WHAT IS CONSCIOUS DISCIPLINE? A training program designed to help teachers of young children integrate social-emotional learning and discipline. Helps teachers learn to utilize everyday events to teach skills critical for success in school and life, such as: Self-control Problem solving Ability to focus attention on learning Grounded in sound science-based principles, but its impact has not been well evaluated.
CONSCIOUS DISCIPLINE IN ARKANSAS >1,100 preschool teachers have participated in Conscious Discipline Training facilitated by staff from Arkansas State University (ASU). This intensive 6 day training is offered in 3 segments over a period of about 6 months. 152 sites have received follow-up coaching to help them implement what they have learned in training. Arkansas is taking first steps to evaluate Conscious Discipline implementation in the state. Initial focus on Arkansas Better Chance teachers
BARRIERS IN IMPLEMENTING CONSCIOUS DISCIPLINE Alumni teachers were given examples of barriers and asked to respond if they had experienced that barrier.
RECOMMENDED SUPPORTS FOR IMPLEMENTATION 94% of teachers (alumni & current trainee) agreed support is needed beyond initial training. Alumni teachers were given more specific examples:
SUMMARY Overall, about 1/3 of teachers trained could be classified as ‘full implementers’, while another half have implemented ‘bits and pieces’. Perhaps because of financial barriers, teachers were more likely to report changes in the way they interact with children than use of some of the recommended activities, many of which require special materials. Overwhelming a majority of teachers perceive that the training is bringing positive changes teachers, children and classroom. A majority of teachers expressed barriers to implementation as well as a desire for additional support.
RECOMMENDATIONS The ASU team has been exploring methods to provide additional post-training supports to teachers. Our results suggest this is likely to be well- received. A stronger evaluation of Conscious Discipline impact in Arkansas is needed. Should include independent structured observations of the preschool classrooms pre and post-training Ratings of teacher-child interactions Ratings of child pro-social and problematic behavior Could include a comparison group of teachers on training wait-list As more diverse sites (family child care, private, DDTCS) become trained, additional evaluation will be needed to explore impact across settings.
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