The limited amount of training provided to staff in preschools poses a challenge in implementing evidence-based practices.
The purpose of this study is to investigate whether a four-hour treatment package and biweekly supervision could help ease implementation and close the gap between general education and special education in the classrooms.
The project aims to implement and evaluate a staff training program in three inclusive preschools to influence the quality of the classroom environment, implementation of early intensive behavioral education (EIBI), and children's outcomes.
The preschools were eligible for inclusion if they had a child with special needs receiving EIBI at least 20 hours per week.
Full project title: A preschool-based intervention to improve the learning environment for children with special education needs: a non-concurrent multiple baseline design.
We address three main questions. How do in-service training and bi-weekly supervision
- affect the accuracy and rate with which the teachers present learn units/opportunities to children?
- impact the implementation and quality of special education or EIBI?
- affect the learning environment in mainstream preschools with enrolled children who need special education?
The study employed a non-concurrent multiple-baseline design across participants to evaluate the intervention effects.
The intervention period spanned 17 weeks and involved a treatment package that included
- a two-hour-long in-service lecture-style training
- a 30-minute-long discussion to set meaningful goals
- a 1,5 hour-long in-service training that utilized behavioral skills training (BST)
- bi-weekly in-situ coaching sessions evaluating progress
The preliminary results indicates improved staff skills in the accuracy and rate with which the teachers presented learn units/opportunities to children, increased quality of special education and EIBI, and overall improvements in the classroom environment.