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Improving culturally responsive practices in early childhood education through coaching : a dissertation study involving a multiple baseline across participants design

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Title:
Improving culturally responsive practices in early childhood education through coaching : a dissertation study involving a multiple baseline across participants design
Creator:
Kranski, Tess A.
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Doctor of philosophy)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
School of Education and Human Development, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Education and human development
Committee Chair:
Steed, Elizabeth A.
Committee Members:
Harris, Bryn
Strain, Phillip
Schaack, Diana D.

Notes

Abstract:
There is growing awareness regarding the need for educators to use more culturally responsive practices, particularly in early childhood education (Allen & Steed, 2016). Yet, there are few empirically studied intervention or training models to promote culturally responsive educational practices (Bottiani, Larson, Debnam, Bischoff & Bradshaw, 2017). Interventions specific to early childhood environments are even less prevalent in related literature. This dissertation describes an experimental analysis of a workshop-style presentation and ongoing practice-based coaching (PBC) to improve culturally responsive practices for four teachers working in an early childhood program through a multiple-baseline across participants design. Immediately following their participation in the workshop and PBC, all four teachers improved their ability to draw upon children’s cultural funds of knowledge, embed culturally relevant materials in the classroom, and maintain gains after the conclusion of coaching. All four teachers improved their practices; however, a functional relationship between the workshop plus PBC and teachers’ implementation of culturally responsive practices was established for only three of the four participating teachers. Teachers and administrators indicated they were satisfied with both the experience and results of the training and coaching and that the time commitment was reasonable. Implications for practice and future research are discussed including the importance of providing feedback, follow up, and opportunities for reflection following workshop trainings; and the need for identifying specific, observable, and measurable skills pertaining to culturally responsive teaching practices.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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Copyright Tess A. Kranski. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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Full Text
IMPROVING CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE PRACTICES IN EARLY CHILDHOOD
EDUCATION THROUGH COACHING: A DISSERTATION STUDY INVOLVING A MULTIPLE BASELINE ACROSS PARTICIPANTS DESIGN
by
TESSA A. KRANSKI B.A., University of Colorado Boulder, 2005 Ed.S., University of Denver, 2015
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Education and Human Development Program
2019


This dissertation for the Doctor of Philosophy degree by Tessa A. Kranski has been approved for the Education and Human Development Program by
Elizabeth A. Steed, Chair Bryn Harris Phillip Strain Diana D. Schaack
Date: December 14, 2019


Ill
Kranski, Tessa A., (PhD, Education and Human Development)
Improving Culturally Responsive Practices In Early Childhood Education Through Coaching: A Dissertation Study Involving A Multiple Baseline Across Participants Design Thesis directed by Associate Professor Elizabeth A. Steed
ABSTRACT
There is growing awareness regarding the need for educators to use more culturally responsive practices, particularly in early childhood education (Allen & Steed, 2016). Yet, there are few empirically studied intervention or training models to promote culturally responsive educational practices (Bottiani, Larson, Debnam, Bischoff & Bradshaw, 2017). Interventions specific to early childhood environments are even less prevalent in related literature. This dissertation describes an experimental analysis of a workshop-style presentation and ongoing practice-based coaching (PBC) to improve culturally responsive practices for four teachers working in an early childhood program through a multiple-baseline across participants design. Immediately following their participation in the workshop and PBC, all four teachers improved their ability to draw upon children’s cultural funds of knowledge, embed culturally relevant materials in the classroom, and maintain gains after the conclusion of coaching. All four teachers improved their practices; however, a functional relationship between the workshop plus PBC and teachers’ implementation of culturally responsive practices was established for only three of the four participating teachers. Teachers and administrators indicated they were satisfied with both the experience and results of the training and coaching and that the time commitment was reasonable. Implications for practice and future research are discussed including the importance


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of providing feedback, follow up, and opportunities for reflection following workshop trainings; and the need for identifying specific, observable, and measurable skills pertaining to culturally responsive teaching practices.
The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication.
Approved: Elizabeth A. Steed


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TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER
I. CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE PBIS IN ECE.......................................... 1
II. REVIEW OF LITERATURE........................................................5
Promoting Social-emotional Development in Early Childhood...............5
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in Early Childhood Education.6
PBIS and Exclusionary Discipline in Preschool..........................10
Culturally Responsive Teaching Practices...............................15
Culturally Responsive PBIS in ECE......................................21
III. THEORY OF CHANGE...........................................................25
Research Based Strategies to Promote Change in Teacher Practices.......26
Workshops..............................................................27
Practice-Based Coaching (PBC)..........................................27
The Use of Workshops With PBC..........................................34
IV. PURPOSE AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS.............................................37
V. METHODS....................................................................38
Setting................................................................38
Participants...........................................................39
Independent Variable...................................................41
Dependent Variable.....................................................46


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Additional Measures......................................................48
Experimental Design......................................................52
Procedures...............................................................54
Interobserver Agreement (10A)............................................55
Social Validity..........................................................57
VI. RESULTS.......................................................................59
Teachers’ Use of Culturally Responsive Practices and Materials...........59
ECES.....................................................................65
CRTSE....................................................................68
VII. DISCUSSION....................................................................74
Limitations..............................................................82
PBC For Culturally Responsive PBIS.......................................90
Implications for Future Research and Practice............................92
VIII. CONCLUSION....................................................................96
REFERENCES.....................................................................97
A. Figures.................................................................109
B. Demographic Forms.......................................................112
C. Coaching Log/Fidelity of Coaching Checklist.............................121
D. Measurement Tools.......................................................122


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CHAPTER I
CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE PBIS IN ECE
Supporting young children’s social-emotional competence and development has been linked to future academic success and improved life outcomes, particularly for children who have been historically marginalized such as children of color, children from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and children who are culturally and/or linguistically diverse (Heckman, Moon, Pinto, Savelyev, & Yavitz, 2010). Such outcomes include school readiness, the ability to form and maintain relationships, reduced disciplinary action, and improved graduation rates (Gilliam, 2005).
While research has documented the importance of high quality early learning environments for promoting academic, social-emotional, and other long-term quality of life indicators; access to, and participation in, such environments has been inequitably distributed (Wright, 2011). This is particularly evident in early childhood settings where children are suspended and expelled at higher rates overall than children in K-12 systems, and young Black children are nearly four times more likely to be suspended or expelled than their White peers (Gilliam, 2005; Gilliam, Maupin, Reyes, Accavitti, & Shic, 2016).
The literature documenting racial disproportionality in disciplinary actions and special education referrals is robust (Vincent, Randall, Cartledge, Tobin & Swain-Bradway, 2011). For example, students of color are subjected to exclusionary discipline practices more frequently, are removed from the classroom for longer periods of time, and receive harsher punishments for similarly described offences than White students (Skiba et al., 2011). Furthermore, students of color, particularly students from African American backgrounds, receive disproportionately more office discipline referrals for subjectively defined behaviors than their White peers. For


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instance, examples and definitions of behaviors such as disrespect, “back talk,” and disruptive behavior are variable and depend on a person’s values and cultural context compared to more objectively defined behaviors like hitting, kicking, or smoking (Girvan, Gion, McIntosh & Smolkowski, 2016; Smolkowski, Girvan, McIntosh, Nese & Homer, 2016). Racial disproportionality1 is also more prominent in subjectively determined special education labels such as significant emotional disability and specific learning disability, than more objectively determined categories such as deaf and hard of hearing, visual impairment, and physical impairment (Skiba, Poloni-Staudinger, Gallini, Simmons, Feggins-Azziz, 2006). These findings suggest that the current education system is not designed to effectively meet the needs of students from diverse cultural backgrounds (Vincent, et al., 2011). Factors correlated with the research on racial disproportionality in educational practices and outcomes include a homogenous teaching force, an increasingly diverse student body, differences in the distribution of educational resources, and implicit bias (Banks et al., 2012; McIntosh, Girvan, Horner, & Smolkowski, 2014).
One approach that has been recommended to reduce exclusionary discipline practices and ameliorate racial disparities is positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS; Sugai et al., 2000). PBIS is a multi-tiered system of supports that foster successful outcomes by encouraging a positive school climate through acknowledging positive behaviors and building a sense of belonging while concurrently preventing and teaching alternative behaviors to replace challenging behaviors in children (Fox, Dunlap & Powell, 2002; Sugai et al., 2000). High fidelity
facial disproportionality in this document refers to the underrepresentation or overrepresentation of a racial or ethnic group compared to its percentage in the total population. From: www.childwelfare.gov


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implementation of PBIS has been effective at reducing challenging behaviors and office discipline referrals; however fidelity of implementation remains low especially in early childhood education (Conroy, Sutherland, Vo, Carr, & Ogston, 2014; Benedict, Horner, & Squires, 2007). The literature supports the use of practice-based coaching (PBC; Snyder, Hemmeter, & Fox, 2015) to increase the fidelity of practices related to PBIS, yet even with high-fidelity implementation of PBIS research has only been able to demonstrate PBIS’s ability to reduce the total amount of exclusionary discipline practices taking place. Research has yet to determine that PBIS alone eliminates racial inequities in the data on exclusionary discipline (Vincent, Swain-Bradway, Tobin & May, 2011).
Empirical studies documenting the cultural fit of current teaching approaches (including PBIS) for children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are limited. However, scholars such as Gloria Ladson-Billings (2011) have suggested that racial inequities in discipline may be the result of culturally unresponsive school climates and social-emotional teaching strategies. Recent literature demonstrates that researchers have begun approaching issues of inequitable discipline practices by advocating for methods of improving the cultural responsiveness of PBIS practices (Skiba, Arredondo & Williams, 2014). Improving the cultural responsiveness of classrooms is one framework for studying the elimination of inequities in discipline, yet research on the effects of such approaches is still emerging (Larson, Pas, Bradshaw, Rosenberg & Day-Vines, 2018).
The literature on the use of culturally responsive PBIS is limited, particularly in early education environments (Allen & Steed, 2016). This may be due, in part, to the lack of consensus among researchers regarding the definition and identification of specific practices and strategies constituting culturally responsive PBIS (Bottiani, Larson, Debnam, Bischoff & Bradshaw, 2017).


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The absence of specific, observable practices interferes with researchers’ ability to objectively measure teacher growth in regard to the implementation of culturally responsive practices and therefore any distal outcomes such practices may have on children. This study addresses this gap in the literature by developing a repeated measure identifying specific, observable culturally responsive practices based on the available literature. It extends the literature on practice-based coaching (PBC) by examining PBC’s utility, through a multiple baseline across participants single-case research design, at improving early childhood teachers’ culturally responsive PBIS practices. The following sections review the literature relevant to these topics and describe the methods, data analysis, and results of this study. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.


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CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
The purpose of this section is to serve as a review of the literature surrounding culturally responsive positive behavior interventions and support (PBIS; Sugai & Horner, 2002), and the use of practice-based coaching as an effective form of professional development for improving teacher practice. The following sections will review: (a) PBIS in early childhood education; (b) culturally responsive practices to support social-emotional development in children; (c) a theory of change for eliminating disproportionality in exclusionary discipline practices in early childhood environments; (d) the efficacy of using practice-based coaching as a form of professional development with teachers; and (e) the purpose and research questions that guided this study.
Promoting Social-Emotional Development in Early Childhood
Supporting healthy social-emotional development in all children is an essential aspect of early childhood education, which has long-term benefits. Not only is social-emotional development foundational to learning, but acquiring healthy habits in the early years has also been shown to prevent issues related to future mental health disorders and problem behaviors such as peer rejection, poor interactions with adults, and exclusionary discipline practices (Stormont, 2001; Stormont, Lewis, & Beckner, 2005). Furthermore, young children who exhibit developmentally appropriate social-emotional skills at kindergarten entry demonstrate higher academic achievement and are more likely to graduate high school, earn a college degree, and maintain stable employment as an adult (Arnold, Kupersmidt, Voegler-Lee & Marshall, 2012; Hair, Halle, Terry-Humen, Lavelle, & Calkins, 2006; Jones, Greenberg & Crowley, 2015). Strong self-regulation skills in early childhood have also been associated with positive outcomes


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in adulthood such as improved physical health, personal finances, and reduced rates of substance abuse and criminal offenses (Moffitt et al., 2011).
Children who demonstrate certain risk factors, or significant delays in social-emotional development are entitled to early intervention and special education services through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004). However, waiting to provide services and supports until a child already exhibits a significant delay is a reactive, rather than proactive approach, as children are generally not referred for services or support until they are exhibiting what adults identify as significantly disruptive behaviors (Briesch, Ferguson, Volpe & Briesch, 2012). Rather than wait for disruptive behaviors to develop, researchers advocate for positive, proactive interventions and teaching strategies to promote constructive behaviors and social-emotional skills in the early years (Sugai & Homer, 2001).
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in Early Childhood Education
Research on promoting social-emotional competencies in early childhood environments highlights the importance of building predictable and nurturing environments (Ivy & Schreck, 2008; Zan & Donegan-Ritter, 2014); developing specific teacher skills such as providing responsive statements (Tschantz & Vail, 2000; Wright, Ellis, & Baxter, 2012); integrating supportive transitions (Bishop, Snyder & Crow, 2015); implementing tier-specific strategies such as universal prevention and promotion (Artman-Meeker & Hemmeter, 2013; Bishop et al.,
2015), targeted supports (Conroy et al., 2015), intensive interventions (Dunlap, Lee, Joseph, & Strain, 2015), and comprehensive models of positive behavior interventions and supports (Artman-Meeker, Hemmeter, & Snyder, 2014; Duda, Dunlap, Fox, Lentini, & Clarke, 2004; Fettig & Artman-Meeker, 2016). Comprehensive models of positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) are a collection of evidence-based practices that have been associated with


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greater engagement, achievement, and positive behaviors in young children, and have been shown to reduce or eliminate behaviors perceived as challenging (Horner, Sugai & Anderson, 2010).
The Pyramid Model
One comprehensive model of PBIS specific to early childhood environments is the Pyramid Model (See Appendix A, Figure 1; Fox, Dunlap, Hemmeter, Joseph, & Strain, 2003). This model organizes evidence-based teaching practices into a three-tiered framework to promote positive behaviors while simultaneously preventing and addressing challenging behaviors (Hemmeter, Hardy, Schnitz, Adams & Kinder, 2015; Hemmeter, Snyder, Fox & Algina, 2016). The three tiers of intervention and supports are: universal practices to promote high-quality, positive classroom environments and nurturing and responsive relationships; targeted social-emotional supports and teaching strategies; and intensive individualized intervention (Fox, Cara, Strain, Dunlap & Hemmeter, 2010; Fox et al., 2003; Hemmeter et al., 2016).
Universal practices. The primary, or universal level consists of high-quality supportive environments and nurturing and supportive relationships. These practices are promotive in nature in that they are designed to encourage positive behaviors in all students (Fox et al., 2010). Practices at this level also create safe, predictable, and culturally affirming2 environments focused on building positive relationships with children, families, and colleagues (Fox et al., 2010; Gay, 2002).
2 Culturally affirming contexts are defined in this document as those that affirm one’s cultural connections (e.g. using examples from students’ lives and issues that affect them, recognizing and referencing contributions from those who are non-Hispanic, White-only, etc.)


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Examples of effective teaching practices at the universal level include those related to physical classroom design, positive adult-child interactions, and a few clearly defined expectations. Standards of physical classroom design include designing class schedules that are consistent, predictable, and engaging; displaying evidence of the students and/or their families throughout the classroom; providing environmental cues that assist in clearly defining boundaries and expectations; structuring minimal transitions with incorporated activities and limited wait time; and offering culturally and linguistically relevant classroom materials3 (Flores, Casebeer & Riojas-Cortez, 2011; Fox et al., 2010; Hemmeter et al., 2016). Examples of positive adult-child interactions with children include greeting children by name upon classroom arrival; joining in children’s play; delivering frequent, specific, and encouraging feedback regarding positive behaviors; minimizing corrective feedback (Flores et al., 2011; Hemmeter et al., 2016; Snyder, Hemmeter & Fox, 2015); and encouraging emotional vocabulary by labeling one’s own emotions and the emotions of students (Snyder, Hemmeter & Fox, 2015). Finally, the class should maintain a few (three to five) clearly defined behavioral expectations or classroom rules, which are explicitly taught as context-specific, socially appropriate behaviors (Benedict, Horner & Squires, 2007). These behavioral expectations should be presented in simple, positive language during large group instruction using examples and non-examples and reinforced throughout the day (Benedict, Homer & Squires, 2007; Sprague & Horner, 2006). Explicit teaching of expected context-specific behaviors is particularly important for students whose expectations at home may differ from those at school (Gay, 2002; Ladson-Billings, 1995b).
3 Culturally and linguistically relevant classroom materials are defined in this document as materials that reflect and affirm the cultural identities of children in the classroom, without stereotyping.


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Targeted practices. Targeted supports and interventions are delivered at the second tier of the pyramid. These strategies are preventive in nature and are intended to assist in the acquisition, fluency, generalization and maintenance of social-emotional skills (Hemmeter et al., 2016). Teaching practices at this tier are often similar to those at the universal tier, such as identifying and expressing emotions, problem-solving, self-regulation, and friendship skills, but their delivery is more intentional, systematic, and focused (Fox et al., 2010; Joseph & Strain, 2003; Strain & Joseph, 2006). For example, at this tier teachers might use whole group, small group and embedded scheduling to explicitly teach friendship skills, problem solving skills (e.g. sharing, turn-taking, etc.), and emotional recognition (Hemmeter et al., 2015; Snyder, Hemmeter & Fox). Published curricula and teacher resources such as the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) are available to early childhood personnel to support their use of targeted practices. The NCPMI offers a virtual toolbox of teaching strategies at this level, which contains tangible resources, tips, and guides for using peer buddy systems, visual cues, calm down strategies, mini-schedules, enhancing emotional vocabulary, and even resources for families to use at home (Lentini, Vaughn & Fox, 2008).
Two high-quality classroom-based curricula available to classroom teachers include First Step to Success (Walker et al., 1997), and Incredible Years Dina Dinosaur Classroom (IY; Webster-Stratton, 2006). First Step to Success uses modeling and role-playing to explicitly teach appropriate social behaviors. Incredible Years Dina Dinosaur Classroom teaches problem solving skills and emotional regulation in addition to social behaviors. Both programs have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing challenging behaviors, increasing engagement and improving social and academic outcomes in children 4 to 5 years of age (Barton et al., 2014). In an analysis of classroom-based social-emotional curricula conducted by Barton and colleagues


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(2014), the authors found these two curricula had the highest ratings of quality indicators of all ten curricula reviewed. Furthermore, they found both programs demonstrated effectiveness across culturally and linguistically diverse children.
Individualized and intensive interventions. Individualized, intensive interventions are delivered at the third tier to children who display persistent and/or severe challenging behavior (Fox et al., 2010). These interventions are developed with the use of a functional behavior assessment (FBA) and should be delivered in a sensible and culturally responsive way (Dunlap et al., 2015). The FBA helps to identify the need the child is meeting by engaging in challenging behavior (usually to avoid or obtain something), so an individualized, intensive and comprehensive intervention can be developed to teach new, acceptable skills and behaviors that will meet the same need as that of the challenging behavior (Fox et al., 2010). The completion of the FBA is followed by the creation and implementation of a behavior support plan designed to embed the teaching of replacement skills into the daily routines in which the behavior is most likely to occur (Fox et al., 2010; Hemmeter et al., 2015). Resources such as Prevent, Teach, Reinforce for Young Children (PTR-YC; Dunlap, Wilson, Strain & Lee, 2013) and Tools for Developing Behavior Support Plans (Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning, 2003) are available to provide educators guidance on the FBA and behavior support plan process.
PBIS and Exclusionary Discipline in Preschool
Comprehensive PBIS models are effective at severely reducing or eliminating challenging behaviors when teachers are confident and competent in their abilities to implement practices with fidelity (Homer et al., 2010). However, young children continue to be suspended and expelled from their early learning environments at alarmingly high rates for challenging


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behavior. For example, Gilliam (2005) found that children enrolled in public preschool programs are suspended at three times the rate of children in Kindergarten through 12th grades.
Recent civil rights data from the 2013-2014 school year reported that nearly 3,000 preschool children received an out of school suspension nationally, while Colorado reported only 16 preschool suspensions (Office of Civil Rights, 2016). It is likely that preschool suspension rates are actually much higher due to issues of oversight and undocumented use of “soft” suspensions. Such instances include calls to parents to pick their child up early due to a “bad day” or when a student’s day is shortened because the school indicates they’re “not ready” to participate for the entire length of time.
These statistics may also be indicative of teachers’ level of confidence and competence in utilizing PBIS systems. For example, in their study investigating preschool teachers’ experiences with Program-Wide PBIS (PW-PBIS), Frey, Park, Browne-Ferrigno and Korfhage (2010) found that feelings of frustration due to lack of resources (including support staff), ineffective professional development, burnout, and lack of confidence in implementing PBIS strategies were common experiences among the teachers surveyed.
Consequences of exclusionary discipline. The consequences of exclusionary discipline can be dire and work against the intention of early education. For example, exclusion from the classroom environment significantly reduces instructional time, peer interactions that promote social skills, and other pre-academic learning opportunities (Skiba et al., 2011). Additionally, such practices can be burdensome to parents who are often required to leave work in order to address the situation and can send the message to the child who is being disciplined, as well as their peers, that they are “bad” (Allen & Steed, 2016).


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Long-term consequences of exclusionary discipline include increased dropout rates, disengagement from the educational process, multiple suspensions, greater likelihood of future suspensions and greater risk for entering juvenile justice system (Skiba, Mediratta & Rausch, 2016). Children who are suspended and expelled are also more likely to fall behind academically and receive special education services for emotional disorders (Annamma, 2015; Mendez, 2003; Skiba & Rausch, 2006). Furthermore, students receiving even one out of school suspension or expulsion are placed at greater risk of entering the juvenile justice system, regardless of their academic achievement, or socioeconomic status (Skiba et al., 2014). This has led researchers, political activists, and others to re-conceptualize the School to Prison Pipeline as the Preschool to Prison Pipeline (Gilliam, 2005; Katsiyannis, Thompson, Barrett, & Kingree, 2012).
Disproportionality in discipline practices. While exclusionary discipline practices are pervasive in early childhood settings, such practices have been found to disproportionately affect children of color4 (Gilliam & Shahar, 2006; Skiba, Michael, Nardo & Peterson, 2002). Racial disparities in preschool discipline have recently gained significant attention particularly at the federal level (Allen & Steed, 2016; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services & U.S. Department of Education, 2014). However, documentation of children of color being suspended and expelled at higher rates than White children has existed for over forty years (Children’s Defense Fund, 1975). In fact, some research suggests that the racial discipline divide is widening (Losen & Martinez, 2013). A recent report from the Office of Civil Rights (2016) revealed that Black preschool children, who comprise only 18% of the preschool population, represent 42% of all preschoolers suspended, making them two to three times more likely to be suspended than
4 Children of color are defined in this document as children who identify as other than non-Hispanic, White-only (e.g.. Black, Latinx, American Indian)


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their White peers. While the research is inconclusive regarding the reasons behind disproportionate discipline practices, studies have ruled out previously conceived beliefs such as poverty or higher incidents of problematic behaviors (Katsiyannis et al., 2012; Rausch & Skiba, 2005).
PBIS to reduce disparities in discipline referrals. Positive behavioral interventions and supports are intended to eliminate cultural and contextual factors related to discipline (Sugai, Keeffe & Fallon, 2012), and were recommended in a Federal position statement as a method of reducing disproportionate discipline practices in preschools (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services & U.S. Department of Education, 2014). While the implementation of schoolwide positive behavior supports (SW-PBIS) has been associated with an overall reduction in exclusionary discipline referrals across all races and ethnicities (Vincent & Tobin, 2011), identifying that PBIS alone eliminates racial disproportionality in exclusionary discipline practices remains to be seen. Vincent, Swain-Bradway, Tobin and May (2011) were able to demonstrate an association between PBIS implementation and a reduction in racial disproportionality in office discipline referrals; however children of color were still overrepresented in discipline data.
Some research suggests that implicit bias may play a role in discrepant disciplinary referrals. For example, Gilliam and colleagues (2016) conducted a study tracking the eye gaze of early childhood educators as they watched a video of preschool children engaging in typical preschool activities. The early childhood teachers were asked to look for challenging behaviors in the video. Although the children in the video were proportionally sampled based on sex and race characteristics, researchers found that the early childhood educators looked more frequently and for longer periods of time at the Black children, particularly Black boys, even though there


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were no challenging behaviors present. Researchers are now beginning to investigate the presence and role of implicit bias in discipline referral practices and how this may contribute to racial discrepancies (McIntosh, Girvan, Homer, & Smolkowski, 2014).
Some scholars argue that, while PBIS was intended to be flexible enough to address the needs of children from all cultural backgrounds, the current models of PBIS do not specifically address the cultural contexts of non-White children such as cultural awareness5, knowledge6 and competence7 (Allen & Steed, 2016). Creating and applying PBIS practices without considering the cultural contexts of children and their families may result in inadvertently reinforcing the norms, values and beliefs of the White, European-American ideals that modem U.S. education systems have been built upon, which further perpetuates oppression, marginalization and colonization of non-White, European-American communities (Jones, Caravaca, Cizek, Horner, & Vincent, 2006, as cited in McIntosh et al., 2014). For example, Smolkowski and colleagues (2016) argue that simply focusing on preventing and addressing challenging behaviors does not address the role implicit bias likely plays in the racial disproportionality seen in discipline practices.
Culturally responsive practices and PBIS are separate frameworks, but it is possible that the combination of the two may help to reduce racially disproportionate discipline practices. Recent research by Larson and colleagues (2018) demonstrated that combining culturally responsive teaching strategies with PBIS strategies is associated with higher observed positive
5 Cultural awareness refers to the awareness of cultural differences in experiences, beliefs, and values, and how these shape one’s sense of who they are and how they fit into their schools, communities, and society.
6 Cultural knowledge refers to the knowledge one has of other cultures and how cultural context affects behavior.
7 Cultural competence refers to one’s ability to successfully teach students who come from a culture or cultures other than their own by institutionalizing cultural awareness and knowledge.


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student behavior and reduced disciplinary action than PBIS practices alone among elementary and middle school students. Implementing culturally responsive PBIS practices has the potential to support all children and may assist in reducing inequities in educational settings.
Culturally Responsive Teaching Practices
Culturally relevant pedagogy, cultural congruence, multicultural teaching, cultural appropriateness, and culturally responsive teaching are all terms that have been identified throughout the literature to describe education that meets the needs of all children, especially children of color (Allen & Steed, 2016; Debnam, Pas, Bottiani, Cash, & Bradshaw, 2015; Gay, 2002; Gay, 2004; & Ladson-Billings, 1995a). Although variations in exact definitions exist across the multiple terminologies used, culturally responsive practices can collectively be considered as a conceptual framework for teaching and learning that considers the social-emotional, cultural, and political factors present in each student’s life and the impact these intersecting dimensions have on each student (Powell, Cantrell, Malo-Juvera & Cornell, 2016). Teachers who are culturally responsive have the knowledge, dispositions and skills necessary to effectively teach diverse populations within such a framework (Gay, 2000; Larson et al., 2018; Villegas & Lucas, 2002). They are able to make meaningful connections between students’ homes and communities and their school lives (Ladson-Billings, 2011). Culturally responsive teaching also “challenges the notion that students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds lack the capacity to excel academically if they do not conform to Eurocentric values, ideals, and ways of being” (Farinde-Wu, Glover & Williams, 2017).
Intentionally modifying current educational structures to ensure they are culturally responsive is necessary because current pedagogy in the United States, as well as the teaching force, disproportionately represents and reinforces the values, mores and beliefs of middle-class,


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European-American culture (Gay, 2002; Powell et al., 2016). Such representation fosters cultural continuity between home and school only for those from dominant cultures8 (i.e. White, middle-class) and creates a cultural disconnect between home and school for those from non-dominant cultures (McIntosh, Moniz, Craft, Golby & Steinwand-Deschambeault, 2014). This can result in racial disproportionality in discipline practices by prompting educators to view difference, or deviation from the “norm,” as deficit or dysfunctional rather than typical cultural expectations or norms (Gay, 2002). Scholars suggest this cultural disconnect may contribute not only to racial disproportionality in exclusionary discipline practices but special education placement as well (Cholewa & West-Olantunji, 2008; Skiba, Poloni-Staudinger, Gallini, Simmons & Feggins-Azziz, 2006).
Dimensions of culturally responsive teaching. Culturally responsive teaching is complex, multidimensional and encompasses more than individual teaching practices (Powell et al., 2016). Four major factors associated with culturally responsive teaching are prevalent throughout the literature: (1) Intercultural experiences, which includes forming meaningful and authentic relationships with people from various cultures (Bennett, Niggle, & Stage, 1990; Guyton & Wesche, 2005); (2) Critical consciousness (Gay, 2002; Powell et al., 2016), which includes a consciousness of the complexity of how race, ethnicity and social class are constructed in the U.S. and how they interact to influence student behavior (Banks et al., 2001; Bennett et al.,1990; Chen, Nimmo & Fraser, 2009; Guyton & Wesche, 2005; Villegas & Lucas, 2007); (3) Attitudes and beliefs about diversity, which includes an openness to investigating and improving one’s awareness of explicit and implicit biases regarding race and culture (Allen &
8 Dominant culture is defined in this document as the culture who’s language, religion, behaviors, values, and social customs dominate and control social institutions (e.g. educational institutions, law, political process, etc.)


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Steed, 2016; Bennett et al., 1990; Guyton & Wesche, 2005; Ladson-Billings, 1995a); and (4) Knowledge and skills for teaching in multicultural settings, which includes an ability to provide all students access and participation in equitable social and academic pedagogies through understanding and drawing upon students’ experiences and funds of knowledge (Allen & Steed, 2016; Banks et al., 2001; Bennett et al., 1990; Chen et al., 2009; Guyton & Wesche, 2005; Villegas & Lucas, 2007).
Intercultural experiences. Intercultural experiences should move beyond simply engaging in cross-cultural experiences to engaging in active listening and observations of the strengths and points of view of other cultures, with the expectation of learning from children and their families (Allen & Steed, 2016; Durden, Escalante, & Blitch, 2015). Such experiences can work to promote an awareness of implicit bias and exploration of assumptions about what is known and how such knowledge comes to be “known.” Finally, exposure to positive cross-cultural interactions that counter negative racial stereotypes (e.g. seeing people of color in positive community engagement to counter the over-representation of people of color portrayed as criminals in mass media), is an essential element of intercultural experiences (Allen & Steed, 2016).
Critical consciousness. To be critically conscious, teachers must become critically aware of their own cultural norms, socialization, attitudes, beliefs and implicit biases and how these affect their behaviors and attitudes toward the cultures of those from different backgrounds (Gay, 2002; Harris-Murri, King & Rostenberg, 2006). This dimension requires self-study as an initial step or vehicle to changing practices in the classroom and incorporates an element of reflection on one’s own self-efficacy in regard to teaching children from backgrounds different from one’s own (Chen et al., 2009). For example, a recognition and understanding of how European-


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American, middle-class norms have been universally accepted as standard teaching practice is an important aspect to reflect upon when considering why a child is not meeting proficiency on standardized assessments (Gay 2002). Finally, ongoing discourse regarding race, culture and difference is necessary to continually improve critical consciousness (Allen & Steed, 2016).
Attitudes and beliefs about diversity. Ladson-Billings (1995a) identified that a belief about the educability of all students is key to culturally relevant teaching and there are a variety of practices that can lead to successful teaching for all students, thus all teachers with a true belief that all children are educable can become culturally responsive teachers. This dimension also encompasses the importance of classroom climate, which Gay (2002) describes as “the physical features, psychoemotional tone, and quality of interactions among students and between teachers” (p. 620). Banks and colleagues (2001) explain this dimension further by highlighting the importance of incorporating practices that promote positive racial and ethnic attitudes. One example of this that Gay (2002) provides is the importance of providing a warm and structured environment where students are surrounded by artifacts related to their own cultures and conveys implicit messages about the importance of and desirability of diversity in the classroom and society as a whole. Culturally responsive teachers know that all students have the potential to achieve academically when their individual cultures, language, experiences, values and beliefs are validated and valued by the educational system and they have access to highly qualified teachers (Klinger, et al., 2005).
Knowledge of teaching skills for diverse settings. Knowledge of teaching skills for diverse settings necessitates an awareness of culturally responsive teaching practices as well as the ability to embed culturally responsive and supportive practices into everyday routines in the classroom (Allen & Steed, 2016). This requires a recognition and understanding of how


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European-American middle-class norms have been universally accepted as standard teaching practice and the importance of learning and drawing upon each child’s unique funds of knowledge (Gay, 2002). Culturally responsive teaching is intended to be directed towards and emanate from student’s strengths (Gay, 2002).
Measuring culturally responsive teaching. While a significant body of peer-reviewed manuscripts document the importance of culturally responsive practices and its dimensions, a disconnect between theory and what is being practiced continues to be ubiquitous (Johnston & Claypool, 2010, as cited by McIntosh et al., 2014). The majority of empirical studies examining the implementation of culturally responsive practices rely on teacher self-report (Debnam et al., 2015), but very few empirical studies have examined the use of observable culturally responsive practices. In a systematic review of the literature regarding research on culturally responsive practices in K-12 settings, Bottiani and colleagues (2017) found most studies were qualitative in nature and focused on measuring teachers’ attitudes and beliefs through such methods as reflective journals and self-rating scales. Not only were there few quantitative studies overall, but none of the studies reviewed met the criteria for documenting evidence-based practice. This led the authors to conclude that the research on the efficacy, effectiveness and applicability of research on teacher implemented, culturally responsive practices is inconclusive and in need of more rigorous research. The authors identified several challenges to the work on culturally responsive practices including a lack of an agreed upon operationalized definition of culturally responsive practices, inconsistencies in measurement outcomes whether proximal (teachers) or distal (students), a lack of information on specific, observable research-based teaching practices, and a lack of research supporting effective professional development for increasing educators’ use of culturally responsive practices (Bottiani et al., 2017).


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Similar challenges and trends to those described above were noted while conducting the review of empirical literature on culturally responsive practices for this manuscript. In this review of measures of culturally responsive teaching specific to early childhood educational environments published from January, 2001 to August, 2018, ten empirical studies were identified. Like the review conducted by Bottiani and colleagues (2017), the measures were overwhelmingly reliant on self-report, with only three of the studies (Flores & Riojas-Cortez, 2009; Flores & Riojas-Cortez, 2010; Rizzuto, 2017) containing an observation component. Of these three studies, two were conducted on the development and revision of a tool, the Early Childhood Ecology Scale (ECES; Flores & Riojas-Cortez, 2009) and Early Childhood Ecology Scale Revised (ECES-R; Flores & Riojas-Cortez, 2010). Of the three studies containing an observation component, one paired qualitative methods of observation with a quantitative, self-report survey of attitudes and beliefs (Rizzuto, 2017), while the other two measured skills by combining quantitative, likert-type survey tools administered by peers in addition to self-report measures (Flores & Riojas-Cortez, 2009, 2010).
All ten studies contained a self-report or self-reflection regarding teachers’ attitudes, assumptions, and knowledge around culturally responsive practices. Of the self-report measures five were focused on attitudes and beliefs pertaining to culturally responsive practices (Chen, Nimmo & Fraser, 2009; Flores & Riojas-Cortez, 2010; Rizzuto, 2017; Suoto-Manning & Mitchell, 2010; West-Olatunji, Behar-Horenstein, Rant & Cohen-Phillips, 2008). The other five studies included a focus on skills and teacher self-efficacy (Banerjee & Luckner, 2014; Djonko-Moore & Traum, 2015; Flores & Riojas-Cortez, 2009, 2010; Rizzuto, 2017), with one study being a needs assessment survey administered to early childhood teachers (Baneijee & Luckner, 2014).


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Similar to the study conducted by Bottiani and colleagues (2017), few of the measures reviewed included validated scales. Only three of the studies reviewed included a validated measure. Rizzuto (2017) used Pohan and Aguilar’s (2001, as cited in Rizzuto, 2017),
Professional Beliefs About Diversity scale, a self-report measure of attitudes and beliefs. Flores and colleagues (2011) developed and reported the psychometric properties of the ECES and ECES-R. The ECES was designed as an observational tool to measure the cultural responsiveness of a classroom’s ecology, particularly in relation to Latinx9 students. It was later revised (ECES-R) into a self-reflection tool for teachers to rate and reflect on their skills. Finally, Djonko-Moore & Traum (2015) developed, piloted and documented the reliability and validity of a self-report survey for teachers measuring early childhood teachers’ culturally responsive practices. The lack of valid and reliable tools for measuring observable practices in both K-12 and early childhood classroom environments indicate a need for greater consistency and rigor in research pertaining to culturally responsive practice to ensure high standards of practice and accountability (Bottiani et al., 2017).
Culturally Responsive PBIS in ECE
At the time of this manuscript, no empirical studies had been found researching culturally responsive PBIS practices specific to early childhood environments. However, Allen & Steed (2016) proposed a framework for embedding culturally responsive practices into existing PBIS frameworks in early childhood, by using Pyramid Model practices as a foundation. Within this framework the authors identified four methods for enhancing PBIS in early childhood environments to specifically address cultural differences and impact racial inequities in
9 Latinx is used in this document as a gender-neutral or non-binary method of representing a person or persons of Latin American origin or descent.


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discipline: (a) ensuring students are viewed through a strengths-based lens; (b) promoting cultural awareness and discourse (e.g. discussions on race, culture, and difference); (c) ensuring policies reflect the cultures of all students and their families; and (d) collecting and analyzing data to monitor disproportionality.
Using well-established sociolinguistic research as well as emerging research on culturally responsive PBIS practices in K-12 settings, Allen and Steed (2016) offered the following five key recommendations for culturally responsive practices in ECE environments, which align with the previous review of literature regarding culturally responsive practices: (a) exploring one’s implicit biases; (b) learning about students’ cultures; (c) embedding culturally responsive/supportive practices in the classroom; (d) development and implementation of policies that support equity; and (e) evaluating the effectiveness of practices on measures of cultural responsiveness.
Exploring implicit bias. Researchers have begun to focus on the role implicit bias may play in our current education systems particularly in regard to special education and exclusionary discipline referrals (Smolkowski et al., 2016). Implicit bias refers to the assumptions people carry about others, the world around them, how things ought to be, and etcetera. While explicit bias is easier to quantify, implicit bias can be more challenging because these biases are often outside of a person’s conscious thoughts. Implicit bias is a lens through which we view the world and categorize things as right or wrong, and good or bad. While implicit bias is part of human nature and not inherently wrong, it has the potential for unconsciously directing us toward decision-making that is detrimental to others’ well-being (Smolkowski et al., 2016). For example, research conducted by Girvan, Gion, McIntosh and Smolkowski (2016) reviewed office discipline referral records (ODR’s) for over one million students enrolled in the U.S. to


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determine whether children of color were represented in higher numbers for subjectively defined behaviors (e.g. disrespect, back-talk, defiance) over more objectively defined behaviors (e.g. hitting, punching, kicking). They found that race accounted for 1.5-3 times more variance in subjective ODRs compared to objective ODRs. Their results suggest that implicit bias played a role in exclusionary discipline practices such as ODRs because teachers generally perceived, classified, and interpreted the behaviors of children of color as more severe than those of White children.
Implicit bias and its effects can be problematic in educational settings, particularly early childhood settings where the majority of the teaching force is predominantly White, middle-class women, and the diversity among students is rapidly increasing. This dynamic creates an echo chamber of sorts where institutions of mostly homogenous cultural representations with similar implicit biases are creating and enforcing expectations that are culturally biased in favor of White, middle-class norms. This produces a cultural mismatch between educational institutions and the students they serve (Gay, 2004).
Learning about student’s cultures. Scholars hypothesize that more equitable outcomes for students from non-White ethnic, racial and linguistic backgrounds can be achieved through teacher professional development focused on understanding connections between students’ cultural backgrounds and behaviors (Gay, 2002; Ladson-Billings, 1995a, 1995b; Villegas & Lucas, 2002). Better understanding of children’s cultures also allows teachers to better recognize, incorporate, and draw upon students’ funds of knowledge for their teaching.
Embedding culturally responsive/supportive practices in the classroom. By better understanding student’s cultural context, histories and expectations around behaviors, teachers can work to bridge the cultural gap by incorporating practices, language, and materials, that are


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more culturally relevant to children (Banks et al., 2001; Bennett et al., 1990; Villegas & Lucas, 2007). When teachers understand students’ unique strengths, experiences and funds of knowledge, they are better equipped and able to engage children in meaningful ways (Allen & Steed, 2016; Chen et al., 2009; Guyton & Wesche, 2005). An example of what this might look like in the early childhood classroom could be learning centers and activities that are representative of the cultures, languages and interests of all children in the classroom (Flores et al., 2011). For example, children’s home languages could be represented on a frequently utilized environmental support (e.g. posted visual schedule).
Developing and implementing policies that support equity. Critically evaluating systems level policies and practices are important for reducing or eliminating explicit and implicit biases inherent in schools (Allen & Steed, 2016). Schools may find they need to modify existing policies or practices so they specifically focus on promoting and supporting efforts toward equity in schools (McIntosh, Barnes, Eliason, & Morris, 2014). An example of this would be an early childhood program modifying their discipline policy to include a commitment to eliminating exclusionary discipline practices, involving families in the development of discipline policies and procedures, and committing to provide training and coaching related to culturally responsive PBIS.
Evaluating the effectiveness of practices on measures of cultural responsiveness.
Finally, Allen and Steed (2016) highlight the importance of monitoring the effectiveness of policies and procedures to evaluate whether they are having the desired impact. For example, when promoting training and coaching related to culturally responsive PBIS, schools should collect data on teachers’ changing attitudes, beliefs, and implementation of culturally responsive PBIS practices, and adjust training methods appropriately.


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CHAPTER III THEORY OF CHANGE
Culturally responsive PBIS practices incorporate a number of elements such as exploring one’s implicit biases, learning about student’s cultures, embedding culturally responsive practices in the classroom, developing and implementing policies that support equity, and evaluating the effectiveness of such practices on measures of cultural responsiveness (Allen & Steed, 2016). Culturally responsive PBIS practices are meant to provide affirming educational environments reflective of all children’s unique cultural backgrounds and contexts. Positively affirming educational environments lead to more equitable learning opportunities and environments, which are hypothesized to result in more positive outcomes for children such as increased academic engagement and reduced exclusionary discipline and special education referrals (Bradshaw et al., 2018).
Appendix A, Figure 2 includes the Culturally Responsive Practices Logic/Theory of Change Diagram, which outlines the logic behind the research approach and hypothesized outcomes. First, inputs are identified, which include (a) a knowledge base of evidence-based methods of professional development, recommended strategies for promoting culturally responsive educational environments, and evidence-based social-emotional teaching strategies specific to early childhood; (b) buy-in and partnerships; and (c) time allocation. Then, activities are implemented including a professional development workshop followed by coaching. Finally, the hypothesized immediate, intermediate, and long-term outcomes are presented including enhanced teacher practices, improved engagement of students, families and staff, and student
achievement.


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Research Based Strategies to Promote Change in Teacher Practices
Research has studied the needs and benefits of professional development (PD) within a variety of early childhood education programs such as Head Start, public, private and university-based preschools, and center- and home-based child care settings (Artman-Meeker, Fettig, Barton, Penney, & Zeng, 2015; Artman-Meeker & Hemmeter, 2013; Bishop et al., 2015; Duda et al., 2004; Fettig & Artman-Meeker, 2016; Fox, Hemmeter, Snyder, Binder & Clarke, 2011; Snyder et al., 2012). Various personnel have been the subjects of research in the PD literature including: teacher teams (Lead and assistant; Artman-Meeker & Hemmeter, 2013); early childhood educators (Bishop et al., 2015; Buysse, Castro, & Peisner-Feinberg, 2010; Duda et al., 2004; Fettig & Artman-Meeker, 2016; Hemmeter et al., 2016); early childhood special education (ECSE) teachers (Fox et al., 2011); early interventionists (Bruder & Nikitas, 1992; Krick Obom & Johnson, 2015); child care workers (Hendrickson, Gardner, Kaiser, & Riley, 1993; Ivy & Schreck, 2008; Steed & Roach, 2017); and pre-service teachers (Barton & Wolery, 2007).
Scholars have argued that while there is no one size fits all form of professional development, different forms of professional development are available and appropriate for addressing various levels of impact such as awareness, enhancing knowledge, skill development, and transformative thinking (Winton, Snyder & Goffin, 2016). Several factors determine the professional development of best fit including: the individual recipients); information being conveyed; desired level of impact; and outcome goals. Early childhood research demonstrates that in general, best practices for professional development include a focus on a specific skill or set of skills, practitioner buy-in, relevancy to practitioners’ current practice, and links to specific outcomes (Buysse, Winton & Rous, 2009; Fox et al., 2011; Sheridan, Edwards, Marvin, &


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Knoche, 2009; Snyder, Hemmeter, & Mclaughlin, 2011; Zaslow, Tout, Halle, Whittaker, & Lavelle, 2010).
Workshops
Workshops are the most traditional and prominent form of PD found in early childhood education due to their low cost and ability to reach numerous people in limited time (Schachter, Gerde, & Hatton-Bowers, 2019). Workshops or specialized training are best for bringing awareness to a topic, conveying information, and building background knowledge (Sheridan, Edwards, Marvin, & Knoche, 2009). Improving skills is a lesser priority of workshops, and they demonstrate limited success in this regard (Schachter, Gerde, & Hatton-Bowers, 2019). The inability of workshops to effectively translate teachers’ knowledge into skill development may be due to barriers related to various contextual factors such as individual characteristics of the teachers, students, administrators, schools, and communities (Schachter, Gerde, & Hatton-Bowers, 2019). The lack of follow up makes it difficult to problem-solve perceived barriers to implementation resulting in undesirable outcomes.
Practice-Based Coaching (PBC)
Research suggests that PD in early childhood settings is most effective at improving skill development when: (a) such practices are operationally defined, (b) methods of translating knowledge into practice are utilized (e.g. modeling, role playing, coaching), (c) explicit, direct links between the practices and child outcomes are identified (d) specific, measurable goals are developed, and (e) sustained, interactive, and collaborative processes are employed (Snyder et al., 2011; Snyder, Hemmeter & Fox, 2015; Winton et al., 2016; Zaslow et al., 2010). Zaslow and colleagues’ (2010) expanded on these aspects of effective PD to include the importance of transforming one’s thinking in relation to new skills through: (a) teacher reflection regarding


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progress on goals; (b) a culture that is supportive of and conducive to professional development,
(c) congruency between the intensity and duration of training and the practice being learned, and
(d) alignment among targeted practices and organizational missions and standards.
The methods of improving skill development described above are often collectively referred to as coaching. However, the processes and elements of coaching across studies remain inconsistent. For example, Artman-Meeker, Fettig, Barton, Penney & Zeng (2015) reviewed the literature utilizing coaching as the independent variable and found low levels of implementation for what they identified as a comprehensive coaching model. Overall, in the 49 studies that met inclusion criteria, low levels of components meant to transfer knowledge into practice such as modeling (26.5%) and role-play (4.1%) were reported across studies, and only 12.2% of the studies reviewed mentioned an intentional focus on building the coaching partnership. Furthermore, the lack of a shared definition of and framework for coaching complicates research in this area (Artman-Meeker et al., 2015; Rush & Shelden, 2011; Snyder et al., 2015). There is, however, general agreement that that characteristics of effective coaching include: a focus on partnerships, planning, observation, action (modeling, role-play, assistance, etc.), reflection, and feedback (Artman-Meeker et al., 2015).
Snyder, Hemmeter and Fox (2015) propose an evidence-informed framework termed practice-based coaching (PBC), which uses implementation science as its foundation. The authors define PBC as, “a cyclical process for supporting preschool practitioners’ use of effective teaching practices that leads to positive outcomes for children” (p. 134). Through their PBC model, they attempt to address the inconsistencies present in approaches to coaching by proposing a framework of processes and elements related to coaching. The intention of identifying a specific framework for coaching is to improve teachers’ use of evidence-based


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practices in early childhood environments as well as subsequent child outcomes (Snyder et al., 2015). The authors identify the following key components necessary for effective PBC, described in greater detail below: (a) effective teaching practices; (b) collaborative relationships; (c) needs assessment, goal setting and action planning; (d) focused observation; and (d) reflection and feedback. They present this as a cyclical process with effective teaching practices at the center, surrounded by a continuous cycle of shared goals and action planning, focused observation, and reflection and feedback, all of which are encompassed by collaborative partnerships (see Appendix A, Figure 3).
Effective teaching practices. Practice-based coaching promotes making the focus of coaching explicit to the coach and teacher. Targeted teaching practices should be derived from evidence-based or research supported practices intended to support child engagement and learning. These practices can originate in the following ways: use of existing fidelity measurements of practice implementation; needs assessments or performance-based measures developed by researchers or professional development providers; or early childhood curricula that specify teaching and instructional practices. Multiple opportunities should be provided for teachers to practice, reflect on, and receive feedback about their implementation.
Collaborative partnerships. Practice-based coaching must occur in the context of a collaborative partnership where the coach and teacher work together to set goals and create an action plan to support the implementation of practices. In the context of the collaborative partnership, the coach and teacher will discuss needed resources to support the teacher in implementing practices; determine why, when and how to implement practices; problem-solve strategies to address barriers to implementation; and engage in reflection and feedback regarding implementation process and progress.


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While collaborative partnerships develop and grow throughout the process of PBC, it begins with establishing rapport and shared understandings in the earliest stages. The partnership and coaching are individualized to reflect the unique strengths, needs, understandings and desired outcomes of the teacher-coach dyad. This aspect of PBC is dependent on acknowledging teachers preferences, strengths and needs while also improving the implementation of effective teaching strategies.
Needs assessment, goal setting, and action planning. Initial and ongoing goal setting originates with a needs assessment. This involves gathering data about current practices and determining priority practices for enhancement. Needs assessment instruments assess the presence and fidelity of implementation of practices, which help to identify the focus of coaching. To properly assess such practices they must be observable, measurable, and operationally defined. Both coach and teacher review the results of the needs assessment and from this, goals are identified to ensure accountability and guide the action plan. Well-written goals are operationally defined, measurable, and achievable within the given time frame. The action plan provides the guide for how such goals will be achieved and includes five key features: a goal, action steps, required resources, timelines and goal achievement statement. Action steps will be directly related to the practice-based goal and will determine the specific steps necessary to obtain necessary resources and achieve the stated goal.
Focused observation. Focused observation differs from general observation in that its specific purpose is that of gathering information about the fidelity of practice implementation. It is typically focused on the specific goals and associated action plan and can encompass the use of specific teaching aides (e.g. visuals). Focused observation has demonstrated effectiveness in improving fidelity of practices (Kretlow & Bartholomew, 2010).


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Reflection and feedback. Reflection involves the coach and teacher considering the information gathered, the successes, challenges and next steps related to the implementation and fidelity of the teaching practices. This problem-solving approach is intended to identify what is going well and what might need changing. Reflective questions from the coach should be open-ended and derived from motivational interviewing techniques. Comments from the coach should be reflective in nature, thus reflecting back to the teacher their own perceptions and self-efficacy.
Feedback should be performance-based and originate from the observational data. This is an important aspect of providing the teacher objective information about his or her behavior. In PBC the performance feedback is based on the fidelity of implementation of teaching practices. Feedback should be both supportive and constructive. Supportive feedback focuses on the progress demonstrated between the goals and action plan steps, while constructive feedback is intended to uncover opportunities for growth in the specific teaching practices. Constructive feedback should be specific with identifiable steps for strengthening one’s practices.
Cyclical process. In addition to the components of PBC outlined above, PBC is intended to be a cyclical process. Four major phases are represented in a complete cycle: (1) orientation; (2) partnering; (3) a repeated cycle of shared goal setting, action planning, focused observation, and reflection and feedback and (4) assessment, review and planning for sustainability. Each phase of the cyclical process is outlined in more detail below.
PBC phase 1: Orientation. In phase one of PBC, the teacher and coach work to develop a mutual understanding of the key concepts and processes associated with PBC. During this phase, expectations of roles, time commitments and outcomes are discussed. Additionally, the teacher and coach develop a shared understanding of the purpose and process of PBC.


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PBCphase 2: Partnering. In the second phase of the cycle, the coach and teacher begin establishing a collaborative partnership. Establishing professional rapport and shared understandings is crucial to the formulation of a collaborative partnership. During this phase the teacher and coach will begin to share their respective professional experiences and backgrounds. An understanding of the teacher’s unique strengths, learning preferences, and needs is developed.
This phase also includes preliminary data collection and partnership around initial goal setting and action planning. Data collection includes observations and a needs assessment, which will help guide the focus of coaching.
PBC phase 3: Cycle of goals, action planning, observation, reflection and feedback.
During phase 3, the coach and teacher continually cycle through a process of shared goal setting, action planning, focused observations, and reflection and feedback. In this phase, the goals and action plans are iterative and adjust to reflect the results of the focused observations, reflection and feedback sessions conducted by the coach and teacher. This cycle continues until the coach and teacher agree to end the coaching relationship, at which point the process moves to phase 4.
PBC phase 4: Review and assessment of goals and sustainability. The final phase of PBC consists of assessing the overall efficacy of the coaching process in enhancing teaching practices. This includes a review of accomplishments and goals attained. During this final phase the coach and teacher co-develop a plan meant to ensure sustainability of practices after the conclusion of the coaching cycle.
Research on implementing PBC in ECE. A systematic review of the coaching literature in early childhood conducted by Artman-Meeker and colleagues (2015) identified very few coaching studies that specifically mentioned all four practice components of PBC (partnerships,


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action planning, observation, reflection and feedback). Of the 49 studies that met inclusion criteria, only two specifically outlined elements of their coaching process that pertained to partnerships, action planning, observations, reflection and feedback (Isaacs, Embry & Baer,
1982; Lyon et al., 2009). Only six of the studies reviewed included an intentional focus on partnerships as part of their coaching process (Artman-Meeker et al., 2015).
There are inconsistencies, however, between the reported literature review results from Artman-Meeker and colleagues (2015) and coaching studies that Snyder, Hemmeter and Fox (2015) specifically recognized as representing PBC. One example of this is a study by Fox and colleagues (2011). This study was included in Artman-Meeker and colleagues’ (2015) review and mentioned in Snyder, Hemmeter and Fox’s (2015) article. Fox and colleagues’ (2011) study focused on coaching early childhood special education teachers to implement practices associated with the Pyramid Model. However Artman-Meeker and colleagues (2015) indicated they did not find reported evidence that the study had an intentional focus on relationship building, which would exclude this model of coaching from being PBC based on the criteria set forth by Snyder, Hemmeter and Fox (2015).
A second study conducted by Conroy, Sutherland, Vo, Carr and Ogston (2014) that focused on tier 2 PBIS teaching strategies (e.g. pre-correction, behavior specific praise, specific feedback, etc.) was recognized in Snyder Hemmeter and Fox’s (2015) PBC article but was not included in Artman-Meeker and colleagues’ (2015) review. This study was reportedly excluded from review because it did not include a single-case, group experimental, or quasi-experimental research design (Artman-Meeker et al., 2015). A later publication evaluating these same practices did utilize an experimental research design and demonstrated that PBC was an effective form of PD for enhancing tier 2 PBIS instructional strategies (Conroy et al., 2015).


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The literature on PBC demonstrates that an emphasis on teacher skills related to the social-emotional development of young children has been the predominant focus of empirical studies evaluating the efficacy of PBC. For example, although coaching studies included in the review conducted by Artman-Meeker and colleagues (2015) collectively covered several content areas such as language and literacy, play, math, and social-emotional development, the two studies encompassing all four components of PBC focused on improving teacher-child interactions and increasing adult-delivered praise statements. More recent literature has emerged demonstrating the efficacy of PBC in improving social-emotional development through Pyramid Model practices (Hemmeter et al., 2015).
Evaluations of evidence-based practices beyond those supporting social-emotional development are being investigated with the use of PBC. For example, a recent study was published identifying PBC as an effective PD method for improving the fidelity and frequency of ECE teachers’ use of embedded instruction for children with disabilities (Snyder et al., 2018). Another study conducted by Romano and Woods (2018) utilized a collaborative coaching approach inclusive of joint planning, observation, reflection and feedback to demonstrate growth in ECE teachers’ use of communication supports for children with communication delays.
The Use of Workshops With PBC
Snyder and colleagues (2011) contend that to promote the acquisition and enhancement of skills and dispositions resulting in improved child outcomes, professional development needs to move beyond one-time workshops to include methods for transforming knowledge into practice. The current literature in the field of early childhood education indicates that across programs and personnel, researchers are focusing on the integration of individualized, ongoing support and feedback in addition to traditional workshop-style trainings to improve teacher


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practices in the classroom. Combining workshops and individualized, ongoing support and feedback has effectively improved professional practices for early childhood educators (ECE’s; Bishop, Snyder & Crow, 2015; Buysse, Castro, & Peisner-Feinberg, 2010; Fettig & Artman-Meeker, 2016), early childhood special education teachers (ECSE’s; Fox et al., 2011), and preservice teachers (McLeod, Kim, & Resua, 2018); as well as early interventionists (Bruder & Nikitas, 1992; Krick Obom & Johnson, 2015) and child-care workers (Ivy & Schreck, 2008). Individualized PD for teachers has demonstrated efficacy across a variety of early childhood learning domains including language and literacy (Snyder, Hemmeter, McLean, Sandall, McLaughlin, & Algina, 2018), math (Brendefur, Strother, Thiede, Lane, & Surges-Prokop,
2012), and social-emotional development (Artman-Meeker, Fettig, Barton, Penny & Zeng, 2015; Artman-Meeker & Hemmeter, 2012).
Combining workshops and coaching to promote social-emotional development.
Research strongly supports the use of coaching models for teacher skill acquisition and implementation of best practices that promote social-emotional development in young children (Sheridan et al., 2009; Snyder et al., 2015). Results from several studies have demonstrated significantly higher outcomes in teacher practices and child behavioral outcomes when workshops are followed up by practice-based coaching over workshops alone (Hemmeter et al., 2016; Hemmeter et al., 2015; Ivy & Schreck, 2008; Krick Obom & Johnson, 2015; Snyder et al., 2015). For example, Ivy and Schreck (2008) found that, in their study to improve the quality of interactions childcare workers had with children, participants enrolled in the workshop only style of training did not maintain their slightly improved skills over time. Participants who received individualized follow up and feedback in addition to the workshop-style training demonstrated higher and more stable levels of improvement over time. The robust outcomes of studies like this


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have prompted strong encouragement within the early childhood literature on promoting teacher skills related to social-emotional development to pair specialized training (workshops) with consultation or coaching (Snyder et al., 2015).


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CHAPTER IV
PURPOSE AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The purpose of this proposed study was to conduct an experimental analysis of a workshop plus practice-based coaching as a professional development tool for enhancing four early childhood educators’ use of culturally responsive PBIS. The effects of the workshop and practice-based coaching focused on culturally responsive practices in early childhood environments have not yet been empirically evaluated. Therefore a multiple-baseline design replicated across four participants was conducted to investigate the following research questions:
(1) What is the relationship between the implementation of a workshop plus practice-based coaching and teachers’ use of culturally responsive practices in their early childhood classrooms?
(2) Does the workshop and PBC, as a professional development approach, lead to teacher’s high-fidelity implementation of culturally responsive practices?
(3) How do teachers and administrators rate the social validity (i.e., teacher and director perception) of the culturally responsive focused workshop and practice-based coaching?


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CHAPTER V METHODS
Setting
The study took place in four classrooms located in an inclusive university-based early childhood education center serving students aged birth through five-years-old where approximately 20% of enrolled students have disabilities. The center is primarily funded through private tuition, while public tuition assistance is also accepted. The center is operated by a director and assistant director who oversee approximately 10 to 15 master teachers and 20 to 30 associate teachers in addition to an inclusion team composed of a speech-language pathologist, early childhood special education teacher (ECSE), physical therapist, and inclusion specialist.
The center serves approximately 200 students and their families. Students attend in a variety of capacities: Monday through Friday; Monday, Wednesday, Friday; or Tuesdays and Thursdays and are eligible to attend any time from 7:30am to 5:30pm, depending on family needs.
Participating classrooms had between 17 and 24 students enrolled and each classroom had one master teacher and two associate teachers. Members of the inclusion team, university students, and/or family members were occasionally present to support the classroom as well.
Only one student in all four participating classrooms was identified as having a disability through an Individualized Education Program (IEP), though the inclusion team provided supports for a variety of students and abilities. Each classroom included at least two children with racial identities other than White.
Observations and data collection occurred approximately one to four times per week per classroom (depending on scheduling) during both a child-directed routine (e.g. learning centers) and a teacher-directed routine (e.g. circle time). Most of these observations occurred in the


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classroom; however there were a few occasions when teacher practices during the child-directed portion of the observation were observed outside on the playground. This was to ensure a complete observation when a whole group observation had been conducted. Due to the nature of the daily schedules and how the three classroom teachers rotated responsibilities, the two portions of the observation were rarely conducted congruently.
Participants
Four White, female lead early childhood teachers (Amelia, Vanessa, Elise, and Amaya— pseudonyms) ranging in age from 18 to 54 participated in the study from four separate preschool classrooms at the same inclusive, private ECE center (see Table 1). The inclusion criteria required that participants must (a) be a lead teacher in an ECE classroom, (b) teach students aged 3-5 in their classrooms, (c) participate voluntarily, and (d) teach a classroom in which at least two children were identified as a race other than White. The fourth inclusion criterion was measured by accessing unidentified student demographic data provided by the school’s administrators and obtained from registration records.


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Table 1. Participants and Settings
Participant Age Years Experience inECE Education Classroom
Ages of Children Child Race/Ethnicity Home Language # of Children (# w/IEPs/IFSPs)
Amelia 25- 6 Bachelor’s3 44-56 22 White, 1 Asian, 1 23 24(0)
34 months Mixed (Japanese, Black, English
White) 1 Korean
Vanessa 45- 22 Associates 41-56 16 White, 1 Latino, 7 21 24(0)
54 months Mixed (3 English
Hispanic/White; 1 3 English
Black/White; 1 Asian/ & Spanish
Hispanic/ White; 1
Asian/ White; 1
Asian/Black/White)
Elise 18- 5 Bachelor’s 34-40 15 White, 1 African 17 17(0)
24 months American, 1 Mixed (1 English
Indian/White)
Amaya 25- 15 Bachelor’s 39-46 17 White, 2 Latino, 1 19 21(1)
34 months Asian, 1 Mixed English
(Vietnamese/White) 1 Korean
1 Spanish
Note. IEP= Individualized Education Program; IFSP = Individualized Family Service Plan “Teacher was enrolled in a master’s program in education at the time of this study.


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The sampling technique used was nonprobability convenience sampling (Krathwohl, 2009). Four lead ECE teachers consented to participate and completed the demographic and pre-/post- forms. Demographic information regarding the teachers and administrators (e.g., age, gender, disability, ethnicity, race, level of education, years of experience) were collected using the forms located in Appendix B.
The administrators of the preschool participated in this study to facilitate time and space for teachers to participate in the workshop and coaching sessions. Additionally, the administrators provided unidentified child demographic data regarding the children enrolled in the target classrooms via the child demographic form (see Appendix B). Finally, the administrator provided feedback through a social validity assessment to document their perceptions regarding appropriateness and feasibility of the coaching model.
Consent/IRB approval. A human subjects proposal was submitted to and approved by the Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board (COMIRB No: 19-0324). The four teachers who volunteered to participate met the criteria set forth above and were asked to sign a consent form indicating their consent to participate in the study. Parental passive consent was obtained in order to obtain de-identified demographic data (e.g., age, gender, disability, ethnicity, race, home language) regarding children from the director.
Independent Variable
Differentiating this study from other studies on coaching or culturally responsive practices was the use of an empirically supported professional development model of a workshop plus practice-based Coaching (PBC) focused on specific, observable culturally responsive practices. This intervention was comprised of two parts: (1) a 1-hour workshop on implicit bias and culturally responsive teaching; followed by (2) PBC.


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Professional development workshop. A workshop-style power point was used at the onset of intervention to provide each teacher with a foundational knowledge of culturally responsive teaching practices (see Appendix C). The workshop was presented one-on-one with each teacher and included information about inequity in exclusionary discipline practices in preschool, implicit bias and its role in teaching practices and discipline, and culturally responsive PBIS. The workshop included the rationale for, and critical features of, culturally responsive practices in early childhood environments. Such features included a strengths-based approach for all students; promotion of cultural awareness and discourse regarding race, culture and difference; cooperative learning; and incorporating students’ funds of knowledge into the classroom instruction.
The workshop also provided an overview of the four domains of culturally responsive practices: (1) Encouraging positive identity development through representation of all children’s cultures in the classroom; (2) Increasing opportunities for cooperative learning; (3) Discovering and drawing upon student’s cultural funds of knowledge more consistently; and (4) Developing high-quality learning environments with warm, nurturing, and responsive interactions with children, and positive relationships with families.
PBC. This study delivered PBC in an expert, face-to-face format (Snyder et al., 2015). The on-site coaching intervention was implemented according to the five phases described previously (orientation, partnering, shared goal setting and action planning, reflection and feedback, and assessment and review of goals). To ensure the PBC process occurred as intended, coaching logs were completed at the conclusion of each face-to-face session. The individual coaching sessions occurred as described below.


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Initial meeting: Orientation and partnering. The first meeting set the stage for the coaching process and initiated the relationship-building process between the coach and teacher. The coach described the coaching process and cyclical nature of the practice-based coaching model, which included shared goals and action planning, focused observation, and reflection and feedback. Expectations of both the teacher and coach were discussed. Teachers actively engaged in the content and activities presented.
At the end of the initial coaching session, the coach asked teachers to pick a domain of culturally responsive practices they would like to focus on for coaching (encouraging positive identity development through representation of all children’s cultures in the classroom; increasing opportunities for cooperative learning; discovering and drawing upon student’s cultural funds of knowledge more consistently; developing high-quality learning environments with warm, nurturing, and responsive interactions with children, and positive relationships with families). The coach then presented individualized bar graphs to the teacher demonstrating their use of practices and materials as indicated on the repeated measure during the baseline condition. The teacher and coach reviewed the results of the baseline data (needs assessment) together. The coach highlighted areas of strength and identified culturally responsive behaviors and materials that were not yet observed. Together the coach and teacher identified at least one material or practice from the repeated measure to focus on that did not occur at high frequencies during baseline condition and related to the teacher’s self-selected overarching goal for coaching. The specific skills and supports were related to low-scoring items from the baseline data.
Next, the coach facilitated a discussion of the teacher’s concerns (e.g. time), needs (e.g. materials), and available resources (e.g. administrative support) regarding the identified area of focus for coaching. From this information, the coach and teacher collaboratively developed an


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action plan with deadlines to address the concerns and ensure goals were met. An example of a goal was: discover and draw upon student’s cultural funds of knowledge more consistently. Associated action steps linked to this goal were: (1) develop a family survey/questions (10 or less) to send home regarding home culture, student roles, responsibilities, etc.; (2) learn and implement positive encouragement statement in Korean for Korean speaking student; (3) incorporate discussion regarding favorite/special foods student’s eat at home during next whole group lesson.
Finally, focused observations were discussed and scheduled to occur one to three times weekly at a time that was convenient for the teacher and fit with the times of day in which targeted routines and indicators could be observed. Time was set aside for reflection and feedback of these focused observations as close as possible to the completion of the focused observation.
Focused observations. After the initial meeting, focused observations were scheduled to regularly follow the facilitative coaching sessions. The purpose of these observations was to gather information on the fidelity of implementation of the targeted practice. Data collected for the focused observations were guided by the identified goal and associated action steps and the repeated measure.
The role of the coach during focused observations was to document the presence or absence of the targeted actions and/or behaviors during a specified time frame or routine as predetermined by the coach and teacher. The role of the teacher was to practice implementation of the plan as intended.
Second meeting and beyond/facilitative coaching sessions. Following the first meeting, the PBC coach began providing supportive and constructive performance feedback on the action


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plan implementation, and progress toward goals based on the focused observations until a predetermined level of fidelity (e.g. 80% or more) was reached. These coaching sessions were tailored to individual teachers’ needs, but typically lasted between 15 to 30 minutes. Each feedback session followed the following format: (a) opening of debriefing meeting; (b) presenting a summary of the focused observation and invitation for teacher reflection; (c) coach provides supportive feedback; (d) coach provides constructive feedback; (e) coach provides targeted support to teacher; (f) coach and teacher discuss necessary adjustments to action plan and needed resources; and (g) closing of the meeting.
The role of the coach was to provide supportive and constructive, performance-based feedback to the teacher and facilitate teacher reflection on the successes, challenges, and motivation of the teaching practices. Feedback was specific to the observed performance of the teacher as related to the fidelity of teaching practice implementation. Supportive feedback identified observations that aligned with the action plan steps to highlight progress toward the goal(s). Corrective, or constructive feedback identified opportunities for improvement or refinement of the teaching practices that will build a foundation for adjusting future action steps. The delivery of the feedback was verbal, graphical, based on a checklist, part of self-reflection, or any combination of these, based on the needs and preferences of the teacher.
The coach also facilitated teacher reflection and brainstorming of problem-solving related to refinements or modifications to improve the implementation of the identified strategies related to the goal. This was done through asking open-ended reflective questions and providing reflective comments. The coach also drew upon and utilized evidence-based coaching strategies (such as modeling, role-playing, video demonstrations, etc.) to provide support and skill development to the teacher as needed. The coach then documented the use of particular strategies


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during each coaching session in the coaching log immediately following the coaching session as well as information regarding the dates and duration of each coaching session.
The role of the teacher was to identify successes, strengths, concerns, and barriers to the implementation of the teaching plan and collaborate with the coach to problem-solve concerns and barriers as well as update the goals and the associated action plan as appropriate.
Final meeting. The final coaching session was to review and celebrate progress on goals and identify methods of sustaining culturally responsive practices.
Procedural Fidelity. To ensure the PBC process occurred as intended, coaching logs were used to document the fidelity of the coaching process and were completed at the conclusion of each face-to-face session. These logs documented the types of coaching strategies provided, the duration of the session, and a completed fidelity checklist (See Appendix D). Examples of fidelity checklist items are: “results of needs assessment or observation are reviewed,” “focused observation is scheduled,” and “follow-up session is scheduled.” The individual coaching sessions occurred as described above during the intervention phase only. The coach followed 100% of the procedures for 100% of the coaching sessions during the intervention condition. Dependent Variable
The dependent variable was teachers’ implementation of culturally responsive practices, as measured by the Culturally Responsive Positive Behavior Supports for Early Childhood Checklist (CRPBS-EC Checklist). The CRPBS-EC checklist was used to report the average percentage of intervention checklist components implemented by the teacher during each observation session. The CRPBS-EC is provided in Appendix E with operational definitions for
each item.


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CRPBS-EC Checklist. The CRPBS-EC was developed for this research project to document participating teachers’ use of culturally responsive practices and culturally responsive environmental materials across baseline, intervention, and maintenance sessions. The CRPBS-EC measure included 10 items to score during a 10 to 15-minute observation that included one child-directed activity and one teacher-led activity. Examples of items included: literacy area contains at least one fiction book that is culturally affirming of a non-White culture, teacher demonstrates at least one instance of encouraging the use of native language, and teacher provides at least one link between children’s home culture and the school culture.
This measure was developed by first creating a crosswalk between the Pyramid Equity Project’s Pyramid Equity Coaching Guide (Ferro, Fox, Binder, & von der Embse, 2017), and the Early Childhood Ecology Scale (Flores & Riojas-Cortez, 2009) to identify items that were similar between the two sources. The items that mapped onto both sources were then reviewed to determine which were observable and measurable. For items that were stated in a way that could not be easily defined in operational terms, the researcher collaborated with a university professor to develop an item or items that could be more specific. For example, from the item on the ECES that stated, “classroom materials are linguistically and culturally relevant,” the researcher developed the following items: (a) Literacy area contains at least one fiction book that is culturally affirming of a non-White culture, (b) Literacy area contains at least one non-fiction book that is culturally affirming of a non-dominant culture, (c) Literacy area contains at least one book written in a language spoken in the classroom other than English, (d) housekeeping/kitchen area includes at least one culturally affirming food item and/or meal preparation materials. Additional items were added specific to PBIS such as “teacher uses a ratio of at least 4 positive statements for every 1 negative statement,” and an item related to drawing upon students’


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cultural funds of knowledge was added (“teacher provides at least one link between children’s home culture and the school culture”). Finally, items were added to capture qualitative data regarding whole group practices such as recording what book or song was used and whether the book included culturally affirming images and/or a story about a non-White culture. For all quantitatively scored items (10 items), an operational definition was provided, with at least one example of how the criteria could be met.
The coach (and the reliability coders) documented the presence or absence of each of the 10 indicators on the CRPBS-EC during each 10 to 15 min observation during baseline, intervention, and maintenance sessions. A random, five minute time sample was used to document the presence or absence of the 4:1 ratio of positive statements to negative statements. Notes were recorded for each endorsed item to demonstrate how the teacher met criteria. Observation sessions took place at approximately the same times each week for each teacher. Observations primarily took place in the morning before naptime, with the exception of one teacher whose whole group observation was often conducted later in the afternoon to accommodate that classroom’s scheduling.
Additional Measures
Two additional measures were utilized to collect descriptive information about teachers’ use of and perceptions about culturally responsive practices before and after coaching: (1) the Early Childhood Ecology Scale: Observation Form (ECES; Flores & Riojas-Cortez, 2009) and (2) the Culturally Responsive Teaching Self-Efficacy Scale (CRTSE; Siwatu, 2007).
ECES: Observation form. The ECES: Observation form (Cronbach’s alpha reliability = 0.96) is a structured observational tool specific to early childhood environments that provides feedback on the cultural responsiveness of the classroom environment (see Appendix E). The


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original intent of the measure was to assess the cultural responsiveness of teacher candidates’ classrooms in which the majority of the students were young Mexican American and Latinx children. Teacher candidates were either preparing for a bilingual early childhood certification or a generalist early childhood certification. Means (M) and standard deviations (SD) were reported and disaggregated for each certification.
The ECES observation form contains 31 items rated on a 5-point Likert-like scale, where 1 equals “Never” and 5 equals “Always.” Items are designed to reflect practices and environmental factors of culturally responsive classrooms. Principal component exploratory factor analysis revealed four subscales: sociophysical (11 items, Cronbach’s alpha = 0.90; “Classroom is colorful and brightly decorated”), socioemotional (9 items, Cronbach’s alpha = 0.90; “Evidence of children themselves is displayed throughout the classroom”), sociocognitive/linguistic (5 items, Cronbach’s alpha = 0.90; “Children’s native language is displayed in the classroom”), and sociocultural (3 items, Cronbach’s alpha =0.64; “Children are addressed by name”). Varimax rotation of these components revealed the four factors accounted for 66.3% of the total variance in the classroom ecology scale. Factor loadings ranged from moderate (0.455) for, “Classroom is colorful and brightly decorated” to very strong (0.898) for, “Children’s native language is displayed in the classroom.” The psychometric properties reported by Flores and Rioja-Cortez (2009) indicate this measure has relatively high (acceptable) internal consistency across the sociophysical, socioemotional, and sociolinguistic/cognitive dimensions, with moderate internal consistency across the sociocultural dimension. Item factor loadings indicate some items demonstrate reliability and face validity, while others don’t (i.e. those with factor loadings < .500 (George & Mallery, 2005, as cited by Flores & Riojas-Cortez, 2009)).


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The coach completed a paper and pencil version of this observation form as a pre-post measure to identify changes in the target teachers’ classroom environments. Initial observations were conducted within one week of receiving consent from all participating teachers. These observations lasted a minimum of one hour. Post-test observations occurred within one week following the final coaching session and were conducted more quickly than the initial observations. Post-test observations were conducted within thirty minutes on average.
Culturally Responsive Teaching Self-Efficacy Scale (CRTSE). Research has found that teacher’s self-efficacy, or one’s beliefs in their ability to implement teaching practices effectively, is associated with improved student outcomes. For example, Reinke, Herman, and Stormont (2013) found that teachers’ self-efficacy related to behavior management correlated with reductions in disruptive student behaviors, as well as disproportionality in discipline practices. The CRTSE was used in this study as a pre-/post- measure of teachers’ perceived efficacy to deliver culturally responsive instruction. Teachers’ self-efficacy was not central to the research questions pursued in this study. However, this measure was chosen based on precedent set by similar studies (Bradshaw et al., 2017).
The CRTSE (Siwatu, 2007; Cronbach’s alpha = 0.96) is a tool that was validated using pre-service teachers to measure teachers’ self-reported beliefs about their ability to successfully perform specific practices associated with culturally responsive teaching (see Appendix E). It contains 40 Likert-type items that relate to one of four components of culturally responsive practices as defined by Siwatu (2007): curriculum and instruction, classroom management, student assessment, and cultural enrichment. Teachers are asked to rate their perceived level of efficacy in relation to specific teaching practices associated with culturally responsive teaching (e.g. “I am able to implement strategies to minimize the effects of the mismatch between my


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students home culture and the school culture;” “I am able to use my students cultural backgrounds to create a meaningful learning experience”) using a scale of 0 to 100 where 0 is no confidence at all and 100 is completely confident. Participants’ responses to the 40 items are summed to generate a total score.
This scale was validated using principal component factor analyses, which yielded a one-factor solution accounting for 44% of the variance in the respondents’ scores on the scale. Although, as Siwatu (2007) acknowledges, 44% is lower than average for factor analysis studies, this measure was chosen for use in the current study, in part, because other relevant studies have used this measure. Therefore, incorporating this measure follows precedent (see Bradshaw et al., 2017). Factor loadings ranged from .39 for “I am able to praise English Language Learners for their accomplishments using a phrase in their native language” to .79 for “I am able to design instruction that matches my students’ developmental needs.” The psychometric properties reported by Siwatu (2007) imply this is a highly reliable measure, though the face validity of the individual items is variable and the face validity of some items is not strong (e.g. “I am able to praise English Language Learners for their accomplishments using a phrase in their native language”).
The CRTSE was administered via pen/pencil and paper. The pre-test was provided to teachers immediately after inclusion in the study. Teachers were asked to fill out the assessment and return it to the coach within one week of receipt. The post-test was provided to teachers at the final coaching session and teachers were asked to fill it out and return as soon as possible. All teachers completed and returned the pre- and post- CRTSE test within one week of receipt.


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Experimental Design
A single case research design (SCRD), specifically a multiple baseline design across four participants was used to evaluate the relationship between the independent variable of practice-based coaching (PBC) and the dependent variable of culturally responsive practices and materials implemented by the teacher. SCRD uses an inductive approach that is particularly useful for identifying effective educational practices at the individual level and analyzing differences in the impact of an intervention across participants (Barton et al., 2016; Horner et al., 2005; Kennedy, 2005). While randomized controlled trials (RCTs) can be useful for focusing on heterogeneous populations and drawing conclusions regarding the generality of treatment outcomes on group means, they do not provide the same level of information regarding treatment effects as they relate to individuals. SCRD allows for empirically rigorous analysis of the characteristics related to both responders and non-responders of the intervention. Such analysis contributes to the larger literature by providing additional information regarding for whom and under what conditions a particular intervention will be likely to achieve the desired outcomes as well as the identification of intervention adaptations necessary for producing intended outcomes with a larger range of participants (Horner et al., 2005). Furthermore, SCRD is an experimental design that is particularly conducive to the scientist-practitioner who wishes to study or document the effects of an intervention on behavior in the applied settings in which they work (Kennedy, 2005).
SCRD is a research design capable of demonstrating experimental control and providing experimental rigor beyond that of case studies or quasi-experimental designs (Homer et al., 2005). Threats to internal validity such as maturation are controlled by within-and between-subject comparisons. Historical threats to internal validity are controlled with concurrent data


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collection across participants, which documents the presence or absence of a functional relationship between the independent and dependent variable across at least three separate conditions given three different moments in time (Barton et al., 2016). External validity is enhanced in SCRD by systematic replication of results across participants and settings (Barton et al., 2016; Horner et al., 2005).
Establishing experimental control. In SCRD, the unit of analysis is the individual participant, who serves as their own control. Performance of the individual prior to the intervention is compared to the performance during and after the intervention (Homer, et al., 2005). At least three replications of experimental effect should be demonstrated at three different points in time (Homer et al., 2005). The procedure for establishing experimental control follows the methods proposed by Kennedy (2005) for use in single case experimental designs. This process consists of: (a) operationally defining both the independent and dependent variables, (b) systematically introducing and withdrawing the independent variable (PBC) across participants, and (c) systematically measuring the independent and dependent variables. Exploratory analysis of data is used to identify patterns between variables to determine how the independent variable influences the dependent variable. For example, if a pattern is identified that a noticeable change in the dependent variable occurs immediately following the introduction of the independent variable (introduced at variable time intervals) across participants, then one can determine that the set of events immediately preceding the change in dependent behavior caused such a change (Kennedy, 2005).
Maintenance. The maintenance condition commenced within one week following the final meeting. At the final meeting, the coach informed the teachers that observations would continue to take place, but that coaching would conclude. They were given the instructions to


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continue using the strategies they had learned during the coaching. Maintenance observations were conducted in the same manner as during baseline and intervention and lasted approximately 10 minutes. The coach confirmed each observation session with the teacher for scheduling purposes. No feedback regarding the observation was given during the maintenance phase. Procedures
During all conditions, the teachers engaged in their assigned role as master teacher. The master teacher and two associated teachers assigned to each classroom shared responsibilities equally, which varied by day.
Facilitator. The author acted as the facilitator/coach for this study. She is a licensed school psychologist and PhD candidate in Education and Human Development with a concentration in early childhood special education and early childhood education. She has worked with children, teachers, and families in public and private schools in various capacities for eight years.
Baseline. The coach (and researcher) observed and recorded the presence or absence of culturally responsive practices and materials during 10 to 15-min observations. No instructions about the observation or feedback to teachers were provided. During the initial baseline session, teachers were asked to complete the CRSTE and the teacher demographic form. The coach completed the Early Childhood Ecology Scale: Observation form (ECES) during the first baseline observation for each teacher.
It is unlikely the teachers knew which practices or environmental conditions were being observed due to the lack of information provided to teachers regarding specific, measurable, and observable practices. It is likely that teachers could have inferred during baseline observations


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that their literacy centers were being observed for culturally responsive literature, due to the physical presence of data collectors in the literacy centers looking at individual books.
Coaching on culturally responsive practices and materials. Following an initial workshop on culturally responsive practices, coaching sessions were conducted in 15 to 30 minute sessions with each teacher focused on teacher-identified culturally responsive practices and associated action items.
Interobserver Agreement (IOA)
In an attempt to confirm that change in observational data on the CRPBS-EC was due to changes in teacher behavior and not researcher bias, the researcher utilized reliability coders to simultaneously observe and independently record teacher practices and environmental conditions as indicated on the CRPBS-EC. Simultaneous observations were then compared for consistency. Reliability coders participated in an average of 28% of the observations across teachers (range = 20-35%) and conditions (range = 0-100%). Inconsistencies in reliability coding within and across conditions occurred due to the reliability coders’ schedules and availability during the study.
Reliability coders were graduate students from local universities’ schools of education. They participated in IOA training conducted by the researcher in two phases. During phase one, the reliability coders received instructions detailing procedures for using the observation form (repeated measure), as well as operational definitions of all codes. This training was conducted at a location outside of the research site. During phase one of training, reliability coders were presented examples and non-examples of practices and environmental conditions listed in the repeated measure. This phase of training lasted approximately 30 minutes.
Phase two of reliability coding training consisted of real-time observations where the primary data collector and trainees simultaneously conducted classroom observations using the


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repeated measure in participating classrooms. Immediately after each observation the primary data collector and trainee compared and discussed their ratings. Differences in ratings were discussed, compared to the operational definition, and rectified. Initial training concluded once reliability coders were able to demonstrate at least 85% IOA with the primary data collector on the repeated measure. Following initial training, observational data were shared and compared immediately after the observation took place. Mismatches were addressed following the observation by first referring back to the operational definitions and then coming to verbal agreement on whether the observed practice or environmental condition met the criteria and how it did or did not meet criteria. For all reported data, the researcher’s observational score was used. The reliability coders were blind to the condition, or phase, of the intervention.
The total IOA across participants, conditions, and indicators was 93.6% for 28% of observations. Total IOA was calculated by dividing the total number of indicators that were simultaneously coded (n=203) by the number of indicators where the reliability coders and coach were in agreement (n=190), then multiplying the quotient by 100. Similar calculations were conducted to determine IOA across conditions for each teacher (see Table 2).


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Table 2. Inter Observer Agreement.
Baseline Intervention Maintenance
Participants IOA %of IOA %of IOA %of
sessions sessions sessions
Amelia n/a 0 90 12.5 90 50
Vanessa n/a 0 94.7 50 100 100
Elise 100 20 94.1 25 90 100
Amaya 94.6 33 100 42.8 100 100
Social Validity
Finally, a social validity form was used to collect information from teachers and administrators on the perceived benefits, fit, feasibility, and barriers of the intervention (see Appendix E). The researcher adapted Johnson, Pas, and Bradshaw’s (2016) Alliance Survey for the teacher form. The Alliance Survey is a validated social validity measure developed as part of the Double Check framework study (Bottiani et al., 2012) in which teachers in grades K-8 received coaching to improve their implementation of positive behavior supports and culturally responsive teaching practices in the classroom. The ratings were adapted to a scale from 0


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(strongly disagree) to 3 (strongly agree) in four areas: Working relationship (e.g. The coach and I worked together collaboratively; Cronbach’s alpha = 0.84), coaching process (e.g. The coach delivered support, recommendations, and technical assistance in a clear and concise manner; Cronbach’s alpha = 0.84), investment (e.g. The time spent working with the coach was effective and productive; Cronbach’s alpha = 0.89), and benefits of coaching (e.g. my students benefitted from my work with the coach; Cronbach’s alpha = 0.92). One item (the coaching took too much of my time) was reverse scored. Factor loadings from the validity study were above 0.50 for each included item.
In addition to the items chosen from the Alliance Survey, the researcher added three open-ended questions related to the participant’s biggest successes, challenges, and any additional information they wanted to share. The teacher form included 30 items total. The researcher adapted the teacher form for administrators to fit their specific contexts. The administrator form contained 11 items.
The coach administered the social validity forms immediately following the last coaching session by pen and paper. Teachers and administrators were given a hard copy of the form in a manila envelope at the end of the last coaching session and were asked to complete and return it to the front desk anonymously. All four teachers and both program directors returned the questionnaires.


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CHAPTER VI RESULTS
This section summarizes the results of graphic and visual analyses related to PBC and teachers’ implementation of culturally responsive practices and materials as well as the pre-/post-outcomes from the ECES and CRTSE. Social validity questionnaire results are also shared. Teachers’ Use of Culturally Responsive Practices and Materials
Graphic and visual analyses were used to examine the relation between PBC and the implementation of culturally responsive practices and materials during baseline, intervention, and maintenance conditions (Kennedy, 2005). Increases in the level of practices and materials observed following PBC were evident in each of the four preschool classrooms. Changes across sessions are presented for all four classroom teachers in Figure 4.
The level and trend of teachers’ implementation of culturally responsive practices and materials were inspected within and between conditions. Variability was evaluated within conditions across teachers. Level refers to the average size of the data pattern within a phase relative to the dependent variable (Kennedy, 2005; Lane & Gast, 2013), and was determined by calculating the mean, median, and range of data for each condition as outlined by Lane and Gast (2013). Trend refers to the direction or pattern in which the line of best-fit encompassing the data progresses over time and was evaluated by using the split-middle method of trend estimation outlined by Lane and Gast (2013). Evaluating trend involves examining both the slope and magnitude. Slope indicates whether the data trend upward (positive) or downward (negative). Magnitude refers to the size or extent of the slope and is qualitatively estimated as high (a rapidly increasing or decreasing data trend), medium, or low (a gradual increasing or decreasing data trend; Kennedy, 2005). Finally, variability refers to the degree to which the data fluctuate


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around the mean or slope during a given condition (Homer et al, 2005). Variability can also be explained by how much “bounce” the scores have during a given condition (Lane & Gast, 2013). Changes in teachers’ implementation of culturally responsive practices and materials are presented across sessions in Figure 4 below. Within classroom changes and overlap, defined as the percentage or degree to which adjacent phases share similar data points (Kennedy, 2005), will be discussed first.
Amelia. During the initial baseline, Amelia demonstrated moderate levels of culturally responsive practices and materials with a low degree of variability (M= 63.3%; range, 60 to 70%) and a slight downward (negative) trend. A change in level (M= 87.5%; range, 70 to 100%) was observed between baseline and PBC phases, though due to the overall high percentage of culturally responsive practices and materials observed during baseline the level change was not as robust as that observed for Vanessa and Elise. However, the data pattern (trend) changed between baseline and intervention from slightly negative to moderately positive. Immediacy of effect was observed within the phase change for Amelia, which had one overlapping data point between the baseline and intervention phases (12.5%). Thus, minimal overlap between baseline and intervention phases was observed (i.e. fewer than three data points across baseline and intervention conditions; Kennedy, 2005). Compared to the PBC phase, the maintenance phase demonstrated similar levels of practices and materials (M= 87.5%; range, 80 to 90%), low variability, and 100% overlap.
Vanessa. Vanessa demonstrated a moderate degree of variability during baseline, with a mean of 52% (range, 40 to 70%) of practices observed and flat trend. Following PBC, there was a change in variability (moderate to low) and immediate demonstration of effect (M= 95%, range, 90 to 100%) and no overlapping data points (0%). The maintenance phase demonstrated similar


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levels of practices and materials (M= 95%; range, 90 to 100%) and a similar trend (flat) and variability (low) as the intervention phase.
Elise. Elise demonstrated low levels of culturally responsive practices and materials during baseline (M= 20%; range, 10 to 30%). There was an observable change in the level of implementation of culturally responsive practices and materials during the intervention phase (M=63.75%; range, 30 to 80%) with one overlapping data point (12.5%). This was accompanied by decreased variability (moderate to low) and a change in trend (flat to positive). Elise’s maintenance phase demonstrated levels of practices and materials similar to the intervention phase.
Amaya. Finally, for Amaya, levels of culturally responsive practices and materials were moderate (M= 50%) during baseline. An increasing trend with low variability was observed across both the baseline (range, 40 to 60%) and intervention (M=72.85%; range, 70 to 80%) phases. Levels of culturally responsive practices were higher post-intervention compared to baseline and no overlapping data points (0%) were observed between phases. However, the data pattern did not change with the introduction of PBC.
Overall changes across teachers. Evaluation of data across teachers indicated low to moderate variability within baseline, intervention, and maintenance conditions. Baseline levels across teachers ranged from low for Elise (M= 20; range = 10-30), to moderate for Amaya (M = 50; range = 40-60), Vanessa (M= 52; range = 40-70), and Amelia (M= 63.3; range = 60-70). Evaluation of trend during baseline demonstrated a slight downward trend across teachers (relative level change for Amelia = -10; Vanessa = -5; Elise = -10), with the exception of Amaya whose data demonstrated a slight positive trend (+5).


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Increased levels were observed after the implementation of PBC (intervention phase) across all teachers: Amelia (M = 87.5; range = 70-100), Vanessa (M = 95; range = 90-100), Elise (M = 63.75; range = 30-80), and Amaya (M = 72.86; range = 70-80). An upward (positive) trend was established during intervention condition for Amelia (relative level change = +10), Elise (+35), and Amaya (+10). However Vanessa’s data demonstrated a flat, or stable, trend (0). Maintenance conditions across Amelia (M = 87.5; range = 80-90) and Vanessa (M = 95; range = 90-100) demonstrated low variability, with a negative (decreasing) trend in performance (relative level change for Amelia = -5; Vanessa = -10). In summary, between-teacher analyses showed observable changes in the level of implementation of culturally responsive practices and materials between baseline and the intervention phase for all teachers. However, changes in the trend of teachers’ use of practices and materials upon implementation of PBC were only observed for Amelia, Vanessa, and Elise. Variability in practices and materials decreased upon implementation of PBC for those teachers whose baseline practices were moderately variable (Vanessa and Elise).


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Chart Area feline Intervention Maintenance
Session Number
Figure 4. Percentage of culturally responsive practices and materials implemented during the baseline, intervention, and maintenance phase.


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Analysis of baseline and post-intervention means on individual items of the repeated measure demonstrate growth across teachers for each item on the repeated measure. As shown in Figure 5 below, item LC 6 (Teacher demonstrates at least one instance of encouraging the use of native (heritage) language) was not observed during baseline for any teachers. Item LC 5 (Housekeeping/kitchen area includes at least one culturally affirming food item) was observed during baseline periodically for Amaya; however, this was not observed at all during baseline for the other three teachers. Only two teachers (Vanessa and Amaya) were observed implementing WG 1 (Teacher provides at least one link between children’s home culture and the school culture) at any point during baseline. Items that were observed most frequently during baseline were LC 7 (Teacher uses a ratio of at least four positive statements for every one negative statement), WG 2 (Teacher provides at least one opportunity for cooperative learning), and WG 3 (Teacher consistently uses positive directions when addressing children). The most growth from baseline to post-intervention was seen for WG 1. Items that were observed at the lowest rate post-intervention included LC 4 (Literacy area contains at least one book that challenges stereotypes), LC5 and LC 6.


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LC 1 LC 2 LC 3 LC 4 LC 5 LC 6 LC 7 WG 1 WG 2 WG 3
Figure 5. Mean percentage of repeated measure features implemented pre- and post-intervention across items.
ECES
Pre-/post results of the ECES demonstrated an overall increase in total scores across all teachers following the completion of PBC (See Figure 6). Results also demonstrated an increase in subscale scores (mean scores) across all teachers.
Amelia Vanessa Elise Amaya
â–  Pre
â–  Post
Figure 6. Mean ECES total scores across classrooms during pre- and post-assessments (number of classrooms = 4).


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Mean scores for the four sub scales were reported in the original reliability and validity study for this observational tool conducted by Flores & Riojas-Cortez (2009) and are reported here for comparison purposes. Mean scores across subscales for the teacher candidates pursuing the generalist early childhood education are as follows: sociophysical M=4.10 (SD=0.81; 11 items); socioemotional M=3.85 (SD=0.73; 9 items); sociocognitive/linguisticM=3.13 (SD=1.17; 5 items); sociocultural M=4.73(SD=0.47; 3 items).
Amelia. Amelia’s pre-test mean total score (M= 3.77) increased 23.9% on her post-test total score (M= 4.67). Her pre-test score on the sociophysical scale was 4.27, with a post-test score of 4.9, both of which were within one standard deviation of the mean reported in the validity study. Her pre-test and post-test scores for the socioemotional subscale were 3.78 and 4.89, respectively, demonstrating an increase of more than one standard deviation above the mean for this subtest. Amelia’s score for the sociolinguistic/cognitive subscale improved from a pre-test score of 2.8 to a post-test score of 3.6, both of which are within one standard deviation from the mean scores reported above. Her pre-/post- scores for the sociocultural subscale increased from 4.67 to 5 respectively. Both scores were within one standard deviation of the mean for this subtest.
Vanessa. Vanessa’s pre-test total score of 112 (M= 3.61) increased 34.8% for a total of 151 (M= 4.87). Her mean score on the sociophysical scale improved from 4.36, which is within 1 SD of the mean at pre-test, to 5 (1 SD above the mean) at post-test. Her score on the socioemotional subscale improved from 3.22 at pre-test to 4.78 at post-test, again demonstrating an improvement in score from average to more than one standard deviation above the mean.
Elise. Elise’s pre-test and post-test total of 103 (M= 3.32) increased 35.9% for a total of 140 (M= 4.52). Her pre-test score of 4.09 on the sociophysical subscale increased to 5 at post-test.


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This increase demonstrates a pre-test score within one SD of the mean, which increased to more than one SD above the mean at post-test. Her scores on the socioemotional subscale increased from 3.44 to 4.67 from pre- to post-test, demonstrating an improvement in score from within one standard deviation from the mean to more than one standard deviation above the mean. Elise’s pre-test score on the sociolinguistic/cognitive subscale was 1.8, which was more than one standard deviation below the mean. This score increased to 3 at post-test, which was within one standard deviation from the mean. Her sociocultural subscale score was 3.67 at pre-test, which was more than two standard deviations below the mean at pre-test. This score increased to 5, which was within one standard deviation from the mean.
Amaya. Amaya’s pre-test total of 120 (M= 3.87) increased 17.5% for a total of 141 (M= 4.55) post-test. Her sociophysical pre-test score (M= 4.36) increased from within one SD from the mean to a post-test score (M= 5) that was more than one SD above the mean. Her socioemotional subscale scores stayed within one SD from the mean from pre-test (M= 4.11) to post-test (M= 4.56). Her sociolinguistic/cognitive pre-test score (M= 1.8) was more than one SD below the mean, which improved to a post-test score (M= 3.8) that was within one SD from the mean at post-test. Finally, Amaya’s sociocultural score remained the same from pre-test to posttest (M= 5), which was within one standard deviation from the mean.
Pre-/post- results demonstrated an increase in all subscale scores across teachers (See Figure 7). Teachers scored highest on the sociocultural subscale at pre- (M = 4.5) and post- (M = 5) test. Although teachers scored the lowest on the sociolinguistic/cognitive subscale both pre-(M = 2.35) and post-test (M = 3.8), they demonstrated the largest amount of growth in this area (pre-test M = 2.35; post-test M = 3.8). The least amount of growth across teachers was seen on the sociocultural subtest (pre-test M = 4.5; post-test M = 5).


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Figure 7. Mean ECES subscale scores across teachers at pre- and post-test.
CRTSE
Results of the CRTSE pre-/post-tests suggest all teachers felt more efficacious overall in their abilities to deliver culturally responsive instruction at the end of their PD compared to preintervention (See Figure 8). Pre-service teachers surveyed in the CRTSE reliability and validity study had a mean total score of 84.05 (total = 3361.89, SD = 342.03). Amelia’s pre-test average of 76.25 (total=3050, within 1 SD of the mean) increased to 94 on her post-test (total=3760, >1 SD above the mean) for a total increase of 23.3%; Vanessa’s pre-test average of 69.63 (total=2785, >1 SD below the mean) increased to 94 post-test (total=3760, > 1 SD above the mean) for a total increase of 35%; Elise’s pre-test average of 48.75 (total=1950, > 4 SD below the mean) increased to 70.5 post-test (total=2820, > 1 SD below the mean) for a total increase of 44.6%; and Amaya’s pretest average of 58 (total=2320, > 3 SD below the mean) increased to 80.75 post-test (total=3230, within 1 SD of the mean) for a total increase of 39.2%.


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100
#J3
C£
& 50
iPre i Post
Amelia Vanessa
Elise
Amaya
Figure 8. Mean teacher ratings on CRTSE items pre- and post-intervention (number of classrooms = 4.
Social Validity
In their responses to the social validity questionnaire, the four teachers and two administrators indicated they were highly satisfied with the coaching process. The average rating across the 27 items was 2.97 (n = 4) on a 3-point scale for teachers (see Table 3). Teachers indicated the coaching was a good experience, effective for improving skills, and had a reasonable time commitment. Open-ended questions at the end of the social validity form indicated teachers’ biggest successes were, “the ability to implement new practices successfully into my teaching/classroom,” “stronger connection with Spanish-speaking student,” “more diverse library,” and “the positive feedback from [the coach]” Reported challenges to the coaching program included, “lack of time to complete action items,” “implementing all of the new strategies with limited time,” and “sometimes our daily activities would change and it would be hard to do daily lesson.” Two teachers chose to share the following additional comments, “As an educator for over 20 years this was one of the most useful coaching’s I have ever had. [The


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coach] was amazing, and I learned so much. I am so excited to continue to use this information for years to come,” and “[the coach] is awesome.”


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Table 3. Social Validity - Teachers n = 4___________________________________________________
Question Mean Rating3 Range
The coach and I agreed on the most important goals for 3.00 3
intervention.
I trusted the coach. 3.00 3
The coach was approachable. 3.00 3
The coach and I worked together collaboratively. 3.00 3
Overall, the coach showed a sincere desire to understand and 3.00 3
improve my classroom.
The coach incorporated my views into the services provided. 3.00 3
The coach was knowledgeable. 3.00 3
The coach communicated effectively. 3.00 3
The coach delivered support, recommendations, and 3.00 3
technical assistance in a clear and concise manner.
The coach made suggestions that were appropriate for my 3.00 3
classroom culture.
The coach provided support that matched the needs of me 3.00 3
and my classroom.
I received an appropriate amount of feedback from the 3.00 3
coach.
The coach provided me with practical and useful feedback 3.00 3
and strategies.
The coach provided helpful information. 3.00 3


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Table 3 Cont’d
Question Mean Rating3 Range
The time spent working with the coach was effective and 3.00 3
productive.
I had enough time available to participate in the coaching 2.75 2-3
process.
The work I did with the coach was important. 3.00 3
The coaching took too much of my time. 2.50b 2-3
I will be able to effectively implement the strategies 3.00 3
recommended by the coach in the future.
I would recommend the coaching to another teacher. 3.00 3
My overall reaction to the coaching was positive. 3.00 3
My students benefited from my work with the coach. 3.00 3
The coach helped build my capacity to implement evidence- 3.00 3
based strategies.
The coach had a positive impact on my classroom. 3.00 3
The coaching increased my knowledge of strategies to 3.00 3
promote student engagement.
The coach increased my knowledge of classroom 3.00 3
management strategies.
The coach increased my knowledge of cultural proficiency. 3.00 3
Respondents used the following rating scale to complete the questionnaire: 0=1 strongly disagree with this statement to 3 = I strongly agree with this statement. bThis item was reverse scored.
The average rating across the eight items was 3 (n = 2) on a 3-point scale for administrators (see Table 4). Overall, social validity for the coaching was high. Administrators stated that the teachers and students benefitted from the coaching and the time commitment was


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reasonable and feasible for this form of PD. Open-ended questions at the end of the social validity form indicated that the administrators felt the teachers’ expanded their perspectives, practices, and resources both in their classroom and teaching practices. Perceived challenges were time restrictions and workloads related to the time of year and communication with the administrative team regarding feedback/input for the target teachers.
Table 4, Social Validity - Administrators n = 2
Question Mean Rating Range
The coach has a positive working relationship with the teachers. 3.00 3
The coach was approachable. 3.00 3
The coach was reliable. 3.00 3
I received positive feedback from my staff regarding the coaching process. 3.00 3
The time teachers spent working with the coach was reasonable. 3.00 3
The time investment for this coaching makes it a feasible form of professional development for my staff. 3.00 3
The teachers benefitted from the work with the coach. 3.00 3
The students benefitted from the teacher’s work with the coach. 3.00 3


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CHAPTER VII DISCUSSION
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a workshop and PBC on early childhood teachers’ implementation of developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive PBIS. The workshop and PBC focused on implementing culturally responsive PBIS practices were conducted using a multiple baseline across teachers design. A functional relationship was established between the workshop plus PBC and increases in teachers’ implementation of culturally responsive PBIS practices for three of the four teachers. Observations indicated teachers were able to meet criterion levels of at least 80% within one to two weeks following the implementation of PBC with coaching sessions occurring ne to three times per week. Results are discussed as they relate to the study’s limitations, implications for practice and future research, and final conclusions.
With multiple baseline designs, there must be an immediate effect with the manipulation of the intervention in the first tier and no changes in the subsequent tiers (Barton, Fuller & Schnitz, 2016). Visual analysis validates a demonstration of effect for three participants at three different points in time. The use of PBC was functionally related to teachers’ increased implementation of pre-determined culturally responsive practices (e.g. “Teacher provides at least one link between children’s home culture and the school culture”) and materials (e.g. “Literacy area contains at least one fiction book that is culturally affirming of a non-White culture”).
Experimental control was established for three out of four teachers; there was an immediate effect demonstrated in Amelia, Vanessa, and Elise’s use of culturally responsive practices and materials following the implementation of PBC. The changes in these teachers’ level of implementation across conditions exceeded those observed within conditions. For


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Amaya, however, the level of change observed between baseline (M= 50) and intervention (M= 72.86) did not significantly exceed the absolute level change within baseline (20). Immediacy of effect was not observed because Amaya’s implementation of culturally responsive practices and materials demonstrated a consistent positive trend within and across baseline and intervention phases.
This continuous trend across phases is of greater importance than the lack of overlapping data points, thus a functional relationship between the independent and dependent variables was not established for Amaya. It is possible that her data could be reflective of participant maturation and/or other extraneous variables. For example, because Amaya was the last teacher to receive intervention, it is possible that due to the timing her intervention (three weeks before the last day of school), the teacher was dealing with variables related to the end of the year (e.g. transitioning her students to their next classroom, getting ready for her incoming class, end of the year activities that varied from the typical schedule, general fatigue) that were more confounding at the time of intervention for her than the other teachers, limiting the growth in practices and materials. In fact, Amaya shared that on at least one item (LC5) she reached out to parents without response. She reflected that while she would like to implement this strategy at the beginning of the next year, she was less inclined to do so with only a few weeks left in the school year.
One factor that may have positively affected Amaya’s baseline results is the possibility that other teachers were discussing or sharing their PBC experiences with, or in proximity of Amaya. Such incidents could have inadvertently had a positive effect on Amaya’s baseline results. Looking at the data more closely, it was primarily the addition of books to the literacy center that related to the upward data trend observed across baseline sessions. Simply knowing


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that she was going to engage in coaching focused on culturally responsive practices and observing data collectors looking through her literacy center could have prompted her to think about her literacy selection and make adjustments during baseline. In fact, Amaya’s associate teacher made a comment to the researcher during baseline data collection that she “[knew they] needed more culturally diverse books.”
Several patterns were observed across items and teachers. Culturally affirming books (LC2) were absent from the literacy centers for all teachers with the exception of Amelia who had recently completed a unit on making early childhood classrooms more diverse in her master’s program. Kitchen or housekeeping items representing non-dominant cultures (LC5) were also absent for all teachers at baseline. Measurement of these items could be easily obtained in one action by placing such items in their respected areas. While teachers all included culturally affirming books in their literacy centers by the end of coaching, culturally representative kitchen and housekeeping items were not implemented as easily. This could be due to teachers feeling they had less control over the presence of such materials. Not wanting to make assumptions about what would be representative of their students’ cultures, teachers tended to request that parents bring in items from home. Thus the presence of such items was somewhat dependent on the families.
Practices that were typically missing at baseline for all teachers included encouraging the use of native languages other than English in the classroom (LC 6) and providing links between children’s home and school during whole group time (WG 1). All teachers chose to focus their coaching in the area of encouraging positive identity development through representing children’s cultures in the classroom, which was congruent with items missed at baseline. The teachers were more consistent in linking whole group discussions to children’s home lives during


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whole group than they were with encouraging the use of home languages in the classroom during learning centers.
While increases in practices and materials were maintained after PBC ceased for participants, observations of culturally responsive practices and materials were lower during the maintenance phase than during intervention sessions. One item that was observed less consistently during maintenance across all teachers was LC 6. Given that this item was an unobserved practice across all teachers at baseline, it is possible that this was a new skill to them and as such they needed more support to use this skill more consistently. A longer duration of the intervention (coaching) phase, and/or maintaining the use of coaching at less frequent intervals (i.e. booster sessions) may have helped retain criteria levels.
The results of the ECES pre-test demonstrated the lowest scores on the sociolinguistic/cognitive subscale relative to the other subscales. Items on this subscale that were consistently lower for teachers pre-intervention were items 7 (The use of the native language is encouraged) and 27 (Children's literature is displayed in a way that encourages reading in different learning centers), which are consistent with the low scores on items related to the literacy center and use of children’s native language from baseline on the repeated measure. Although the sociolinguistic/cognitive subscale had the lowest overall score pre-intervention, it also demonstrated the most amount of growth at the post-intervention observation. Conditions such as items 7 and 24 (Learning centers contain a wide selection of literacy materials in English and Spanish) showed the most improvement, while items 14 (Learning centers contain a wide selection of literacy materials in English and Spanish) and 27 showed less growth. This may be because items 7 and 24 were specifically targeted with this intervention, and 14 and 27 were not.


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Prior research has demonstrated that coaching is most effective in changing teacher practices when specific and objective skills are the focus of professional development (Snyder et al., 2011; Snyder, Hemmeter & Fox, 2015; Winton et al., 2016; Zaslow et al., 2010).
Interestingly, the pre-test scores on the sociophysical and sociocultural subscales were higher than the socioemotional subscale. This was unexpected since the site was chosen, in part, because of its reputation for implementing high quality practices that promote social-emotional development. Some items from the socioemotional subscale that were lower pre-intervention were: 2 (classroom contains furnishing and materials that are soft and responsive to touch), 11 (Children's work is displayed throughout the room), and 26 (To promote cultural pride, classroom demonstrates evidence of a variety of multicultural materials). The lack of multicultural materials was corroborated by baseline data from the repeated measure and was a specific objective of the study’s intervention. The relatively lower scores on items 2 and 11 could be explained, in part, by the fact that just prior to spring break (shortly after the study commenced), Vanessa packed up her room to assist in the installation of new floors over spring break. Materials, furnishings, and children’s work were partially taken down at the time of the pre-test.
The results of the pre- and post-test ratings on the CRTSE demonstrate that in general, teachers felt they experienced more growth in their abilities on items specifically related to the cultural contexts of students than items that were more closely related to traditional PBIS practices. For example, all teachers demonstrated through their ratings that they experienced some of the greatest growth in the area of obtaining information about their students’ cultures’ contributions to science. This is particularly interesting given that although all teachers chose to focus coaching on drawing upon students’ cultural funds of knowledge, there were no


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discussions between the teacher and coach regarding how teachers might obtain this information specifically. An area of growth indicated by Vanessa, Elise, and Amaya was in the area of feeling efficacious in praising English Language Learners for their accomplishments using a phrase in their native language. Interestingly, Amelia’s ratings remained the same across pre-and post-test for this item even though one of the first objectives she identified in coaching was to learn a phrase related to “great work” for a child who’s native language was Korean, and her baseline results on the repeated measure did not indicate a single observation of her using a phrase in any students’ native language. This could be explained by her initial (pre-test) rating being high on this item (90), with limited room for growth, or perhaps she associated English Language Learners with Spanish speaking students (Amelia occasionally used Spanish words, though there were no students whose parents indicated Spanish as a home language).
An area that Vanessa, Elise, and Amaya showed some of the greatest growth through their ratings was in using examples in teaching that are familiar to students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Again, Amelia’s ratings demonstrated much lower growth on this item. This again could be related to Amelia reporting an initial rating at pre-test of 80, with limited room for growth.
The increases in efficacy ratings from pre- to post-assessment varied by item on the CRTSE for the four teachers. The most significant increases in ratings for Amelia were on items 5 (identify ways that the school culture is different from my students’ home culture), 6 (implement strategies to minimize the effects of the mismatch between my students home culture and the school culture), 8 (obtain information about my students’ home life), 16 (obtain information about their cultures’ contributions to science), and 25 (structure parent-teacher conferences so that the meeting is not intimidating for parents). Amelia’s ratings remained


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constant for items 20 (develop a personal relationship with my students), 21 (obtain information about my students’ academic weaknesses), 22 (praise English Language Learners for their accomplishments using a phrase in their native language), 26 (help students to develop positive relationships with their classmates), 30 (model classroom tasks to English Language Learners’ understanding), and 32 (help students feel like important members of the classroom).
The most significant increases for Vanessa included items 18 (greet English Language Learners with a phrase in their native language), 19 (design a classroom environment using displays that reflects a variety of cultures), 22, 23, 30 (model classroom tasks to English Language Learners’ understanding), and 35 (use examples that are familiar to students from diverse cultural backgrounds). Item 8 decreased, while items 1 (adapt instruction to meet the needs of my students), 2 (obtain information about my students’ academic strengths), 20 (develop a personal relationship with my students), 25 (structure parent-teacher conferences so that the meeting is not intimidating for parents), and 32 (help students feel like important members of the classroom) remained constant.
The most significant increases in ratings for Elise were on items 4 (determine whether my students feel comfortable competing with other students), 6, 16, 17 (teach students about their cultures’ contributions to science), 18, 22, 30, and 35 (use examples that are familiar to students from diverse cultural backgrounds). Ratings on items 12 (develop a community of learners when my class consists of students from diverse backgrounds), 24 (communicate with parents regarding their child’s educational progress), and 40 (design instruction that matches my students’ developmental needs) decreased, while ratings on items 27 (revise instructional material to include a better representation of cultural groups) and 30 remained the same.


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The most significant increases in ratings for Amaya were on items 16, 17, 18 (greet English Language Learners with a phrase in their native language), 19 (design a classroom environment using displays that reflect a variety of cultures), 22, 29 (design a lesson that shows how other cultural groups have made use of mathematics), 34 (use a learning preference inventory to gather data about how my students like to learn), and 35 (use examples that are familiar to students from diverse cultural backgrounds). None of the ratings on items decreased, however ratings on items 1,2, 10 (establish positive home-school relations), 21, 24 (communicate with parents regarding their child’s educational progress), 25, 26 (help students to develop positive relationships with their classmates), 38 (use the interests of my students to make learning meaningful for them) and 40 stayed the same.
Items where teachers consistently indicated lower levels of growth through their ratings included obtaining information about their students’ academic strengths and weaknesses, developing a personal relationship with their students, helping students to develop positive relationships with their classmates, and helping students feel like important members of the classroom. These items were rated high at pre-test, leaving little room for improvement, and may have been related to the center’s focus on promoting social-emotional development.
Overall, these findings are consistent with the hypothesized impact of PBC in addition to a workshop-style PD on early childhood teachers’ implementation of culturally responsive practices and materials. In addition, these results extend the results of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted by Bradshaw and colleagues (2018) that demonstrated a relationship between coaching and elementary and middle school teachers’ use of culturally responsive behavior management practices with students. Further, this study demonstrated the efficacy of the approach to increase culturally responsive PBIS practices with early childhood teachers.


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Limitations
Limitations of this research study included selection of the implementation site and participants, site and participant characteristics, timing of PBC implementation, a focus on universal culturally responsive PBIS practices, issues related to measurement, and limitations inherent to SCRD.
Site and participant selection. The study’s researcher approached the implementation site for participation in the study based on previous observations of the program as well as the site’s reputation for inclusive practices and a strong foundation in PBIS practices. This selection also capitalized on established relationships between the researcher and administrators. While this approach facilitated a more efficient implementation of the study, this process was prone to selection bias. For example, six teachers were initially contacted to participate in the study, with two teachers declining to participate. Because recruitment was facilitated with the support of the preschool administrator, it is possible that some or all of the preschool teachers who participated were encouraged to do so by their administrator, which could potentially limit the buy-in of those teachers. Secondly, it is possible that the characteristics of the teachers who participated in this study were different enough from those who did not, which may affect the generalizability of the results.
Site and participant characteristics. The participating site was a private, university-affiliated program located in an affluent area in the Rocky Mountain region. Although the program offered some scholarship opportunities and tuition support to families, the classroom characteristics are not representative of public early childhood settings around the country. Furthermore, the program did not employ suspension or expulsion practices, served children who were multiple language learners, and intentionally held slots for children with identified


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disabilities to enroll. These characteristics are typically not representative of other private early learning centers regionally or nationally.
Timing of Workshop and PBC implementation. As noted previously, culturally responsive teaching is complex and multidimensional. The workshop provided to teachers at the onset of intervention was designed to introduce teachers to cultural awareness, critical consciousness, and knowledge of culturally responsive teaching skills. While condensing this complex content into a one-hour workshop was less than ideal, it was a necessary limitation to this study. Spreading this content out over several hour-long workshops would have been more aligned with previous work in the area of implementing professional development packages related to culturally responsive teaching practices (Pas, Larson, Reinke, Herman, & Bradshaw, 2016). However, the length of time allotted for content delivered in workshop form was chosen for this study due to logistical reasons (the amount of time approved by the administrator), and contextual fit (the length of time teachers could feasibly commit to without substantially adjusting their teaching schedule or work time). Future research could consider how to incorporate content from the initial workshops into future coaching sessions or plan for dispersing the initial content over several sessions.
PBC started at the end of March with Amelia and in April with Vanessa and Elise. Amaya’s PBC started in the beginning of May, just three weeks prior to the last day of school. Conducting PBC at the end of the year limited the duration of the coaching relationship, which limited the teachers’ ability to access performance feedback and problem solving regarding their use of culturally responsive practices . The timing of the study was not ideal, but it was necessary given the logistical and time restraints of the researcher. The participating teachers were accommodating to this limitation, but several reflected that they felt some of the strategies


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they came up with to connect with families would be better implemented in the beginning of the year. For example, one of Amaya’s strategies to incorporate greater diversity in the housekeeping/kitchen area was to send an email inviting families to bring special items from home to include in the dramatic play area. However, she did not receive any items or responses from families. In her final coaching session, she reflected that she believed families would be more likely to share home items if they were approached at the beginning of the year. Similarly, Amelia received limited feedback when she sent a survey to families to gain more information about their cultures and traditions, and also felt responses would be higher if families were approached at the beginning of the year. At least one of the teachers who chose not to participate in this study indicated she would be more inclined to participate if PBC were to take place in the beginning of the year. Teachers had more responsibilities at the end of the year, which likely made it more challenging to juggle the demands of wrapping up the academic year and preparing for the next year (teachers had only one week without students between academic years) while engaging in the PBC process.
Focus on universal practices. This study focused on culturally responsive practices relevant to universal PBIS practices. This was purposeful due to the time frame and limited budget for the study; however, many features of universal practices are often lacking in early childhood education programs even when targeted and intensive supports and interventions are in place (Benedict, Homer, & Squires, 2007). Targeted and intensive social-emotional supports as well as systems-level supports such as data collection and monitoring were not addressed.
Measurement tools. One limitation to this research was an absence of published, research-based measures designed to measure culturally responsive practices in an objective manner (i.e. using outside observations and operational definitions of practices (Debnam et al.,


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2015)). A recent study by Debnam and colleagues (2015) validated the Assessing School Settings: Interactions of Students and Teachers (ASSIST; Rusby, Crowley, Sprague, & Biglan, 2011) for use in a similar study being implemented in preK through middle school classrooms. While this observational measure contains four items on a culturally responsive teaching strategies subscale, it has not been adapted to measure teacher practices and strategies specific to early childhood environments. The ECES (Flores & Riojas-Cortez) is another tool that was developed to measure the cultural responsiveness of early childhood ecologies and was used in this study as a pre-/post- measure. However, it was designed to more specifically meet the needs of students who are Spanish-speaking. Thus, this tool has limited applicability to this study or other studies and settings that extend a definition of culturally responsive practices beyond the particular context of Spanish-speaking children and families. Additionally, items on this scale did not contain operational definitions (e.g. “classroom feels like a safe, comfortable place to be”), and were, thus, not useful in developing a repeated observational measure.
While the ECES has utility for measuring culturally responsive environments and practices in early childhood, the items were not defined clearly enough to drive PBC. Furthermore, some items included in this measure had factor loadings of less than 0.50, which reduced the face validity of the overall measure and those items in particular, meaning parts of the measure may have been measuring constructs other than those related to culturally responsive ecologies. Finally, because these observations were conducted and scored by the re searcher/coach without the use of reliability coders or data collectors blind to the study’s purpose, it is possibly that the pre-/post- scores on the ECES were influenced by the researcher’s
bias.


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The CRPBS-EC used in this study was developed based on existing literature surrounding culturally responsive practices and early childhood PBIS rather than a validated tool. The use of an observational tool that could be used repeatedly was essential to the use of the single case research design; however, the CRPBS-EC lacks psychometric data pertaining to the validity and reliability of its scores. Although this measure lacks psychometric data, it may be beneficial to the field as a first draft for the development of a similar measure, for use in schools as a starting point to engage families and communities, or to drive reflection and coaching pertaining to developing or improving culturally responsive PBIS practices. Future research could use this tool with a wider sample to analyze the psychometric properties of the CRPBS-EC (e.g. inter-rater reliability, test-retest reliability and content validity). This work should first ensure that core components of culturally responsive practices such as drawing upon children’s cultural funds of knowledge and making practices, language, and materials more culturally relevant to children, are properly represented and measured in a meaningful way. Secondly, researchers should ensure these practices are an appropriate focus for PBIS within early childhood settings and are linked to existing research and recommended practices. The utility and relevancy of the CRPBS-EC, as it pertains to improving culturally responsive teaching, could be further explored by obtaining feedback from experts in the field of culturally responsive practices, or families for whom such practices are intended to serve.
Measuring the construct of culturally responsive practices is a complex challenge. In order to drive professional development and determine whether such efforts are having the desired effects, the field needs measurement tools. Yet, identifying objective, operationally defined culturally responsive practices remains a sensitive endeavor that risks diminishing a complex, multi-layered construct into a potentially banal checklist. Focusing only on practices


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that researchers can see and therefore measure leaves researchers liable for missing less measurable aspects of cultural responsiveness such as attitudes, beliefs, and intercultural experience and competence (Debnam, Pas, Bottiani, Cash, & Bradshaw, 2015). Therefore, it is important that future research in this area maintains a perspective that incorporates and values all the components of cultural responsivity, both measurable and otherwise, and resists depreciating such a complex construct into a meaningless set of motions.
Limitations to multiple baseline SCRD. SCRD is a research method that is particularly useful for applied settings where individual adjustments to an intervention may be necessary to reach the desired results for an individual. However, several limitations exist with this research design pertaining to external validity, internal validity, and the use of visual analysis. These limitations are discussed below.
External validity. While the small sample size of this SCRD allowed for individualized tailoring of PBC and sensitivity to individual participants’ differences in behavior, it limits the external validity of the study (Ledford, Lane & Severini, 2017). For example, this study focused on a small sample of early childhood teachers who shared similar profiles. Teachers in this study all had degrees in early childhood education, identified their race as White, and were employed at a private, inclusive, University-affiliated preschool in which professional development, participation in research, reflection on teaching practices, and strong social-emotional support (PBIS) is part of the school’s culture and expectations. Because teachers self-selected to be part of this study with the knowledge that the focus would be to better develop their culturally responsive teaching methods, it is likely that they understand on some level that contemporary teaching methods are not responsive to all children, and thus believe in the importance of culturally responsive practices. Furthermore, because teachers were not compensated for their


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participation in this study, it can be assumed that they are inherently interested in improving the cultural responsiveness of their teaching.
The setting was a high-quality early childhood education program, which was nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and received a level 4 rating (out of 5) from the State’s quality assessment program for early childhood programs. Most teachers had prior training in PBIS with high levels of implementation, particularly at the universal (Tier 1) level. These variables all limit the generalizability of this study to other teachers and programs. Therefore, one should proceed with caution when comparing the participants in this study with other subjects due to limitations related to external validity. Similar changes may not be expected for teachers who work in public preschools, do not have administrator support and strong PBIS practices already in place, or are not intrinsically motivated to make their practices more culturally responsive. Finally, coaching was delivered by a White female to all White-identifying, female teachers. It is possible that results could be different (e.g. increased stress resulting in lower social validity, decreased sense of self-efficacy) if the demographics of the coach and/or teacher were different given the sensitivity around topics of equity (Tatum, 2017).
Internal validity. Secondly, while these findings suggest a functional relationship between PBC and teachers’ implementation of culturally responsive PBIS, the multiple baseline design (SCRD) limits the ability to document a causal relationship between the independent and dependent variables. Because multiple baseline designs typically do not employ a withdrawal phase to return the participant to baseline, effects of the independent variable are observed across participants, but the effects of the independent variable within participants is limited to only one phase change. Thus, while this study was able to demonstrate that the intervention was


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functionally related to the observed behavior change for three of the four teachers, interpretation is limited to concluding that there is a functional, rather than causal relationship between the independent and dependent variables (Carr, 2005).
Threats to internal validity were controlled for three of the four teachers in the following ways: by the demonstration of effect of the PBC on culturally responsive practices and materials, the observation that the introduction of the independent variable affected only one participant at a time, and replication of effect was observed across three different teachers. According to Carr (2005), when these three aspects are demonstrated, one can conclude that at least two predominant threats to internal validity are controlled for: historical events and participant maturation. However, the primary data collector was also the coach for the study, which posed an issue of independence and potential bias similar to that described regarding the ECES above. This should be taken into consideration in determining the establishment of a functional relationship between the professional development package and teacher’s use of culturally responsive practices. Finally, Amaya’s repeated measure data trend remained similar across baseline and intervention phases (positive trend), therefore one cannot conclude that there was a demonstration of effect related to the professional development utilized in this study.
Visual analysis. The primary goal of visual analysis in SCRD is to identify whether a functional relationship exists between the introduction of the independent variable (intervention) and a change in the behavior being studied (Lane & Gast, 2013). When effects are replicated across multiple participants, a functional relation can be determined. SCRD relies on visual analysis for interpretation of the relationship between variables, which also has its limitations. For example, if improperly designed, data can be misrepresentative leading one to misinterpret the graphs and draw inaccurate conclusions. It should be noted that although the data were


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collected within the same time period, the “observation” as recorded along the x-axis does not indicate a unit of time. Observations did not always occur on the same day due to logistical constraints, and therefore the temporal relation between the participants’ data is not clear (Carr, 2005). When replicating this study, researchers should consider plotting data using an alternation display to more accurately convey information (Carr, 2005).
PBC For Culturally Responsive PBIS
The impact of pairing traditional workshop-style or specialized PD with PBC on early childhood teachers’ skills and behaviors demonstrated in this study supports previous research suggesting that pairing specialized training with follow up feedback and reflection is successful in improving and expanding preschool teachers’ skills (Artman-Meeker, Fettig, Barton, Penny & Zeng, 2015). Furthermore, the results expand the work done by Bradshaw and colleagues (2018) that demonstrated coaching paired with initial group training was effective at improving teachers’ culturally responsive behavior management skills in preschool, elementary, and middle schools. What sets this study apart from the work of Bradshaw and colleagues is measuring a broader set of materials and skills that support culturally responsive PBIS strategies uniquely tailored to the social-emotional needs of young children. This study is the first experimental analysis demonstrating that following specialized training with PBC is related to an increase in teachers’ implementation of developmentally appropriate culturally responsive PBIS in preschools. This relationship was established in a relatively brief period of time (approximately two months) with reasonable time commitments (approximately 40 minutes per week, over two to three sessions). Such time commitments are within the same range as other forms of PD such as workshops and presentations, which were incorporated into the teachers’ regular schedule without taking away more than one hour from teachers’ time with children. Teachers and


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administrators generally rated the PBC process and components favorably. Responses to open-ended questions indicated that participating in PBC at a different time of year (e.g. the beginning of the school year or semester) and for a longer period of time would be preferable.
Although this study demonstrated improvement in teachers’ sense of self-efficacy related to the intervention, conclusions cannot be drawn as to how much of this increase is related to the workshop and how much is related to the actual coaching. It is possible that, as Bradshaw and colleagues (2018) found, the workshop alone could have effectively improved teachers’ knowledge, attitudes and beliefs, while the coaching had a greater effect on the observed teacher behaviors. This would be consistent with the arguments of Joyce and Showers (2002) that workshop-style PD is most effective for changing attitudes and beliefs, but less effective for changing teacher behaviors and/or practices. It is possible that within this study the workshop helped to improve the teachers’ attitudes and beliefs related to culturally responsive teaching but had little effect on their use of teaching practices. Conversely, the coaching may have improved the teachers’ practices, but not their attitudinal outcomes.
It is also important to note that most studies documenting the effects of pairing workshops with individualized coaching have provided the workshops or specialized trainings to a group of educators rather than individually. This is an important difference that could potentially skew results. For example, some teachers may feel more comfortable asking questions related to race and culture in a one-on-one setting over a large group setting.
Therefore, it is possible that the level of individualized attention and discussion inherent in the one on one format could actually have a greater impact on addressing attitudes and beliefs by allowing the educator to be more open and honest, and for the facilitator to dive more deeply into discussion with the educator. Alternately, the one-on-one attention and discussion could have the


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opposite effect by limiting the exposure to more diverse opinions, beliefs, and attitudes that would be present in a large group format (O’Connor, 1999). Exposure to a greater variety of discussions could expand one’s critical thinking in response to topics related to implicit bias, inequitable discipline, and culturally responsive practice.
Implications for Future Research and Practice
As Bottiani and colleagues (2018) identified, future research is in need of a set of consistent, operationally defined indicators that comprehensively reflect all the underlying principles of culturally responsive practices (i.e. attitudes and beliefs, cross-cultural competence, and experiences, and teaching skills). What to measure and how to measure it needs to be considered as research indicates self-report measures are subject to inflation and social desirability bias (Debnam, Pas, Bottiani, & Cash & Bradshaw, 2015; Larson, Pas, Bradshaw, Rosenberg & Day-Vines, 2018). While validating generalizable observational measures remains challenging, the lack of empirically validated observational tools indicates the need for more rigorous research regarding the measurement of culturally responsive practices. Greater consensus and consistency in the field regarding culturally responsive practice outcome measures could advance this area of study and lead to specific and observable practices to which PBC can be applied (Bottiani et al., 2017). Independent, observational measures of culturally responsive practices could help to ensure high standards of practice and accountability (Bottiani etal., 2017).
One challenge to minimizing culturally responsive practices to a series of observable practices is that in doing so, one does not adequately capture the complex and multidimensional nature of such practices. Beliefs, dispositions, attitudes, intercultural experiences, and critical consciousness all play a significant role in meaningful culturally responsive practice. A teacher


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may have mastered observable skills, but their dispositions, attitudes, or beliefs may lead them to buy in to the notion implicitly, or explicitly, that all students must conform to Eurocentric values, ideals, and ways of being in order to be considered successful and respected members of the community (Ladson-Billings & Tate, 1995; Smolkowski et al., 2016). Furthermore, without intercultural experiences or critical consciousness a teacher may not be able to make meaningful connections between students’ home, community and their school lives (Ladson-Billings, 2011).
An argument for the absence of operationally defined culturally responsive PBIS practices is that developing stringent universal instructional strategies would fail to reflect the unique contexts, cultures, and learning needs of the students (Farinde-Wu, Glover & Williams, 2017). To assume culturally responsive teaching is represented by a defined set of practices and materials is to oversimplify, at best. It is important to keep in mind that culture, diversity and difference vary across regions, states, local communities, schools and even classrooms. What works in one context may not work in another. Furthermore, allowing the hegemony of the current educational system to determine what materials and practices are culturally affirming only perpetuates inequity. Schools need to reliably involve the students’ families and communities (with special attention to those who have been historically marginalized) in the identification and implementation of PBIS practices and materials to ensure practices and materials are authentic and culturally affirming (McIntosh et al., 2014).
PBIS was originally intended to be flexible enough to meet the needs of children from various cultures and contexts; however, there is evidence that this is not happening across all educational contexts (Vincent et al., 2011). This study was a first step in attempting to apply PBIS in a culturally responsive way in one early childhood setting with several limitations including time, resources, and a lack of scholarly literature regarding specific, observable, and


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measurable aspects of culturally responsive teaching. The practices measured in this study were identified prior to site identification, and therefore lack the input of students’ families and the community. Furthermore, these practices have not been empirically validated. As validation of observable and measurable practices begin to emerge from the literature, the effectiveness of PBC on those practices will need to be reevaluated. The CRPBS-EC in this study may be a useful tool for improving culturally responsive practices, but the psychometric properties have not yet been evaluated. Future research should analyze the content validity, inter-rater reliability, and concurrent validity with other similar assessments and make adjustments accordingly. However, caution should be taken with such measures so that they do not simply become a checklist of requirements, but rather a discussion starting point for improving practice. The practices outlined in this study could be used as a guide for early childhood teachers and classrooms; however, they will need the input of the individual families and surrounding community participating in the program in order to facilitate a sense of community and belonging, which is the ultimate goal of PBIS and culturally responsive practices (Farinde-Wu et al., 2017).
Although the relatively small number of participants in this study was conducive to a high level of individualization of the intervention as well as time and budget constraints of this study, it limited the study’s external validity of the study to site-specific variables, those of the individual teacher participants, and the specific materials and practices being measured. Systematically replicating this study across different participants, settings, and even measures will enhance the external validity of this research and better define for whom and under what conditions PBC is an effective agent for improving culturally responsive PBIS (Horner et al., 2005). Further research using a randomized controlled trial would also complement this study, as


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