Teachers and administrators in local education agencies often adapt a curriculum they have adopted due to constraints on resources or other factors. Local educators make these changes without knowing whether or to what degree their adaptations will diminish the effectiveness of the curriculum. We conducted an implementation science project to identify ways that teachers can effectively adapt their implementation of Pre-K Mathematics.
An empirically based improvement process was used by teams comprised of a researcher, a professional development specialist, a local public pre-kindergarten administrator, and teachers. Teachers had 3-4 years of experience implementing Pre-K Mathematics. Teachers and administrators generated and tested ways they had or wished to adapt their implementation of Pre-K Mathematics. The goal was to maximize the long-term sustainability of their implementation without reducing effectiveness (i.e., children’s math learning).
This process produced a high degree of consensus about adaptations of Pre-K Mathematics implementation that enabled teachers to sustain their implementation without diminishing its effectiveness. Empirical testing found a small set of adaptations that can enhance the long-term sustainability of Pre-K Mathematics without reducing effectiveness:
- provide curriculum training in Pre-K Mathematics to the instructional assistant in each classroom so they can help the lead teacher with implementation,
- use a revised Pre-K Mathematics curriculum plan that provides more time for teachers and instructional assistants to review math activities with children who need extra support, and
- conduct a family math event at the beginning of the school year to engage parents in the use Pre-K Mathematics home activities.
WestEd’s Early Math Training Network now incorporates these adaptations into the professional development we provide to pre-k programs.
Starkey, P., Klein, A., Clarke, B., Baker, S., & Thomas, J. (in press). Effects of Early Mathematics Intervention for Low-SES Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Students: A Replication Study. Educational Research and Evaluation.
Thomas, J., Cook, T., Klein, A., Starkey, P., & DeFlorio, L. (2018). The Sequential Scale-Up of an Evidence-Based Intervention: A Case Study. Evaluation Review. 42, 318-357.