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). These 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 the South-Central Community Action Program (SCAAP) on the Pyramid Model practices to address challenging behavior and our work with the Community Foundations in Wabash, IN and Monroe County, IN. on 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; High-quality PD requires more than just a single training to impact practices. Therefore, while all three projects included preliminary orientation training on either Pyramid Model or CLASS practices to build awareness and familiarize practitioners with the TA process, they also included follow-up coaching elements informed by data. Data informed decision are critical to high-quality PD and the data collected for these partnerships included self-assessments collected during the orientation trainings and formal assessments using the identified tool's assessment instruments including The Pyramid Observation Tool or the Classroom Assessment Scoring System Assessment (CLASS) before coaching began. The self-assessment and observation data guided the following individual practitioner coaching sessions. Programs also elected to have the ECC conduct post-observations as a way to measure impact.