- by Christina Christopolous, PhD, Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke University
In collaboration with IY staff, researchers from the Center for Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University are completing a 120-classroom randomized trial to test the outcomes of two IY programs in combination: IY Teacher Classroom Management and IY Dinosaur Classroom Prevention Program. They are targeting low-income preschool classrooms in four North Carolina counties, with half of the schools receiving training during the two-year evaluation period and half trained in the following year (i.e., waitlist comparison). Both lead teachers and instructional assistants are participating in IY training and in-class coaching. With the support and help of the Incredible Years Office, this project has utilized a training model that combines the two programs into a single training protocol carried out in four two-day segments spaced across the school year. The researchers will be assessing the effects of training, coaching, and curriculum implementation on classroom climate, behavior management strategies, child self-regulation, and early academic achievement. So far, Incredible Years has trained teachers and assistants from 28 classrooms. The teachers expressed great enthusiasm for the project, and many have moved forward with certification in IY Dinosaur School. The Duke staff are busy analyzing outcomes from the first year of implementation and preparing to begin work with a new cohort of teachers in 2017-18.