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Standards-Based Professional Learning: Increasing Capacity to Intervene with Problem Behavior Michelle A. Bolling, Ed.S., NCSP Lynnae Psimas, M.Ed. Stephen.

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Presentation on theme: "Standards-Based Professional Learning: Increasing Capacity to Intervene with Problem Behavior Michelle A. Bolling, Ed.S., NCSP Lynnae Psimas, M.Ed. Stephen."— Presentation transcript:

1 Standards-Based Professional Learning: Increasing Capacity to Intervene with Problem Behavior Michelle A. Bolling, Ed.S., NCSP Lynnae Psimas, M.Ed. Stephen Truscott, Psy.D. Additional Contributors: Donna Kreskey, Ed.S. Emily Graybill, Ed.S. Kizzy Albritton, M.Ed. Allison Schwartz, M.Ed.

2 Introduction to the Problem Inadequacies in professional learning (PL) National Staff Development Council Standards The Exceptional Professional Learning (EPL) Model Theoretical foundations Components of the EPL model Sample EPL course Increasing teacher capacity with FBA and BIP Research Design, Questions, and Results Implications for Practice and Future Research Overview

3 Diverse and changing student population Challenging behavior Concurrent academic performance demands Inadequate repertoire of strategies and skills Professional learning could provide the means to teach and support new behaviors, competencies, and dispositions among educators.

4 The Consortium for Policy Research in Education (1996) Ill conceived, poorly delivered and ineffective PD in most states Low quality Costly Inattentive to teacher needs Lacking follow-up support for implementation Limited impacts on teaching Limited effects on student outcomes

5 The National Staff Development Council (NSDC, 2001) New standards for PD Context Standards Address setting/situational factors Process Standards Address implementation/practice factors Content Standards Address substance/material factors


7 Shift away from traditional stand and deliver workshops environments approaches leadership support Move toward ongoing projects teams of learners authentic, useful learning processes. Learning communities with ambitious goals Leadership- focused on continuous improvement Resources- financial and human capital NSDC, 2001

8 Learning environments grounded in socioconstructivist theory (SCT) Learning as a social process Contextualized meaning from social experience/discourse Integrated new knowledge into existing schema Enacting the model Relatedness Equity (Piaget, 1962; Merriam, Caffarrella, & Baumgartner, 2007; Vygotsky, 1978)

9 Feelings of connectedness with and social interactions between members of a group. Why its important Social interaction is: Necessary for learning Empowers educators Encourages reflection Produces positive impacts on practice and morale (Vescio, Ross, & Adams, 2007) Relatedness

10 How we enact it Opportunities for group discussion Collaborative team environments Learning tasks that promote active engagement, social discourse, and team problem solving Large group discussion Individual team support visits PL projects based on SCT theory have shown positive outcomes (Grundy, Robinson, & Thomazos, 2001; Shaw & Paul, 2000; Lovett & Gilmore, 2003; Truscott & Truscott, 2004)

11 Valuing all parties involved, from participant to facilitator, as having equal importance and power within the learning environment. Why its important Creates enabling conditions for PL Collaborative learning environments Shared decision making Equitable membership (Farmer, Hauk, & Newman, 2005; Grundy, Robison, & Tomazos, 2005; Scribner, 1998) Equity

12 How we enact it Non-hierarchical relationships (Caplan, 1970) Avoid the expert role Collaborative consultation (e.g., Gutkin 1999) Opportunities for participants to rely on each other as resources Featuring accomplishments Train the trainer model Research findings confirm that learning environments that foster collaboration and equity enhance PL (Famer, Hauk, & Newman, 2005; Grundy et al., 2005; Scribner, 1998).

13 PL should be a data-driven process that employs sound pedagogical methods informed by formative and summative evaluation. Tailored To adult learners, the identified content and project goals Data-Driven / Evaluative Research-based Applied Learning Practice Feedback Collaborative NSDC, 2001

14 Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2000 ) Motivation is impacted by needs for: Competency Autonomy Relatedness Motivation is stifled by: Solitary work environments Lacks in confidence Little choice or self-direction Enacting the model Autonomy Responsiveness

15 The freedom of the participants to guide their own learning through the formation of meaningful choices and self-direction. Why its important Increases motivation (Lewis & Hayward, 2003; Ryan & Deci, 2000) Contributes to changes in attitudes (Bainer & Wright, 2000) Contributes to changes in practices (Truscott & Truscott, 2004)

16 How we enact it Voluntary participation Opportunities for meaningful choices Case-study application Student selection Data collection method Active decision making Choice-based learning increases PL participant motivation and interest (Lewis & Hayward, 2003) and is more likely to create changes in practice (Bainer & Wright, 2000; Lovett & Gilmore, 2003; Truscott & Truscott, 2004).

17 Sustained efforts to assess and attend to the needs of participants. Why its important Effective for improving learning outcomes (Gallagher & Worth, 2008) Facilitates relatedness (Zozakiewicz & Rodriguez, 2007) Facilitates equity & increases buy-in (Ancess, Barnett & Allen, 2007)

18 How we enact it Needs assessment & formative assessment Flexible program activities Evolving agendas Individuation of learning engagements Opportunities for collaboration Self-reflexive activities Though not common in PL, formative assessment is widespread in education and can improve achievement (Black & Wiliam, 1998; Gallagher & Worth, 2008).

19 Focus on student outcomes and teacher implementation of the topical, content material presented in PL projects Improve the learning of ALL students Develop teachers pedagogical, topical, and assessment skills Enhance family and stakeholder involvement NSDC, 2001

20 Theoretical foundations Positive psychology (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000) Distributed practice (Desimone, 2009; Donovan & Radosevich, 1999) Situated cognition to enhance positive qualities and build skills (Brown, Collins, and Duguid, 1989) Enacting the model Content Selection Authenticity

21 Developing educators capacity to conduct effective functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and create behavior intervention plans (BIP) for students with challenging behavior Federally required/legally necessary Evidence-based approach Fit well in Response to Intervention (RTI) paradigm

22 Emphasis on genuine or authentic application to the real-world or authentic context and practicality of the content to the setting Why its important Effective practice should: Be relevant Be intense Occur over time Occur in real world situations (Truscott & Truscott, 2004; Cooter, 2003; Joyce & Showers, 2002; Desimone, Porter, Garet, Yoon, and Birman, 2002)

23 How we enact it Assessment of current practice/current status Identification of participants Consider contextual factors Video practice Case study application On-Site trainings and support PL activities that do not meet specific classroom or content needs or those that lack authentic applications are not highly valued by participants. (Laguardia et al., 2002; Yamagata-Lynch & Haudenschild, 2005)


25 Partnership between GLRS, GSU and Local School District Peri-urban district 8,000 students 8 elementary schools, 1 middle school, 1 sixth-grade school, and 1 high school 645 teachers Average pupil to teacher ratio of 20:1

26 Team Members (N=22) 13 special education teachers 7 general education teachers 2 school psychologists Demographic data 90.9% female (N=20) 13.6% Black (N=3), 4.5% Hispanic (N=1), and 81.8% White (N=18) 36.4 % under age 35 (N=8), 31.8% from (N=7), 31.8 % 46 or older (N=7) 18.2% held bachelors degrees (N=4), 40.9% had masters degrees (N=9), and 40.9% held higher degrees (N=9)


28 Group Interview Data Semi-structured group interviews Conducted pre and post training Teachers Attitudes about Professional Development Scale (TAP; Torff, Sessions, & Byrnes, 2005) Pre and post measure of participants attitudes about PL FBA Knowledge Test (Tobin & Crone, 2003) Multiple choice and short answer questions Conducted pre and post training Rubric for Permanent Product Evaluation Pre and post de-identified FBA and BIP

29 Question 1: What were participants perceptions of prior PL activities and did prior experiences incorporate components associated with this model? Question 2: How did participants perceive this experience incorporated the components associated with our model of PL and what were participants feelings/thoughts/ and/or perceptions related to these components?

30 Previous PL Experiences Not reported by teams as a salient feature of previous PL experiences. No time to consider what your needs are and make contact Only one participant reported experiencing relatedness in a previous training I felt like it was more of just a conversation. EPL Model Experience All teams, (100%) cited relatedness as a salient strength of the training. The most frequent observation, noted by 73% of teams, was that the training was interactive You saw that there was a need for dialogue. Also evident was the presence of a collegial atmosphere We got to know the other teachers. having someone here face to face

31 Previous PL Experiences In 100% of the interviews, participants spoke about mandated trainings A lot of it you have to do… its not an option I dont think things that are mandated are taken well. People tend to shut off. So many building level, state level initiatives to keep up with, its difficult to focus on learning and implementing anything else. EPL Model Experience Enacting Autonomy proved more difficult than anticipated. In 36% of team interviews, it was shared that voluntary participation was not enacted. We were told to go…we suggest you work harder to recruit real volunteers. For some participants coercion was evident: I sort of wanted to do this. this we were asked to do and agreed. Participants also did not seem to recognize choices presented within training.

32 Previous PL Experiences Responsiveness was typically lacking in previous PL teachers have an agenda and they stick to it its usually just been a presentation of the program training occurs then next topic, then next topic… Little follow-up support or interaction with trainers maybe observation [is conducted] to see if it's done correctly, but no assistance [is provided] when needed Most trainings provide info and it is never revisited. EPL Model Experience Responsiveness was perceived by 100% of the teams Dialogue and interaction were perceived as forms of responsiveness atmosphere where you felt like you could ask questions Feedback was perceived toindividualize training: You wanted input from us…. I think [its] in consideration right now. Support visits facilitated responsiveness: [The support visits were] particularly helpful. I don't speak out in a crowd, so it was easier to get my questions answered.

33 Previous PL Experiences Information likely to be implemented More meat and potatoes- practical stuff If I feel like I could take it to class tomorrow and use it If they relate it to my students Cumbersome initiatives and those unrelated to student needs are less likely to be implemented to difficult to apply - the time you have, it's not realistic in a school day. We did "talents unlimited", but it wasn't good for our kids. For the regular kids it might be helpful. EPL Model Experience Authentic activities (e.g. hands on and case-study) were cited by 91% of teams as strengths. "We didn't just listen to it, we did it" Putting this to use builds that higher order learning" "I think it was much better because there was some hands on there…If we had just met and left, we wouldn't have gotten as much out of it." Participants frequently cited thepractical nature of the activities and content "I liked it because it was practical stuff that I could actually use."

34 Previous PL Experiences Equity was generally lacking in previous PL experiences When equity was specifically described as not evident, participants viewed this negatively making comments like: They assume that we're all stupid- assume I don't know any of it. While I teach nine year olds, I don't like to be treated like one. They [previous trainers] dont want to be questioned. EPL Model Experience Equity was reported by 91% of teams as a prominent feature of this PL activity. Several participants noted that trainers did not present as experts or appear intimidating You didnt talk down to the audience or present as we know everything). Participants cited other factors that contributed to the establishment of equity. These included openness to other opinions, becoming members of the team, and being in the trenches with the participants.

35 About Content 100% of teams cited resources provided as useful Favorable attitudes: Concrete or clear approach (46% of teams), Objective way to view student behavior (46% of teams), Useful information (36% of teams) A systematic way to approach behavior problems (64% of teams). About Support Visits Cited by 100% of teams as strengths of this PL Viewed in an positive light (e.g., particularly helpful) May contribute to sustainability in that they reportedly, helped keep the information intact and you kept doing it… more of a continuous process.

36 Competence Gains Reported Increased objectivity "I'm looking at these kids through different eyes." Use of behavioral data to understand children and make decisions this gave a more exact idea of data and how to collect and use it. Changes in perspective "We are stuck on what's wrong with the child, but we need to be saying how can we change what we're doing to get something different".

37 Teachers Attitudes about Professional Development Scale Scores on this test range from 5-30 points Mean pretest score (range= 8-20, SD=3.64) Mean posttest score (range= 9-20, SD=3.4)) There was not a significant difference between participant pretest and post test scores t(18) = -1.36, p=.096, one-tailed The resulting effect size, d=.34 is considered a small effect

38 FBA Knowledge Test Scores on this test range from 0-22 points Mean pretest score (range= 1-16, SD=3.99) mean posttest score (range= 6-22, SD=4.25) There was significant difference between participant pretest and post test scores t(19) = -5.33, p<.0005, one-tailed The resulting effect size d=1.225 is considered a large effect

39 Rubric for Permanent Product Evaluation Scores on the rubric range from 0-12 points Mean rubric rating for FBAs and BIPs completed pre- training (range=0-11, SD=4.6) Mean rating post training (range=1-12, SD=4.0) There was a significant difference between participant rating pre training and post training t(9) = -1.89, p=.046, two-tailed The resulting effect size, d=.78 is considered a large effect

40 The need to increase the efficacy of PL in education is well documented In general, we are failing to respond to this need (Wei et al, 2009) Participants in this study reported that the majority of their prior PL experiences were one- day, lecture-style trainings, many of which were district initiatives that did not focus on their individual needs as an educator nor the specific needs of their students.

41 The perceptions of prior PL experiences of the participants in this study were consistent with research findings indicating that PL often lacks coherence, is sporadic, and does not attend to individual teacher needs or authentic practice (Wei et al, 2009).

42 Consider carefully the context of PL Carefully select trainers Openness to differing opinions Accessible to participants Personable dispositions Integrate time for relatedness Devote time for talking Group problem solving Build rapport and emphasize dialogue

43 Respond to participant needs Assessment Take time for needs assessment & formative assessment Solicit feedback through dialogue Tailor training to needs When you see a need, respond to it Individualized trainings are well received and tend to result in more actual change

44 Supporting autonomy was harder to achieve than we thought School cultures with shared goals and responsibilities may place individual needs in conflict with the collective needs or goals of the organization Participation in collective goal setting Participation in needs identification Self-selection of training Avoid coercion

45 Authenticity is key Content needs to stay in the real-world Practical Relevant Concrete If you dont use it, you lose it… a.k.a. if you dont use it, youll never use it. Incorporate opportunities for real life practice Provide supportive feedback

46 Other points to remember Collaborative group learning is important PL is like an investment- you get out of it, what you (the trainer and the participant) put into it Time Labor Resources

47 What NOT to do Dont make people participate in training that lacks relevance to their classroom. Dont advocate for time consuming or labor intensive initiatives, but if you must… Provide a sound rationale for why they are worth it Provide a means to immediately experience the positive outcome first hand Dont just throw it out there and see what sticks– Always provide a mechanism for follow-up support.

48 No comparison group Limited sample size Content Competing system demands Possible confounding initiatives/variables Limited student impact data Restricted model enactment Not being allowed to audio record interviews

49 Comparison groups More comprehensive student data Weight of the components Controlling for competing system demands Replication with different content Replication in different systems An analysis of barriers and enablers

50 Michelle Bolling Lynnae Psimas

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