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Building blocks of infant-toddler conversation skills: Using the Conversation Compass© to drive innovation in Early Head Start classroom conversations


We collaborated with Early Head Start (EHS) coaches to qualitatively explore the feasibility delivering a professional development approach designed to enhance the quality of conversations in infant-toddler (I/T) classrooms and family child care homes. First, we reviewed empirical literature about oral language discourse skills in infants and toddlers. Second, we examined the frameworks and evaluation tools EHS practitioners and programmes used to guide conversations, e.g. the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework and the Quality of Caregiver-Child Interaction for Infants and Toddlers (Q-CCIIT) Scale. Third, we adapted the Conversation Compass© approach for ages birth to 24 months. Lessons learned were (1) teachers report that the Conversation Compass approach was user-friendly, (2) due to teachers’ limitations with computer skills the online course was difficult for them to complete independently, and (3) the approach can be used to facilitate and model conversation in mixed-age group settings with infants and toddlers. (author abstract)

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United States
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