Coaches typically develop game plans designed to achieve success on the field, court, diamond or ice. CYFS Research Associate Professor Lisa Knoche is helping to ensure that Nebraska adds “classroom” and “home” to that list.
Knoche, CYFS Consultant Sue Bainter and several graduate student affiliates offered a glimpse into their year-long evaluation of the Early Childhood Coaching Project during a Sept. 29 meeting in Lincoln, Neb. The project – developed by the Nebraska Department of Education’s Early Childhood Training Center – prepares early childhood professionals who work with teachers and families to enhance young children’s development.
Knoche and her colleagues provided attendees with a snapshot of Nebraska’s early childhood coaching landscape, encapsulated the evaluation’s preliminary findings and discussed their implications for the state’s future professional development efforts.
The researchers presented survey- and interview-based results on the demographics of early childhood professionals, along with the frequency, implementation and content of the coaching they received. Knoche’s team also explained how it evaluated coach-coachee interactions before summarizing the behaviors it observed during recorded training sessions. Knoche concluded the event by exploring future analyses and potential uses of the data her team has collected.
The meeting hosted more than 20 administrators, practitioners and researchers from the Nebraska Department of Education, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the Head Start Child and Family Development Program, and other early childhood organizations.
Knoche believes the meeting will lead to important outcomes for all who participated.
“It provided an opportunity for key stakeholders to collectively engage in conversation about the significance of data for the early childhood community,” Knoche said. “As researchers, we benefited from the perspectives of our research partners in interpreting findings and discussing implications, while our partners benefited by receiving data-based information on early childhood coaching practices to support children and families.”