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Shared reading, scaffolding, guided participation, and mind-mindedness in Appalachian Head Start families: Building the construct of mindful-mindedness

The purpose of this study was to provide an intervention to Appalachian Head Start families that provided novel ways of thinking about their children's development, while also arming them with effective strategies and tools they could use to build engaging and enriched interactions. The intervention curriculum was developed based on a theory of mentoring in the zone of proximal development (Vygotsky, 1978; Wiles, 2008). This research effort sought to answer the following research questions: (a) Do adults' descriptions of their children as mental beings and perceptions about their children as individuals with minds of their own change due to participation in the intervention condition as compared to those in the control condition?; (b) What are the effects of this intervention on adults' use of scaffolding and guided participation strategies in the shared reading activity over time?; (c) Does participation in the intervention condition affect the child's outcomes on standardized tests?; and (d) What qualitative differences in the way adults and children interact in the shared reading activity can occur as a result of the intervention? A randomized controlled trial including 50 parent-child dyads, were videotaped answering a mind-mindedness interview question and reading with their children at three time points over the Head Start school year. A Mixed-methods approach was implemented in the study's design, implementation, data collection, and analyses. Quantitative analyses revealed significant differences in both mental descriptions of participants' children and the type and frequency of scaffolding techniques as a result of participation in the intervention. Triangulation of the qualitative and quantitative analyses indicated the need for a new theoretical construct to explain what occurs in optimally functioning interactions. Mindful-mindedness describes and explains adults' metastrategic scaffolding technique selection in a mindful and mind-minded style, and then their application of these techniques in a serial process creates a multiplier effect on the efficacy of scaffolding. Implications for policy and practice, limitations of the current study, and directions for future research are also provided. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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