. Once it has been published it will be included in our research library.


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Preschool Curriculum Consumer Report Shows Effectiveness of Incredible Years Classroom Program

secoverpageThe National Center on Quality Teaching and Learning (NCQTL) recently released their 2015 Social Emotional Preschool Curriculum Consumer Report. This report serves as a guide for Head Start programs to assist them in selecting a social emotional curriculum for their classrooms. Seven different evidence-based programs were presented and evaluated against NCQTL’s twelve components of an effective social-emotional preschool curriculum. The Incredible Years® Classroom Dinosaur Curriculum is among the programs reviewed in the report, which highlights the positive impact of implementing IY in a classroom setting!

The twelve components used to evaluate each program are thoroughly explained in the full report, which can be found here. Each program is ranked on a scale of “No Evidence,” “Minimal Evidence,” “Some Evidence,” and “Solid, High-Quality Evidence” for each component.

Incredible Years Classroom Dinosaur School was found to have “Some Evidence” or “Solid, High-Quality Evidence” for nearly all of the twelve components! The program ranked particularly high in areas of comprehensiveness, depth for covered social, emotional and learning elements, well-designed learning activities, responsive teaching, and family involvement materials. Download a PDF of the entire Incredible Years report here, or access the full downloadable report online to learn more about the programs evaluated and how Incredible Years can be used to teach social, emotional, and academic skills in a classroom setting.


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European Incredible Years® (EIY) Network for Implementation and Research in Incredible Years (Written by Carolyn Webster-Stratton)

European IY group_2746Thirty-two people from Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, Slovenia, England and Wales met late May in Bergen, Norway to discuss new research with IY programs and dissemination principles. I (Carolyn) am delighted to meet these researchers, administrators and IY mentors and to talk with them about grant deadlines, translations, research measures and new studies.

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There are many presentations about promising new studies. Brenda Renz, IY parent mentor from Scotland, describes their plan for motivating high risk parents of 4-year old children by providing IY Basic Parent Training. 786 families have been enrolled and pre, post–data shows that 81% of parents had improved behavior problem scores and 62% of children had moved out of the clinical range.

Marija Anderluh, a child psychiatrist from Slovenia, discussed her efforts to bring the Incredible Years parent program to her country. Already 20 groups leaders have been trained and they are offering 10 parent groups!

Frances Gardner from Oxford University presented pooling data from 14 trials across Europe about who benefits the most from IY Parenting programs to reduce disruptive child behavior. She discussed the effects of poverty, joblessness, parent mental health, child comorbid problems, ethnicity and geographical location on outcomes.

Piia Karjalainen presented her doctoral research design to evaluate the IY Parent program for child welfare referred families.

IMG_9074 croppedFinally, I am able to introduce Wally’s mother, Carmen Communicator, to present information about the birth of three new Incredible Years® programs – one for day care providers of young children (1-5 years), another for parents with children on the autism spectrum, and a third for preschool teachers working with children with language delays as well as children on the spectrum.

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The European IY Network (EIY Network) is comprised of IY implementors, researchers, and IY experts from across Europe. The EIY Network aims to do the following:

  • Network with each other to form a supportive IY community throughout Europe to promote IY implementation with fidelity.
  • Share idea and experiences with implementation and research in IY series.
  • Generate and expand upon new ideas and initiatives, and apply for funding, in order to contribute to future research of IY.
  • Share expertise and experiences of IY to inform policies and practice in their own countries.
  • Discuss needs and opinions in order to devise common formulations, and bring those to the attention of the Incredible Years® Headquarters in Seattle.

This is an exciting group and I am so pleased to see how they have taken the collaborative process to the next level. The pooled data study Frances presented points the way to how collaborative research can enhance our understanding of how IY programs can help families of all cultures, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds.

Written by Carolyn Webster-Stratton
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Magical Visit to Bergen Norway and Fjell Where Children, Teachers and Parents are Supported (Written by Carolyn Webster-Stratton)

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Children Singing at Incredible Years Conference

While visiting Norway for the European IY Networking Meeting, Bjorn Brunborg (IY parent mentor) and Marianne Gjerstad (IY Dina teacher and peer coach) took me on a field trip to Fjell to see two Kindergarten Schools. In Norway, kindergarten Schools are available for children ages 1 to 5 years.

Knappskog Barnehage School

Knappskog Barnehage School

This beautiful school opened 7 years ago and is nestled in the side of a mountain. It has an outdoor play area surrounded by rocky hillsides which the children are allowed to explore. The glass fence around the play area has pictures drawn on it by children as well as the Incredible Years logo! This logo originally was drawn by my daughter when she was 4 years old so it is exciting to see her art alongside some Norwegian children’s art. Looking out at the rocky mountain I can almost image trolls waiting to play with the children.

Principal Anette Kaland and Carolyn

Principal Anette Kaland and Carolyn

At this school there are 57 children and 28 of these are toddlers (ages 1 to 3 years). In the toddler classrooms there are 2 preschool teachers and 2 assistants for 14 children. The children start school as young as one year of age beginning in August and they stay there from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. The principal Anette Kaland had taken the IY Teacher Classroom Management Program many years earlier when her daughter attended this school. The school has a wonderful warm and calming atmosphere and I think that I would like to work here with these children, teachers and trolls.

Gardstunet Barnehage

Gardstunet Barnehage

The next school is located on a farm and is what I imagine Old McDonald’s farm to look like with a large, red barn, many animals and children playing happily. It is surrounded by a beautiful hillside and forests where the children can also explore. Even though the day is cold (freezing temperatures) the children are outside, dressed in their snow suits and playing happily. I see that Willy Problem Solver (managed by teacher Sonja Pedersen) is also dressed in heavy clothes and a warm hat and is playing with the other children. Willy and a group of 5-year-old girls grab me by the hand to take me on a guided tour. I discover that Willy and Molly (managed by teacher Heidi Valen) are constant companions of the school’s children, modeling and encouraging problem solving, communication and emotional regulation. This school has 4 age-groups of children – 10 toddlers (1-3 years of age), 15 children (mixed ages 1-4 years), 12 preschoolers (4-5 years) and 19 early school age children (4-6 years).

 Certified Preschool Teacher Kristina Bergsvlle and Heidi Iren Vatne, Manager

Certified Preschool Teacher Kristina Bergsvlle and Heidi Iren Vatne, Manager

In the first three younger age groups the teachers who were trained in the IY Teacher Training Program model verbal and nonverbal communication methods, guide children with emotional, social and pre-academic coaching, and provide constant positive attention for positive behaviors. The teachers in the older children’s group also deliver the Dinosaur Curriculum lessons twice a week. These teachers took the first Dinosaur teacher training delivered in Norway in 2007 and are accredited in delivery of the dinosaur program. They have incorporated Dinosaur concepts throughout the day for the children. Every month they focus on one of the Dinosaur program themes. In one classroom I notice how children earn small Wally Problem Solver picture coins for sharing, helping and taking turns. When they get 5 of these coins they can trade them in for a Dinosaur foot. When the class earns 19 dinosaur feet they get to choose a class reward – this class has chosen an ice cream party. Another class has selected a slumber party in the hay for their classroom reward. I also want to work at this school and be a child again! I meet with one of the accredited preschool teachers, Kristina Bergsvile and the administration manager, Heidi Iren Vatne, who show me a video of how the children are teaching Molly to feed the horses hay and later how to jump in the hay and participate in their cooperative play. They tell me all new teachers get IY training and that they participate in teacher booster sessions yearly to keep their motivation high. It is a magical place. (Stay tuned for a new IY YouTube video of this event)

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I end the tour at the Town Hall and meet a group of accredited IY teacher peer coaches for the IY parent, teacher and child programs.

Fjel Parent, Teacher and Child Peer Coaches

Fjell Parent, Teacher and Child Peer Coaches

I am greeted by Steinar Nesse who is the Chief Executive and has energetically supported the roll out of these training programs for at least 13 kindergartens.

They train 3 new kindergarten schools each year and will start another 3 in August. Over 400 kindergarten teachers have been trained in IY teacher and child programs. The peer coaches provide intensive support in the first year of IY training and start the first 2 months delivering the Dina program together with them. Gradually they decrease their time in the classroom letting the teachers deliver the Dina lessons more independently. In the 2nd year they meet with the teachers twice a semester to provide support.

In this community, all the teachers first receive the 6 monthly IY classroom management training workshops. Peer coaching is provided throughout the year and teachers have booster workshops once a year where they share stories of their experiences and how they have incorporated IY concepts in their daily work.

The community and their teachers have made a real and genuine commitment to helping enhance children’s social and emotional development. How lucky these children are!

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