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Implementation and Evaluation of the Rural Early Adolescent Learning Project (REAL): Commonalities in Diverse Educational Settings Jill V. Hamm, Dylan.

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Presentation on theme: "Implementation and Evaluation of the Rural Early Adolescent Learning Project (REAL): Commonalities in Diverse Educational Settings Jill V. Hamm, Dylan."— Presentation transcript:

1 Implementation and Evaluation of the Rural Early Adolescent Learning Project (REAL): Commonalities in Diverse Educational Settings Jill V. Hamm, Dylan Robertson, Kimberly Dadisman, Matthew Irvin, Allen Murray, Jana Thompson, Kelli O’Brien, & Jenny Westrick University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2 General Aims of Project REAL Professional development for rural teachers who serve middle level youth (5 th – 6 th grades) Responsive to local resources, needs, and school configurations Promote strategies that provide universal support for all students during early adolescence Promote strategies that help teachers advance the learning of low-achieving students

3 Academics Behavioral Engagement Social Relations

4 Support for Conceptual Framework in Rural Areas Pilot Sites Research Participants Recruited from all 5th grade classrooms of eight public elementary schools in two states of the rural Appalachia region –61% agreed to participate 315 participating students (170 girls and 145 boys) Over 95% White Schools were eligible for U.S. Department of Education’s Rural and Low-Income School Program (RLISP) –locale code 6, 7, or 8 and at least 20% of students are from families living below the federal poverty level

5 Support for Conceptual Framework in Rural Areas Measures: Adjustment in Multiple Domains Teacher-ratings on 18-item questionnaire (ICS-T; Cairns, Leung, Gest, & Cairns, 1995) –Sub-scales/factors: Aggression (α =.84), Popularity (α =.83), Academic competence (α =.80), Affiliative (α =.74), Internalizing (α =.52), Olympian (α =.78) Measures: Achievement End-of-Year Grade Average –School records data for end of 5th grade for: math, English/reading, social studies/history and science –Mean across four subjects (in the form of a percentage) was obtained and used in analyses State-level Standardized Achievement Test Scores –School records data for end of 5th grade for similar subjects: math, science, social studies and English –Mean across these four subjects was obtained and used in analyses scaled scores were on different metrics by state; average standardized achievement score were standardized within state.

6 Support for Conceptual Framework in Rural Areas Data Reduction Techniques 4 unique patterns of variables emerged in girls (i.e.,clusters, behavioral configurations) –Troubled: above average aggression and internalizing; below average academic competence, affiliative, popularity, and Olympian –Tough: well above average aggression; average popularity, academic competence, affiliative, and Olympian; below average internalizing –Sensitive: above average internalizing; below average affiliative; average aggression, academic competence, popularity, and Olympian –Model: above average academic competence, affiliative, and popularity; below average aggression and internalizing.

7 Support for Conceptual Framework in Rural Areas Data Reduction Techniques 5 unique patterns of variables emerged in boys (i.e.,clusters, behavioral configurations) –Troubled: above average aggression and internalizing; below average academic competence, affiliative, popularity, and Olympian –Low academic: below average academic competence and Olympian; above average affiliative; average aggression, popularity, and internalizing –Tough: well above average aggression; above average affiliative, popularity, and Olympian; below average internalizing; average academic competence –High academic: above average academic competence; below average aggression; average affiliative, popularity, Olympian, and internalizing –Model: above average academic competence, affiliative, popularity, and Olympian; below average aggression and internalizing

8 Support for Conceptual Framework in Rural Areas Results from Pilot Sites

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10 Moving from Pilot Sites to Efficacy Sites: Research Design for Project REAL 8 intervention and 8 control schools –8 with middle school transition configuration –8 alternative configuration (e.g., k-8, k-12) Baseline data collected in spring of 5 th grade; Process/transition data collected in fall and spring of 6 th grade Outcome data on school adjustment and academic achievement collected in spring of 6 th grade

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13 Implications of Rural Diversity for Interventions Special needs by region, locale Challenges to delivery, implementation Pinpointing transition

14 Positive Behavior Enhancement Academic Engagement Enhancement Social Dynamics Training Academic Engagement Enhancement – -General strategies that promote an instructional context that is responsive to the need of a broad and diverse range of students Positive Behavior Enhancement – - Strategies to create structure and consistency across classes - Encouraging self-directed behavior - Proactive approaches to prevent behavioral difficulties Social Dynamics Training – - Promoting teachers’ awareness of the impact of peers on motivation & achievement. - Recognizing peer groups and social roles - Identifying youth with social difficulties that interfere with their own or others’ learning - Strategies to use peer group dynamics to foster classroom engagement - Strategies to help students with social difficulties develop positive, supportive relationships

15 REAL Intervention: Universal Components Summer Institute –15 modules completed between fall and spring by teachers –On-line articles and activities –Topics include: Early adolescent development Motivation and academic engagement Instruction for low-achieving students School and classroom social dynamics Information processing Literacy support REAL Intervention: Targeted Components –Bimonthly videoconferences with Project REAL staff Directed Consultation Model: Focused on issues salient to the site, addressed through REAL intervention framework Supporting struggling writers

16 Pilot Sites Findings of Intervention Effects Participants included 448 students (239 girls) who transitioned from 5 th to 6 th grade –Transitioned from 11 public elementary schools –Transitioned into middle schools (2 intervention, 2 control) –Over 95% White Schools were eligible for U.S. Department of Education’s Rural and Low-Income School Program (RLISP) –locale code 6, 7, or 8 and at least 20% of students are from families living below the federal poverty level Data collected: 5 th grade spring, 6 th grade early fall, 6 th grade late spring

17 Social Impact of Intervention Results: Pilot Sites

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19 Summary of Pilot Site Findings In control classrooms, students’ perceptions of the classroom social context evidence a significant decline across the transition year. In intervention classrooms, students’ perceptions of the classroom social context remain stable and positive across the transition year. If teachers use strategies to enhance social, behavioral, and academic adjustment, they can maintain a positive social context for learning. Future analyses will examine the implications of these patterns for students' achievement in intervention versus control sites. Future analyses will investigate these patterns across a larger and diverse sampling of sites, and in relation to differences in student risk pre-transition and school characteristics, and using HLM.

20 Representing School Differences in Meaningful Ways –Configuration differences –Concentrations of students at-risk Cross-state Comparisons –State differences in achievement tests Implications for Analyses of Diverse Locales


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