Incredible Years-Teacher NZCER Evaluation Report 3 Publications
The third report focuses on the progress that ‘target’ students have made 8 to 9 months after the teachers have participated in the programme.
Author(s): Cathy Wyllie and Rachel Felgate [NZCER]
Date Published: August 2016
This is the third and final report in the NZCER evaluation of Incredible Years Teacher (IYT) programmes in New Zealand. The evaluation focused on the IYT programmes that were delivered over the first eight months of 2014 to look at whether IYT was being delivered as intended, and what changes the programmes led to in relation to teacher practice and confidence in managing student behaviour. In this final report, we use teacher reports about the 'target' students (ie, usually students whose behaviour was particularly challenging for the teacher) that they worked with during their IYT programme to find out what progress these students made. Also discussed are analyses of data from teacher reports about their practice some 8–9 months after the end of their IYT programme, to find out what ongoing difference IYT makes to teacher practice.
Target students' engagement in learning improved.
- Large positive differences in the students' engagement in learning as a result of teachers' IYT-related work with them were reported by 66 percent of early childhood education (ECE) teachers and 47 percent of primary teachers at the end of 2014. Almost all the rest of the target students were reported to have made small positive differences.
- Target students' interactions with their peers and teachers had become much more positive, and they showed improved self-management.
- Target student achievement increased. By the end of 2014, 55 percent of the primary target students were reported to be achieving at a medium or high level for their class compared with 35 percent at the start of 2014.
Parental support for ECE target students also improved.
Behaviour plans developed with and supported by IYT group leaders were a key factor in positive changes for target students. The approach in which teachers worked with group leaders to develop and implement a behaviour plan for target students provided teachers with a useful framework in which to see their students afresh, identify triggers for challenging behaviour, and develop and implement effective strategies and steps for changing that behaviour. Many teachers used behaviour plans for other students in their classes as well. The evidence from the evaluation supports the emphasis that IYT places on the importance of using a behaviour plan to work with a target child.
Use of IYT learning in May 2015
Data from the follow-up survey (May 2015) indicated that IYT learning continued to be evident in teachers' practice 8–9 months after the end of their participation in an IYT programme. Teachers were very positive about IYT. They valued the changes they had made in their teaching practice and the changes they saw in their students and classes as a result.
- Around two-thirds of teachers were confident or very confident that they could manage current student behaviour problems. This was similar to confidence levels expressed at the end of their IYT programme the previous year.
- Half of the IYT teaching techniques we asked about continued to be used by primary teachers often or very often, and ECE teachers continued to use a third of the techniques often or very often. Some IYT teaching techniques appeared to be easier to sustain than others. Frequency of use dropped for some, particularly those that involved coaching, modelling and some of the deeper aspects of the IYT approach. Declines in use were most apparent for ECE teachers. An increased use of some of the more negative strategies for managing student behaviour was also noted for primary teachers.
- By May 2015, IYT planning and support strategies for teachers were used less often than they had been at the end of the IYT programmes in mid-August 2014.
- Most teachers continued to have some support for making or sustaining their IYT-related work within their school or ECE service, though not as much as when they were on the IYT programme.
- Challenges in using their IYT learning were noted by 29 percent of the ECE teachers, particularly around getting consistency with other staff, and by 20 percent of the primary teachers, who noted lack of time as a particular challenge.
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