Incredible Years® (IY) Training for Teachers of Young Children (4-5 years)
Duke University implementation outcomes
A team of Duke researchers (Drs. Katie Rosanbalm and Christina Christopoulos) did a randomized control trial of an updated Incredible Years Teacher Training Program plus the implementation of the Classroom Dinosaur School Program. The goal of the study was to assess the synergistic effects of the two curricula, that is, a classroom management program plus a social and emotional curriculum on preschool children’s self-regulation and academic achievement.
The study used a uniquely sequenced 4-month training agenda starting at the beginning of the school year incorporating two curricula. Dr. Webster-Stratton developed a comprehensive 8-day training protocol spread out over four 2-day training sessions completed at the end of September, October, November and January. The first day of each session covered teacher classroom management training that included components of the well validated Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management (TCM) Program plus the more recently developed Incredible Beginnings (IB) Program. The advantages of adding the IB Program to TCM were its enhanced focus on building children’s language development, social, emotional, academic and persistence coaching and managing behavior of children with developmental delays and emotional dysregulation. The second day of training covered delivery of the upcoming lesson plans from the Classroom Dinosaur School Program. Each 2-day training workshops were built on the prior month’s training and allowed for follow-up of their experiences delivering the Dinosaur School lesson plans and trying out the new coaching methods. Following principles of adult learning the training relied heavily on experiential learning, self-reflection, collaboration, goal setting, teacher support and problem solving specific behavior plans. Teachers had the opportunity to translate what they learned in each workshop immediately into practice in the classroom before the next training session.
Teachers also received support twice a month from trained IY coaches experienced with the curricula; coaches observed and participated in lessons, modeled coaching skills with children, assisted with behavioral management plans, met one-on-one with the teachers to address teacher’s goals and provided any support needed. A fidelity assessor visited the classrooms to rate how closely teachers followed the curricula.
One hundred and twenty preschool classrooms participated over a 2-year period. Classroom climate and child outcomes were measured before and after the intervention. Child outcomes were further assessed in Kindergarten. The child assessments included children’s knowledge of emotions, social problem solving and executive functions. Teachers also rated the children’s executive functioning and social competence. Self-report of teachers’ use of behavioral management strategies, communication with parents and feelings of support were also collected before and after the intervention. Teacher consumer satisfaction was very high and many teachers were motivated to become accredited in the program. Analyses of specific outcomes are currently under way. Stay tuned for the next installment.