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Grant Listing

Development of Program-Wide Supports for Pyramid Model Implementation: Addressing Young Children

The purpose of this application under Goal 2, Early Learning Programs and Policies, is to develop and evaluate a feasible system of program-wide implementation of the Pyramid Model (Fox et al., 2003; Hemmeter, Ostrosky, & Fox, 2006). The Pyramid Model is a three-tiered framework that organizes empirically supported practices for promoting social emotional competence and addressing the challenging behavior of preschool children. The project goal is to develop a scalable system, Program-wide Supports for Pyramid Model Implementation (PWS-PMI), to scaffold implementation of the Pyramid Model in early childhood settings. Guided by an implementation science framework, the project will use an iterative process of development, observation, refinement, and evaluation to create this system. PWS-PMI will include the procedures and tools needed for programs to implement the Pyramid Model with fidelity. There is an increasing awareness among educators, researchers, and policy-makers about the rising number of young children who are beginning their school experiences without the emotional, social, and behavioral skills necessary for academic success. Research has demonstrated that behavior problems identified during the preschool years often persist, and that adolescents identified as having emotional disturbance have a history of problem behavior that began during the preschool years. In addition, researchers have acknowledged the importance of social-emotional development to the acquisition of pre-academic skills, and preparedness for school. Emerging evidence supports the use of the Pyramid Model (Hemmeter et al., 2011) to address children’s social, emotional and behavioral needs. However, no research to date has systematically examined the implementation supports needed to sustain high fidelity implementation of the Pyramid Model in authentic educational settings. In the proposed project, we will fully develop a feasible and usable system of program-wide supports needed for high fidelity implementation of the Pyramid Model, with a focus on programs serving children in poverty. The purpose of this project is to develop, evaluate, and refine key components of PWS-PMI, including development of a leadership team who nurtures staff buy-in, promotes family involvement, monitors implementation fidelity, provides professional development and coaching, facilitates development of individualized interventions to children with behavior challenges, and uses data to guide decision-making. Product development will include: 1) A PWS-PMI implementation manual, 2) An implementation decision and progress-monitoring tool, 3) Training for internal coaches, 4) Practitioner training, and 5) Training of the behavior support specialist. These materials will be developed through an iterative process that includes expert and practitioner review and field-testing. The refined materials will be used in a pilot study with 16 (8 randomly assigned to intervention and 8 to control) programs in Florida and Tennessee that include at-risk children between the ages of 3 and 5 years. Experimental programs will be provided with training, technical assistance, and materials to implement PWS-PMI and will be compared to programs who are implementing “business as usual” practices. The relations between implementing PWS-PMI with fidelity, changes in teacher implementation of the Pyramid Model, and child outcome measures (child challenging behavior, child social development) will be assessed using hierarchical liner modeling to account for nesting effects. Data on the feasibility, usability, and acceptability will be analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative measures.

Grantor: DOE/IES

Expected completion date: 08/31/2018

Project or Grant: Grant
Date Span: September 01, 2015 to August 31, 2018
Principal Investigators: Mary Louise Hemmeter
Academic Department: Special Education