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Children Aren’t the Only Ones Getting Ready for School!: Understanding Teacher Readiness for Implementation

Sat, March 23, 4:15 to 5:45pm, Hilton Baltimore, Floor: Level 2, Key 11

Integrative Statement

Teacher readiness for change is gaining attention as important for leaders/coaches to understand when designing and implementing professional development (Wanless, Groark, & Hatfield, 2015). We conceptualize this construct as multidimensional with teacher, director, school, and community level factors. Teacher stress and depression, and the degree of psychological safety in the school have been suggested as influential on readiness (Zinsser & Zinsser, 2016). The aim of the present study is to understand the nature and variability of teacher readiness, using a new teacher-rated assessment, and factors that may relate to how ready teachers feel to learn and use new teaching practices.

RQ1: What is the nature and variability of teachers’ rating of readiness to implement?
RQ2: How do teacher stress, depression, emotion regulation and psychological safety relate to their readiness to implement?

This study has two datasets. First, 253 preschool teachers (117 Head Start, 25 state-funded prekindergarten, 121 Private Center) who were lead teachers (53%), assistant teachers (38%), or teacher’s aides (6%), with about half having 10 years or more experience working with young children (53%). In this dataset, teachers responded to a measure we developed of readiness to implement a social-emotional learning intervention (RISE) and demographics.
As a follow-up, a second dataset was collected in a randomized controlled trial, and includes 91 teachers (treatment and control) who teach 3-5 year olds, from 32 state-funded, Head Start, or private preschools. There was a wide range of teaching experience (0 to 36 years). Teachers responded to RISE, demographics, and questions about job stress, depression, emotion regulation, and psychological safety. Implementation is currently be coded from fall and spring videos of these 91 teachers and will be included in the presentation.
RISE is a teacher rated assessment of readiness for change (Wanless, 2014) including 24-items with responses from strongly disagree to strongly agree (1-5) with previous high reliability (alpha’s >.88; Kirk, Wanless, Briggs, 2017; Wanless, Briggs, & Pieri, 2015).
Job stress was assessed with a nine-item teacher report with responses from 1 (Strongly disagree) to 5 (Strongly agree; Lambert, McCarthy & Abbott-Shim, 2001). Teachers reported depressive symptoms with the short version of the CES-D-R-10 (Björgvinsson, Kertz, Bigda-Peyton, McCoy, & Aderka, 2013), including 10 items from 0 (Rarely) to 3 (All of the time). And psychological safety was rated on a 7-item scale slightly adapted for preschool settings (Edmondson, 1997).
Reliability was moderate-high within each level of readiness items and in the overall measure. Scores tended to be high, with moderate variability and differences in strengths-weakness across teacher types (Table 1).
Teacher job stress (r=-.34**), depressive symptoms (r=-.28**), and emotion regulation (r=.36***) were significantly correlated to their readiness to implement. Using regression, standardized coefficients indicated that controlling for each well-being factor, psychologically safety was significantly related to readiness (Table 2). There were no statistically significant interactions, however, between teacher well-being and psychologically safety. In other words, no matter the level of teacher well-being, psychological safety was always positive related to readiness to implement new intervention practices.