Columbia University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Page: 5419 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
School readiness requires the acquisition of emergent literacy, math, and self-regulation skills. Although numerous interventions target one of these components, and several target two, none takes a fully integrated perspective, incorporating all three. In a typical preschool day, it is quite difficult for teachers to include multiple separate add-on curricula. Getting Ready for School (GRS) is an integrated curriculum that aims to alleviate some of this burden for teachers. Similarly, although the dual importance of parents and teachers in promoting school readiness has long been recognized, few programs comprehensively involve both parents and teachers. Such a program has the power to harness both classroom and home environments to support and reinforce one another.

GRS originated as a parent-directed literacy and math curriculum for children with limited access to preschool. An evaluation of the parent materials as a supplemental curriculum in Head Start classrooms revealed more growth in math and reading skills relative to children enrolled in Head Start-as-usual (a significant time*group interaction effect was found in a multivariate repeated measures model, suggesting that overall, children in the intervention group improved more than children in the comparison group (F (6, 39) = 2.5; p<0.037).).

The original parent materials have been substantially revised and further developed to target self-regulation skills and include a classroom-based component.

We will present an overview of the iterative development process in collaboration with 14 preschool classrooms. In addition, data on the feasibility and fidelity of program implementation will be presented (n=10 classrooms). Data were collected through parent and teacher questionnaires and focus groups, as well as through direct observation of classroom and home activities. Parent and teachers provided feedback on frequency of activity implementation, user-friendliness of activities, and usefulness of activities, group, and/ or videos. Additionally, teachers and parents were invited to participate in focus groups and/or interviews to discuss their experiences with the curriculum, following qualitative analysis methodology as used by Noble, Duch and colleagues (2012). We will present results from parent and teacher feedback indicating high fidelity to the curriculum and high levels of feasibility reported by both parents and teachers (n=390-420 lessons).

Classrooms and parent groups are observed for fidelity and engagement, both on the part of the teacher or parent facilitator and the children or parents.

These observations are divided into three content areas:
(1) Adherence to Lesson Plan,
(2) Teacher/Facilitator/Parent Engagement, and
(3) Student/Parent/Child Engagement, rated in 5-point Likert scales. Results indicate high fidelity.

Teachers and parents report high feasibility and fidelity of program implementation, substantiating the need for integrated interventions that may function synergistically, operating as a whole more effectively than individual components may operate alone.
Preschool education, school readiness, parent engagement, integrated programs.