Many social-emotional programs offer teacher and whole school support, yet very few offer this support in a dosage that is conducive to the integrity of the intervention (Joyce & Showers, 1982; Selman & Dray, 2005). “Quite often teachers who attend relatively weak training sessions and then try to apply what they have learned report that it doesn’t work. With weak training, the product could never work.”(Joyce & Showers, 1982). Most unique about the Lesson One intervention is the comprehensive, high-dosage training it provides to teachers and administrators. While many interventions rely on in-service trainings and workshops, Lesson One offers direct-service, in-classroom training. Lesson One Educational Consultants provide modeling in every K- 6 school classroom, in order to demonstrate the intervention’s components for all teachers and students. By coaching teachers on-site, educators learn how to implement the Lesson One intervention first-hand and are provided with immediate feedback. Educational researchers have extensively studied professional development techniques and have found that teachers’ skill development increase significantly when opportunities for practice and feedback are provided (Joyce & Showers, 2002).
Researchers have found that providing teachers with direct training and performance feedback is a significant way to ensure intervention integrity (Feinberg, Dunn, & Pace, 2005; Mautone, Luiselli, & Handler, 2006; Morris, Raver, Lloyd, & Millenky, 2009; Noell, Witt, Gilbertson, Ranier, & Freeland, 1997). Multiple surveys reviewed by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC) found that teachers “consistently emphasize their need for professional development and other support” that assists them with instructional and classroom management strategies (Morris, Raver, Lloyd, & Millenky, 2009). MDRC’s Foundations of Learning (FOL, 2009) found evidence that intervention strategies, mirroring those of Lesson One, where classroom consultation and modeling is provided during instructional time are linked with the following benefits:
- Improved teachers’ ability to effectively support children’s behavior and emotional development.
- Increased instructional time and created a positive climate for learning in classrooms.
- Reduced conflictual and acting-out behaviors by children.
- Improved children’s ability to focus their attention, to curb their impulsivity, and to show engagement in the classroom.
The FOL concluded that the presence of consultants to coach and model instructional strategies within the classroom setting can significantly improve the quality of teaching, behavioral management techniques, and engagement of children in the classroom.
Lesson One’s teacher training and feedback techniques are rare and needed (Feinberg, Dunn, & Pace, 2005; Mautone, Luiselli, & Handler, 2006; Morris, Raver, Lloyd, & Millenky, 2009; Noell, Witt, Gilbertson, Ranier, & Freeland, 1997). In a study that reviewed teacher treatment integrity, researchers found that the less frequently teachers received consultation and feedback, the more likely the deterioration of the intervention’s intended format (Noell et al., 1997). Noell and colleagues (1997) suggest that prompt feedback and teacher modeling will increase correct teacher implementation of interventions. Teacher feedback and classroom demonstrations provided by Lesson One’s consultants are proven strategies that improve the implementation and lasting effects of academic interventions (Feinberg, Dunn, & Pace, 2005). According to Joyce and Showers (1982) the conditions of a classroom are vastly different from the conditions of a teacher training workshop locale. This discrepancy in environments can be problematic when the teacher attempts to implement newly learned strategies within a classroom setting. Lesson One eliminates this transference dilemma by training its teachers within their actual classrooms. The presence of Lesson One consultants within the classroom offers teachers the opportunity to observe intervention strategies within the environment for which the curriculum is intended. By modeling for both the teacher and the students, Lesson One provides students with the opportunity to become better acquainted with the skills and behaviors that are expected of them. This technique decreases the chance of student and teacher confusion, and smoothes the pathway of transition from consultant to teacher curriculum implementation.
Lesson One provides a comprehensive residency to ensure that its intervention strategies are thoroughly presented to both students and staff. The Lesson One residency begins with an experiential and activity oriented workshop that introduces the skills to the staff, which places an emphasis on the integration of knowledge, technique, effective communication, discipline, and creativity. The skills are then integrated into the school culture through a series of interactive games and activities. Lesson One provides educators with the instructional tools required to successfully integrate the intervention into the school culture. Hands-on games, literature, and classroom discussions enable students to practice the skills in an enjoyable and tangible way.