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Impacts of Roots of Resilience professional development for early childhood teachers on young children’s protective factors

Early care and education (ECE) is an important developmental context for nurturing resilience with young children experiencing adversity. In particular, strengthening the capabilities of adult caregivers, such as ECE teachers, to mitigate the effects of toxic stressors is of central importance to children’s learning, health, and development. Yet, few ECE teachers have access to professional supports focused on meeting the needs of children impacted by trauma. The current study examines a new program that aims to help fill this gap for both home-based and center-based ECE programs: Roots of Resilience: Teachers’ Awakening Children’s Healing. Roots of Resilience is a professional development program consisting of an online course and online video-based coaching. In a small randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 17 classrooms/groups, 23 teachers, and 61 children we examine program impacts on three protective factors: emotionally supportive teacher-child interactions, children’s engagement and children’s school readiness skills. Findings revealed significant impacts of teachers’ participation in Roots of Resilience on (observed) emotionally supportive teacher-child interactions at post, controlling for baseline scores and teacher education. Children whose teachers were randomly assigned to participate in Roots of Resilience showed reductions in (observed) negative engagement and increases in direct assessments of math skills, compared to children whose teachers were assigned to the waitlist control group. No impacts on children’s (observed) positive engagement, nor direct assessments of self-regulation or early literacy were detected. Further research with a larger and more diverse sample is needed to more definitively examine program impacts, identify mechanisms of influence, and address questions about which teachers and/or children may benefit most. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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