As more and more early childhood educators participate in LENA Grow (over 4,800 as of the date of this blog post), we’re intent on making sure of a few very important things:
- That educators love the program. Our end-of-program surveys consistently show that they do.
- That the program is effective at changing classroom language environments and individual student outcomes for the better. We’re confident that it is because of program evaluations linking LENA Grow to increases in key CLASS domains, Early Communication Indicator scores, and Developmental Snapshot scores.
- That educators receive the maximum amount of professional development credit for participating.
- That LENA Grow helps teachers increase self-efficacy and job satisfaction as professionals who play a critical role in children’s lives.
It’s that last bullet point that we want to concentrate on here. Last year, 41 educators participating in LENA Grow completed the Teacher Perception Survey before and after participating in the program. The survey measures how their perceptions about the early childhood profession may have changed.
Specifically, they answered 14 total questions on a scale of one to five. Each question fell into one of three domains:
- Beliefs and actions that support equitable language development — for instance, how much they read to their students, how often they talk with families about children’s language development, and how often behavioral issues arise.
- Job satisfaction — for instance, how often they feel stressed, how often they tell friends they enjoy their job, and how valued they feel as early childhood educators.
- Self-efficacy — for instance, how confident they are in their students’ future school success, in their ability to interpret data, and in their being on the cutting edge of the early childhood education workforce.
Here are some highlights from the results:
- Within each domain, at least half of the teachers who had room to improve showed gains.
- Pre/post gains occurred in 12 of 14 total questions.
- Seven questions saw statistically significant increases:
|Self-efficacy||Beliefs and actions that support equitable language development||Job satisfaction|
|How confident are you in your ability to read and interpret data graphs?||How often do you talk to families about their child’s language development?||How comfortable do you feel talking with other professionals about the challenges you face daily?|
|How confident are you that you’re on the cutting edge of the early childhood education workforce?||How much talk is there during snacks and mealtime?|
|How confident are you in your students’ future school success?||On most days, how many times do you read with children in your care?|
Results like these complement the most affirming feedback of all: educators’ personal stories. As we continue to refine and improve the LENA Grow program, we’re committed to maximizing its impact not just on individual children’s lives, but also on early educators’ careers.