BEST in CLASS, developed with funding from the Institute of Education Sciences of the United States Department of Education, is a Tier 2 intervention designed to address the needs of children (PK- 2nd grade) who demonstrate persistent and intensive challenging behaviors in classroom settings, which place them at future risk for developing social-emotional learning difficulties.
The BEST in CLASS intervention is a value-added intervention designed to enhance and support teachers’ use of effective instructional practices that can help prevent children’s challenging behaviors and support learning. Most teachers are already using many of the BEST in CLASS practices in their class; however, when teachers increase and enhance their use of these practices with children who are at risk for social-emotional learning difficulties, these children will learn the social and behavioral skills needed to help them succeed in school.
Following the development and pilot testing of the BEST in CLASS-PreKindergarten program, a randomized controlled trial was conducted with 186 teachers and 476 children to examine the effect of BEST in CLASS on the social, emotional, behavioral and preacademic outcomes of young children at elevated risk for social-emotional learning difficulties. In addition, the BEST in CLASS efficacy study examined (1) teachers’ use of the BEST in CLASS practices, (2) teachers’ sense of self-efficacy, (3) teacher-child interactions, (4) overall quality of teacher-child relationships, and (5) the general classroom atmosphere.
Research efforts were expanded to kindergarten through second grade with funding from an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Goal 2 Development and Innovation grant for BEST in CLASS-Elementary. From 2015 to 2018, materials were adapted and piloted with a small RCT (26 teachers and 44 students) in Virginia to examine the usability, feasibility, and impact of BEST in CLASS-Elementary. Another IES Goal 2 project is currently underway to examine the feasibility, usability, and efficacy of BEST in CLASS-Web. This project is designed to provide initial training and coaching follow-up to early childhood practitioners via web-based platforms. In July 2018, further IES funding was received to study the efficacy of BEST in CLASS-Elementary through a replication involving 192 early elementary teachers and 576 students and their families.
To learn more details on the BEST in CLASS projects, please visit our Research Projects below.