This study reports on analysis of official record data gathered on 237 primary teachers enrolled in the Incredible Years Teacher (IYT) programme during 2010-2011. IYT is a group based programme that provides teachers with training in skills to manage disruptive classroom behaviours. Before and after comparisons showed that after the provision of IYT teachers reported significant (p < 0.001) increases in the frequency of use and usefulness of positive behaviour management strategies. In addition there were generally high levels of teacher satisfaction with various aspects of the programme including: the overall programme; teaching strategies used in the course; specific teaching techniques; and workshop leaders. These findings provide preliminary evidence of the efficacy of IYT and teacher satisfaction with the programme. It is suggested that further evaluations of the programme are conducted using a randomised wait list design.
Incredible Years: Teacher Training
There is a growing evidence base showing the efficacy of school-based interventions to prevent conduct problems but few evaluations have addressed teachers? perceptions of these programmes.
In this study teachers reported benefits to their own teaching skills and professional development, to their relationships with children and to the behaviour, social-emotional competence and school readiness skills of the children in their class. Teachers also reported benefits to teacher?parent relationships and to children?s behaviour at home.
In the UK between three and seven percent of children aged five to 15 years meet diagnostic criteria for conduct disorder (CD; National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence [NICE], 2006); boys are three times more likely than girls to have such problems (Hutchings, Williams, Martin, & Pritchard, 2011; Office for National Statistics, 2007). Children with early onset behavioral problems likely to develop into CD are at high risk for social and emotional problems, poor school attendance, school dropout, academic failure and delinquency (Webster-Stratton, Reid, & Stoolmiller, 2008). Over the last decade, teachers have reported increasing levels of behavioral problems within the classroom (Hutchings et al., 2011). These children are often taught by teachers who are ill prepared to cope with disruptive behavior (Webster-Stratton et al., 2008). They are also likely to receive less support and positive feedback from their teachers and their peers (Arnold et al., 1999). Exposure to a supportive teacher and a positive classroom environment improves the academic achievement of high-risk children (Werner, 1999). High levels of praise for appropriate behavior improve children?s behavioral, social, and emotional adjustment as does the use of proactive teaching and positive discipline strategies (Webster-Stratton et al., 2008). These studies demonstrate that there is a need for effective, evidence-based classroom intervention programs to support teachers.
Low-income children often develop in environments that undermine adjustment and academic success. One key challenge facing schools serving children in poverty is that teachers lack the training and ongoing support needed to manage challenges these children present. The Incredible Years Classroom Management Teacher Training Program (IYS-TP) is one program that improves classroom atmosphere and teacher practices, encourages social-emotional development in the classroom, and ultimately reduces behavior problems and enhances school readiness skills among high risk, low-income children.
This study evaluated the use of classroom-level behavior management strategies that align with School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SW-PBIS). Direct observations of universal classroom management strategies were conducted across 33 elementary classrooms in elementary schools implementing SW-PBIS with high fidelity. Findings indicate that classrooms had posted positively stated classroom rules at high rates, whereas teacher use of specific praise and the ratio of positive to negative interactions were less than optimal. Furthermore, classroom teachers with higher rates of general praise were found to report being more efficacious with regard to classroom management. In turn, teachers in classrooms with higher rates of disruptive behavior reported feeling less efficacious. In addition, teachers with lower rates of positive to negative interaction, who used higher rates of harsh reprimands and had higher rates of disruptions, reported higher levels of emotional exhaustion. Implications for developing supports to assist teachers struggling with universal classroom management strategies are described.
Many school-based interventions to promote student mental health rely on teachers as implementers. Thus, understanding the interplay between the multiple domains of fidelity to the intervention and intervention support systems such as coaching and teacher implementation of new skills is an important aspect of implementation science. This study describes a systematic process for assessingmultiple domains of fidelity. Data from a larger efficacy trial of the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management (IY TCM) program are utilized. Data on fidelity to the IY TCMworkshop training sessions and onsite weekly coaching indicate that workshop leaders and the IY TCM coach implemented the training and coaching model with adequate adherence. Further, workshop leaders? ratings of engagement were associated with teacher implementation of specific praise, following training on this content. Lastly, the IY TCM coach differentiation of teacher exposure to coaching was evaluated and found to be associated with teacher implementation of classroom management practices and student disruptive behavior.
This randomized trial targeted preschool teachers? classroom practices for improvement. Teachers (including lead teachers and assistant teachers) were invited to participate in five trainings on Saturdays, each lasting six hours.A behaviorally and evidence-based teacher training package was selected and purchased, and a seasoned trainer with Licensed Clinical SocialWorker (LCSW) qualifications delivered the 30 h of teacher training over fall and winter, adapting the Incredible Years Program teacher training module.
Using this experimental design and this model of intervention, what were the goals of this research project? Our long-term goal was to test whether this package of classroom-based services reduces children?s risk of behavioral difficulty and increases their chances of school readiness by improving teachers? classroom practices. While there have been a large number of experimental prevention trials targeting parenting practices for families with children with elevated behavior problems (for reviews, see Brotman et al., 2005; Raver, 2002; Webster-Stratton et al., 2001), we know of very few classroom-based interventions aimed at supporting teachers? practices in preschool settings. Yet, early educational settings represent a promising opportunity for interventions targeting children?s socioemotional difficulties.
Our experimental results suggest that classroom quality can be increased by as much as one-half to three-quarters of a standard deviation if programs make a clear, sustained commitment to program improvement by offering a package of intervention services that include workshops on classroom management paired with in-class mental health consultation. This is in keeping with findings from other recent randomized trial interventions targeting teachers? classroom practices (Gorman-Smith et al., 2003; Webster-Stratton et al., 2001).
When families are more involved there are positive outcomes for families, teachers and schools. Schools with high levels of parental involvement have better reputations in the community, higher teacher morale, higher parental ratings of teacher performance, and increased support from families (Henderson & Mapp, 2002; Heymann & Earle, 2000). These interrelated benefits are likely the result of involvement patterns that occur when parents are in contact with schools at levels they are comfortable with and the contacts are associated with increased comfort and endorsement of school. Overall parental involvement in school and in supporting children?s learning at home have received extensive attention in the literature. Less research has been conducted on patterns and teacher perceptions that can serve as a barrier to greater parent involvement. This study documented that teachers may feel less comfortable with parents of children who need the most support
The LEAP to Achieve Project trained teachers in effective classroom management practices using the Incredible Years (IY) Teacher Training program. The project aims to determine if classrooms who receive the training have a reduction in aggressive/disruptive and off-task behavior and an increase in academic performance. In order to better determine the effects of the training, some teachers received the intervention while others did not.
“I love project LEAP. It is a very good program for teachers. It gives so many examples on how to be positive with behavior in your classroom.”
Pre-intervention, post-intervention, and follow-up measures of teacher strategies, teacher efficacy, and pre-intervention and post-intervention measures of child behavioural strengths and difficulties were combined with written structured teacher feedback to evaluate the effectiveness of an Incredible Years Classroom Management Training Programme (Webster-Stratton & Reid, 2002) delivered to 15 teachers from multiple schools in a single Irish Education Centre setting over a period of 5 months. Participation in the programme was followed by significant positive change in emotional and behavioural difficulties in key children on whom the teachers focused as part of their training and by significant positive changes post intervention and at follow-up in teachers’ sense of efficacy with regard to student engagement and classroom management. Limitations such as lack of control group and limited generalisability of findings are addressed.
The findings point toward the overall utility and cost-effectiveness of the IY TCM programme in an Irish context. The programme led to improvements in the classroom environment, including a reduction in teacher reported stress and negative classroom management strategies, as well as fewer incidences of disruptive behaviour amongst pupils in the classroom. Some improvements were also seen in teacher reports of social, emotional and behavioural difficulties in the intervention group children when compared to their control group counterparts including, in particular, a significant reduction in emotional symptoms. Teacher reports also underline the acceptability and benefits of the programme to teachers and possibly other staff within the Irish education system.
Emotional self-regulation and social competence play a key role in young children?s future interpersonal adjustment and academic success. Unfortunately, exposure to multiple poverty-related risks increases the odds that children will demonstrate less social and emotional competence and more behavior problems. School curricula designed to promote children?s social competence, emotional regulation, and school readiness that are offered to high-risk, socioeconomically disadvantaged populations in the early years would seem a strategic prevention strategy. This randomized trial evaluated the Incredible Years (IY) social, emotion, and problem-solving curriculum (Dinosaur School) as a selective prevention program for socioeconomically disadvantaged children enrolled in Head Start, kindergarten, or first grade classrooms in schools selected because of high rates of poverty.
This study is the first in a middle-income country to show that training teachers in classroom behaviour management and social skill promotion can lead to significant and clinically important reductions in child conduct problems and increases in social skills among pre-school children with antisocial behaviour. Benefits were demonstrated by direct observation as well as by teacher and parent report.
Childhood antisocial behaviour has high immediate and long-term costs for society and the individual, particularly in relation to mental health and behaviours that jeopardise health. Managing challenging behaviour is a commonly reported source of stress and burn out among teachers, ultimately resulting in a substantial number leaving the profession. Interventions to improve parenting do not transfer easily to classroombased problems and the most vulnerable parents may not be easily able to access them. Honing teachers’ skills in proactive behaviour management and the promotion of socio-emotional regulation, therefore, has the potential to improve both child and teacher mental health and well-being and the advantage that it might potentially benefit all the children subsequently taught by any teacher that accesses the training.
The content and international evidence for the Incredible Years programmes for children and teachers are described. This is followed by a description.
Background: Early childhood behavioural difficulties are becoming more prevalent (Collishaw et al., 2004) and increase the risk of poorer outcomes later in life, including academic difficulties, antisocial behaviour, criminality, and poor social adjustment. A growing body of literature highlights the importance of early intervention and prevention programmes, such as parent-training or school-based programmes, for the prevention and treatment of early childhood behavioural problems and promotion of child well-being. The Webster-Stratton Incredible Years (IY) Parent, Teacher and Child Training Series was designed for the early treatment and prevention of conduct disorders in childhood (Webster-Stratton & Hancock, 1998). The IY series comprises a suite of comprehensive, specially designed programmes, which target children aged 0-12 yrs, and their parents and teachers, with a view to improving social and emotional functioning and reducing or preventing emotional and behavioural problems. The implementation of the IY programme in several community-based agencies and schools in Ireland began in 2004 – spearheaded by Archways, the national co-ordinator of the IY programme in Ireland – as a means of preventing and treating emotional and behavioural difficulties in children.
Study 1 (Section 1): Examining the longer-term benefits of the Incredible Years BASIC parent training programme in Ireland
Study 2 (Section 2): Examining the longer-term utility and implementation of the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Programme in Ireland
This paper focuses on the Incredible Years Teacher Training (IY TT) intervention as an example of an EBP that embeds fidelity and adaptation within its design. First, the core features of the IY TT program along with the methods and processes that make the intervention effective are described. Second, the support mechanisms (training, mentoring, consultation, and IY TT coaching) necessary to facilitate high fidelity of implementation of IY TT are highlighted. The goal is to clarify the underlying principles and layered supports needed to effectively disseminate the IY TT program to audiences with diverse backgrounds and skills who work with students with varying developmental, academic, and social-emotional needs. Often fidelity and adaptation are thought of as mutually exclusive, but in the IY model they are considered both complementary and necessary. Implications for school psychologists and prevention science are discussed.
This article focuses on the Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Training (IY TCM) intervention as an example of an evidence-based program that embeds coaching within its design. First, the core features of the IY TCM program are described. Second, the IY TCM coaching model and processes utilized to facilitate high fidelity of implementation of IY TCM by classroom teachers are highlighted. The goal is to demonstrate the use of coaching as a support system toward effective generalization of the IY TCM strategies among teachers with diverse backgrounds and skills who work with students with varying developmental, academic, and social?emotional needs. Implications for school psychologists, researchers, and implementation science are discussed.
The aim of this paper is to present the research protocol for the randomised controlled trial (RCT) designed to primarily establish whether the IY Therapeutic Dinosaur School Programme, when delivered as a school-based targeted intervention, improves ?at risk? children?s social, emotional and behavioural competencies compared with a waiting list control condition.
This study examined changes in preschool teachers? perceptions of classroom management strategies following group training in the recently revised Incredible Years Teacher Classroom Management Program (C. Webster-Stratton, 2006). The authors used a pre/post follow-up design across 2 groups that each met for 8 sessions over an 8?10-week period for a total of 32 hr of training. Twenty-four preschool teachers from one of the lowest income and highest unemployment counties in the state of Michigan participated in the program. To examine short-term maintenance effects, the authors collected follow-up data 16 weeks after all teachers completed the training. The authors found improvements in teachers? perceptions of positive classroom management strategies and their use. Transporting this evidence-based teacher training program to schoolbased mental health service delivery settings warrants additional study.
Challenges to delivering evidence-based practice in the “real world” have the potential to undermine their acceptance, efficacy, and sustainability in community settings. The Incredible Years Series is one preventive intervention with demonstrated effectiveness in settings facing multiple dissemination challenges, including Head Start. We established a university-community partnership to deliver Incredible Years Series in a local Head Start, including the Teacher Classroom Management Training Program and the Child Dina Classroom Training Program.
There has never been a time in the history of education and psychology when there has been a stronger emphasis on the use of evidence-based interventions (EBIs) in mental health and educational settings (Chambers, Ringeisen, & Hickman, 2005; Kratochwill & Stoiber, 2002). EBIs are well-developed interventions in which highly regarded scientific methods have established a program as effective. In the field of education, federal, state, and local governments reportedly spend over $330 billion per year on public education, including significant investments in educational interventions and professional development activities (Slavin & Fashola, 1998). Despite these expenditures, many school-based interventions have been inadequately researched or found to be ineffective (Kavale & Forness, 1999). Teacher training was specifically identified by the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy (2002) as a domain in which existing practices have rarely been tested using rigorous scientific methods. Today, however, rising standards, accountability requirements, and national education legislation require that educational policies and practices are based on strong research evidence.
Even with the use of effective universal classroom management practices, some students will need additional behavioral supports. However, to translate implementation of new strategies into the classroom, professional development programs need to be adaptive to the complexities teachers face in providing instruction and managing classroom behaviors among diverse learners. Teachers also need support to successfully implement universal practices as well as to develop and enact plans for supporting students with disruptive behavior. This article describes a universal classroom management program that embeds coaching within the model. The coach supported teachers both in implementing universal strategies and in developing and implementing behavior support plans for students with disruptive behavior. The study evaluates the effectiveness of the behavior support plans and the types of coaching activities used to support these plans. Findings indicated that during meetings with teachers, coaches spent time action planning and providing performance feedback to teachers on their implementation of the behavior support plans. In addition, teachers reduced their rate of reprimands with the targeted at-risk students. Students receiving behavioral supports demonstrated decreased rates of disruptive behavior, increased prosocial behavior, and a trend toward improved on-task behavior. In comparison, a matched sample of students with disruptive behaviors did not demonstrate improved outcomes. Implications for practice are discussed.
Impulsivity, hyperactivity, oppositionality, and aggression are behaviors that most three-and fouryear-old children display to some degree with up to 10 to 20% of preschoolers exhibiting these behaviors at significant levels at home or at preschool/day care.
This study provides an important first step in providing evidence to support the adaptation of empirically-supported interventions for use in mental health consultation when providing services to preschoolers with disruptive behavior problems. This study suggests that these interventions can be effectively exported from controlled clinical settings into community settings. These results will need to be replicated by training professionals already providing mental health consultation within the preschool setting to incorporate the use of the empirically-supported strategies into their everyday work with teachers and children. Having mental health consultation that includes empirically-supported interventions delivered within this collaborative framework available as part of the array of services will likely reduce the need for more costly treatments in the future.