Preschool Teachers' Fidelity in Implementing a Comprehensive Language-Rich Curriculum Purpose This study examined preschool teachers' fidelity to the language-focused curriculum (LFC; B. Bunce, 1995), a comprehensive classroom curriculum designed to improve at-risk children’s language outcomes through targeted improvements to a classroom’s activity contexts (e.g., dramatic play, art, storybook reading) and instructional processes (e.g., teacher use of open-ended questions, recasts, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   July 01, 2008
Preschool Teachers' Fidelity in Implementing a Comprehensive Language-Rich Curriculum
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Khara L. Pence
    University of Virginia, Charlottesville
  • Laura M. Justice
    University of Virginia, Charlottesville
  • Alice K. Wiggins
    University of Virginia, Charlottesville
  • Contact author: Khara Pence Turnbull, who is now a research scientist in Washington, DC. E-mail: KharaPence@gmail.com.
  • Laura Justice is now at The Ohio State University.
    Laura Justice is now at The Ohio State University.×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 01, 2008
Preschool Teachers' Fidelity in Implementing a Comprehensive Language-Rich Curriculum
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2008, Vol. 39, 329-341. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2008/031)
History: Received April 26, 2007 , Accepted September 27, 2007
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2008, Vol. 39, 329-341. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2008/031)
History: Received April 26, 2007; Accepted September 27, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 38

Purpose This study examined preschool teachers' fidelity to the language-focused curriculum (LFC; B. Bunce, 1995), a comprehensive classroom curriculum designed to improve at-risk children’s language outcomes through targeted improvements to a classroom’s activity contexts (e.g., dramatic play, art, storybook reading) and instructional processes (e.g., teacher use of open-ended questions, recasts, and expansions). Specific aims included to (a) examine program differentiation by determining how measures of activity contexts and instructional processes differentiated treatment and comparison teachers, (b) determine treatment teachers' adherence to both activity contexts and instructional processes over an entire academic year, and (c) determine treatment teachers' reported quality of program delivery and comfort with curriculum implementation.

Method Fourteen preschool teachers were randomly assigned to implement the LFC or to maintain their prevailing curriculum. Fidelity was measured 3 times over an academic year using a curriculum fidelity checklist.

Results LFC teachers exhibited fidelity to activity contexts more readily than to instructional processes. Teacher use of language-focused instructional processes was relatively low even after a year of LFC implementation.

Conclusion This study supports the need for speech-language pathologists to work closely with preschool educators to implement the activity contexts and instructional processes associated with high-quality preschool language-learning environments.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The findings reported here are based on research that was conducted as part of the Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research (PCER) program funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Education through Grant R305J030084 to the University of Virginia. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the PCER Consortium members (including IES), and mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations does not imply endorsement by the U.S. government. We would like to thank research assistants, teachers, and program administrators who assisted with data collection for this project.
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