The reported effects of a systematic professional learning program on the knowledge, skills, and concerns of Australian early childhood educators who support young children displaying or at risk of challenging behaviours

Michael ARTHUR-KELLY, Genevieve FARRELL, Tania DE BORTOLI, Gordon LYONS, Frank HINCHEY, Fuk Chuen HO, Watinee OPARTKIATTIKUL, Fran BAKER, Warren FAIRFAX

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

High-quality early childhood education is a vital experience for young children with and without disabilities. Social and communication experiences in the context of play represent a core curriculum that sets a foundation for later learning and participation. Using a new self-report instrument, this article describes data collected in a large-scale professional learning project in NSW, Australia, that aimed to support early childhood teachers, paraprofessionals and other personnel who directly work with young children, including individuals who present or are at risk of challenging behaviours. Using a case application model of remote and direct coaching support and intervention centred on the input of expert practitioners, the reports of participants were collected before and after a series of three sequential workshops with embedded action research processes for participants. The program was designed to increase social and communicative exchanges and reduce the likelihood of challenging behaviours, by providing a systematic and practical framework for the introduction of functional behavioural assessment and positive support planning. Respondents indicated significant improvements in knowledge and skills after the program, along with decreased concerns in some areas. The paper concludes by discussing potential areas for an expanded research agenda into the professional learning needs of personnel in this field and more broadly within early childhood support systems and services. Copyright © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-149
JournalInternational Journal of Disability, Development and Education
Volume64
Issue number2
Early online dateJun 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Citation

Arthur-Kelly, M., Farrell, G., De Bortoli, T., Lyons, G., Hinchey, F., Ho, F. C., et al. (2017). The reported effects of a systematic professional learning program on the knowledge, skills, and concerns of Australian early childhood educators who support young children displaying or at risk of challenging behaviours. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 64(2), 131-149.

Keywords

  • Challenging behaviours
  • Communication
  • Early childhood education
  • Environments
  • Functional behavioural assessment
  • Professional learning
  • Social

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