Addressing Diversity in Rural Education Lynne Vernon-Feagans, UNC-CH Jill V. Hamm, UNC-CH Thomas W. Farmer, Penn State Univ.
The Targeted Reading Intervention: How Rural Diversity makes a difference for implementation Targeting instructional match in every interaction… Lynne Vernon-Feagans Marnie Ginsberg Steve Amendum
NRCRES: TRI staff Lynne Vernon-Feagans, PI Steve Amendum Peg Burchinal Kate Gallagher Marnie Ginsberg Kirsten Kainz Steve Knotek Nathan Vandergrift Pam Winton Pledger Fedora Iris Padgett Megan Livengood Kelley Mayer Jason Rose Andrea Sauer Heather Ward Tim Wood
What is ‘Rural’ • US Census Bureau: Census Tracts http://www.census.gov/geo/www/ua/ua_2k.html • Population density • Population size • NCES: Locale Codes http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/RuralEd/definitions.asp • Population size • Distance to an urbanized area
What makes Rural different from urban? • Promotive Factors • More two parent families • Less population density • Much less violent crime • More homes owned by families • Proportionately more children attending Head Start • Fewer behavior problems in school • Smaller schools • More experienced teachers
What makes Rural different from urban? • Risk Factors • Higher percentage of children living in poverty, especially minority children • Outmigration of talented young people because of job losses • Fewer college graduates • More maternal depression and prescription drug abuse • Lower child achievement levels • Less educated teachers with lower salaries • Longer bus rides to school
The consensus intangibles in rural education • In a place at a distance from large cities • Historical roots to agrarian culture • Access to fewer resources • Smaller communities and schools • Ready to meet community needs • Grounded in a “sense of place” and rooted in the lives of families
The TRI Study • Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial to assess the effectiveness of the TRI in Low Wealth Rural Schools. • Part of the National Research Center on Rural Education Support www.nrcres.org/TRI.htm www.nrcres.org/TRI.htm • Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES)
Purpose The TRI is designed to improve the literacy teaching strategies of rural kindergarten and first grade teachers, using an individualized diagnostic teaching model, with a specific focus on strategies that are effective with struggling readers who do not make reading gains using traditional reading instruction.
Why focus on teacher training? • Research has shown that the first few years of school are critical for children’s later school success, especially in the area of reading (Alexander& Entwisle, 1992; Juel, 1988). • Teachers in rural areas have more experience in teaching and knowledge about the background of their students but teachers have less access to professional development opportunities (GAO report, 2004; Lee & Burkham, 2003) • Teachers and parents are more satisfied with their schools in rural areas but children come to school with less formal and high quality preschool experiences (Israel, 2004; Vernon-Feagans et al., in press).
Examples of TRI Strategies: Teaching in the context of the word and text from the beginning
TRI Materials TRI Reference Tool TRI Picture Dictionary TRI Professional Development Guide • Posters • Reading Model • Stages of Word Work TRI diagnostic map
TRI Summary • Based on research based evidence • Based on research in special education that emphasizes individualized diagnostic teaching • Specifically geared to children considered struggling readers because they do not make progress with traditional reading approaches. • Can be used with any reading curriculum and Reading First • Teaching conducted by the classroom teacher in one on one teaching sessions between the teacher and child at least 4 times a week until the child makes rapid progress • Teaching literacy that is always geared to the context of the word and text. • Material developed to be extremely affordable by any school • Delivered through a Collaborative Consultation Model, specifically geared to the needs of rural teachers
Examples of challenges • Teachers are often in classrooms with no aides and no special services • Teachers know the families of the children and have both positive and negative preconceptions about child learning • Teachers are often weary of new families who have moved to the area • Teachers have not been observed in their classrooms and may not be comfortable with in class consultation and the use of new reading strategies • Children come to school with particularly poor readiness skills with respect to learning • Children come to school with better behavior than urban children
How to create a Community of Practice (Buysse & Wesley, in press) • Teacher responsibility and leadership • identify struggling learners • choose who to start working with • do not change their current curriculum • chart progress of students • Teacher collaboration (Lesson Study) (Stigler & Hiebert, 1999) • exchange ideas with others • understand the value of observation • suggest the ideas for monthly workshops
Collaborative Structure for Rural Teachers • 3 Day Summer Institute • Teachers identify 5 struggling readers • Biweekly classroom visits from TRI Consultant. • Grade level meetings to discuss strategies and problem solve. • Daily consultation from the on-site TRI consultant • Bimonthly workshops on topics teachers choose.
TRI Design Year 1 Year 2 Kindergarten 1st Grade Kindergarten 1st Grade Experimental Control
Child Characteristics CON EXP
Gain Scores over 4 months Outcome F-Test Group LSMean
Future Directions Webcam technology TRI consultation in remote rural classrooms in real time TRI grade level meetings across sites through web cam technology Problem solving across sites to create a community of practice
Summary • Rural Schools are different contexts for learning • Need sensitivity to rural structure and beliefs in schools • Need to break the barrier of access • Need to break the barrier of isolation • Individual consultation in real time using the TRI provides a major solution to these barriers while providing research based literacy strategies for struggling learners
Implementation and Evaluation of the Rural Early Adolescent Learning Project (REAL): Commonalities in Diverse Educational Settings Jill V. Hamm, Dylan Robertson, Kimberly Dadisman, Matthew Irvin, Allen Murray, Jana Thompson, Kelli O’Brien, & Jenny Westrick University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
General Aims of Project REAL • Professional development for rural teachers who serve middle level youth (5th – 6th grades) • Responsive to local resources, needs, and school configurations • Promote strategies that provide universal support for all students during early adolescence • Promote strategies that help teachers advance the learning of low-achieving students
Conceptual Framework for REAL Supporting and Encouraging Effective Transitions Behavioral Engagement Academics Social Relations
Support for Conceptual Framework in Rural Areas Pilot Sites Research Participants • Recruited from all 5th grade classrooms of eight public elementary schools in two states of the rural Appalachia region • 61% agreed to participate • 315 participating students (170 girls and 145 boys) • Over 95% White • Schools were eligible for U.S. Department of Education’s Rural and Low-Income School Program (RLISP) • locale code 6, 7, or 8 and at least 20% of students are from families living below the federal poverty level
Support for Conceptual Framework in Rural Areas • Measures: Adjustment in Multiple Domains • Teacher-ratings on 18-item questionnaire (ICS-T; Cairns, Leung, Gest, & Cairns, 1995) • Sub-scales/factors: • Aggression (α = .84), Popularity (α = .83), Academic competence (α = .80), Affiliative (α = .74), Internalizing (α = .52), Olympian (α = .78) • Measures: Achievement • End-of-Year Grade Average • School records data for end of 5th grade for: • math, English/reading, social studies/history and science • Mean across four subjects (in the form of a percentage) was obtained and used in analyses • State-level Standardized Achievement Test Scores • School records data for end of 5th grade for similar subjects: • math, science, social studies and English • Mean across these four subjects was obtained and used in analyses • scaled scores were on different metrics by state; average standardized achievement score were standardized within state.
Support for Conceptual Framework in Rural Areas • Data Reduction Techniques • 4 unique patterns of variables emerged in girls • (i.e.,clusters, behavioral configurations) • Troubled: above average aggression and internalizing; below average academic competence, affiliative, popularity, and Olympian • Tough: well above average aggression; average popularity, academic competence, affiliative, and Olympian; below average internalizing • Sensitive: above average internalizing; below average affiliative; average aggression, academic competence, popularity, and Olympian • Model: above average academic competence, affiliative, and popularity; below average aggression and internalizing.
Support for Conceptual Framework in Rural Areas • Data Reduction Techniques • 5 unique patterns of variables emerged in boys • (i.e.,clusters, behavioral configurations) • Troubled: above average aggression and internalizing; below average academic competence, affiliative, popularity, and Olympian • Low academic: below average academic competence and Olympian; above average affiliative; average aggression, popularity, and internalizing • Tough: well above average aggression; above average affiliative, popularity, and Olympian; below average internalizing; average academic competence • High academic: above average academic competence; below average aggression; average affiliative, popularity, Olympian, and internalizing • Model: above average academic competence, affiliative, popularity, and Olympian; below average aggression and internalizing
Moving from Pilot Sites to Efficacy Sites: Research Design for Project REAL 8 intervention and 8 control schools • 8 with middle school transition configuration • 8 alternative configuration (e.g., k-8, k-12) • Baseline data collected in spring of 5th grade; Process/transition data collected in fall and spring of 6th grade • Outcome data on school adjustment and academic achievement collected in spring of 6th grade
Implications of Rural Diversity for Interventions • Special needs by region, locale • Challenges to delivery, implementation • Pinpointing transition
Academic Engagement Enhancement Positive Behavior Enhancement Social Dynamics Training • Positive Behavior Enhancement – • Strategies to create structure and consistency across classes • Encouraging self-directed behavior • Proactive approaches to prevent behavioral difficulties Academic Engagement Enhancement – -General strategies that promote an instructional context that is responsive to the need of a broad and diverse range of students Social Dynamics Training – - Promoting teachers’ awareness of the impact of peers on motivation & achievement. - Recognizing peer groups and social roles - Identifying youth with social difficulties that interfere with their own or others’ learning - Strategies to use peer group dynamics to foster classroom engagement - Strategies to help students with social difficulties develop positive, supportive relationships
REAL Intervention: Universal Components • Summer Institute • 15 modules completed between fall and spring by teachers • On-line articles and activities • Topics include: • Early adolescent development • Motivation and academic engagement • Instruction for low-achieving students • School and classroom social dynamics • Information processing • Literacy support REAL Intervention: Targeted Components • Bimonthly videoconferences with Project REAL staff • Directed Consultation Model: Focused on issues salient to the site, addressed through REAL intervention framework • Supporting struggling writers
Pilot Sites Findings of Intervention Effects • Participants included 448 students (239 girls) who transitioned from 5th to 6th grade • Transitioned from 11 public elementary schools • Transitioned into 4 6-8 middle schools (2 intervention, 2 control) • Over 95% White • Schools were eligible for U.S. Department of Education’s Rural and Low-Income School Program (RLISP) • locale code 6, 7, or 8 and at least 20% of students are from families living below the federal poverty level • Data collected: 5th grade spring, 6th grade early fall, 6th grade late spring