Bridging Research to PracticeThe Early Childhood Center (ECC) partners with community programs to bring research to practice through high-quality professional development (PD) and technical assistance (TA). Such partnerships involve generating collaborative plans to achieve goals by using evidence-based practices, making data informed decisions, and addressing challenges. Examples of these partnerships, and the evidence-based practices they focused on, include our work with the South-Central Community Action Program (SCAAP) regarding the Pyramid Model practices to address challenging behavior and our work with the Community Foundations in Wabash, IN. and Monroe County, IN. concerning the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) practices to increase high-quality adult-child interactions.
These partnerships began by coordinating meetings with organization administrators at a convenient time to identify their priorities and then jointly design technical assistance (TA) to be delivered by ECC staff. All three projects included preliminary orientation training on either Pyramid Model or CLASS practices to build awareness and familiarize practitioners with the TA process. Because high-quality PD requires more than just a single training to impact practices, follow-up coaching elements were also included. Data informed decisions are critical to high-assessments collected during the orientation trainings and formal pre-observations using the identified tool's assessment instruments including The Pyramid Observation Tool or the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). Programs also incorporated post-observations into their plans as a way to measure impact.