Should teachers and parents teach together?

Should teachers and parents teach together?

By Wenrui Huang, Johns Hopkins University

Teaching Together is an initiative that combines tiered school instruction with home curricular supplements to enhance language skills among pre-k children at risk for later reading difficulties.

Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center and Florida Center for Reading Research examined the effects of Teaching Together, in a study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly. This study included a sample of Head Start children demonstrating risk for later reading difficulties and eligible for Tier-2 services (targeted instruction for children with weak skills). By adopting an RCT-design, researchers randomized one control and three treatment groups:

 (a) Control or business-as-usual (BAU) family engagement experiences (n=72)

 (b) Tier 1 Family workshops and universal text messages (n=241)

 (c) Tier 2 Basic Family, which added learning materials and targeted text messages to the workshops (n=29)

 (d) Tier 2 Enhanced Family, which added parent coaching/individualized communication to the above supports (n=31)

Among all three treatments, the Tier 2 Enhanced Family condition showed the most favorable impact on language outcomes (ES= +0.25 for Inferential Comprehension; +0.46 for Taught Vocabulary). There was somewhat promising evidence for the Tier 1 Only group, while no main effects were found for the Tier 2 Basic condition. There was also a pattern of larger vocabulary benefits primarily for children with stronger language skills. Findings suggested that a blending approach to explaining sophisticated vocabulary and engaging in extended, inferential conversation across the classroom and home could help close the vocabulary gap for children from low-income backgrounds. It also indicated the necessity to examine for whom and under what conditions such academic language interventions are most beneficial.

One thought on “Should teachers and parents teach together?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s