Literacy Training for Early Childhood Providers: Changes in Knowledge, Beliefs, and Instructional Practices

Oct. 20, 2008

Source: Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Volume 29, Issue 4, October 2008, pages 297 - 308

It is clear that reading is critical to children's success throughout schooling and reading instruction research has dramatically increased over the past 2 decades. However, few early childhood providers have the necessary knowledge, skills and/or confidence to effectively implement evidence-based, emergent literacy strategies in their settings. This paper examines the impact of the Early Learning Opportunities (ELO) initiative that provided funding to train early childhood providers to utilize the HeadsUp! Reading (HUR) curriculum in their settings. Noteworthy in this initiative was the inclusion of a coaching component designed to increase participants' ability to generalize HUR instructional practices into their classroom. Also important here was the opportunity to evaluate teaching outcomes. Results from this study indicate that all participants benefited from their involvement in the professional development activities. Furthermore, the findings show that those who received coaching had an advantage with respect to growth in knowledge, skills, and confidence in implementing the new strategies into their classrooms. Implications for professional development activities suggest that coaching efforts to support implementation of newly acquired skills in the classroom may improve teacher performance.

Updated: Feb. 11, 2009