Exploring Features Within Organizational and Cognitive Factors That Predict Variability in Estimates of Classwide Active Engagement

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Abstract

Adopting an “act-in-context” approach is helpful to researchers investigating situational variability in children’s active engagement in preschool classrooms. Aligned with this approach, we propose an empirical pathway and a conceptual model to support examinations of contextual factors hypothesized to impact active engagement as well as the means by which adults promote it. We defined two overarching factors—cognitive and organizational—and explored the predictive nature of seven features within them. With video recordings from 31 classrooms (inclusive and self-contained) of three instructional routines on three different occasions, we derived averages for classwide active engagement during each observation. A series of linear mixed effects models revealed that instructional routines significantly predicted variability in classwide active engagement as did interactions of other contextual features with instructional routines. These findings provide a foundation for continued, systematic examinations of situational factors and conceptualizations of engagement within carefully specified pathways for improving active engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-220
Number of pages14
JournalTopics in Early Childhood Special Education
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 23 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the National Center for Special Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences (Grant #R324A170032) and the National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention, Office of Special Education Programs (Grant #H325H140001). The statements do not necessarily reflect the views of our funders and all errors and omissions are our own.

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the numerous educators, children, and their families that participated in this work. Without their support, this work would not have been possible. We would also like to thank Krystle Aman, Drake Bauer, and many additional members of our research team for their contributions to this work. For more information, please contact LeAnne Johnson (leannej@umn.edu), 243 Education Sciences Building, 56 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455. This work was supported by the National Center for Special Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences (Grant #R324A170032) and the National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention, Office of Special Education Programs (Grant #H325H140001). The statements do not necessarily reflect the views of our funders and all errors and omissions are our own.

Publisher Copyright:
© Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2021.

Keywords

  • classroom context
  • engagement
  • instructional routines
  • learning opportunities
  • preschool

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