Professional Development to Support Teachers' Implementation of a Tiered Model for Promoting Social Development of Infants and Toddlers

PRISM logo which shoes five brightly colored letters in a row that spell prism

The purpose of this project is to support teachers' implementation of a tiered model for promoting social-emotional growth in infants and toddlers by adapting an existing evidence-based tiered model and refining a professional development (PD) approach to support the teachers' implementation.

Many early childhood teachers lack important skills for supporting children's early social-emotional development. As a result, many children enter kindergarten with or at high risk for challenging behavior that puts them on a trajectory for continuing behavioral and academic problems. Although an array of prevention-based tiered approaches are available for promoting social-emotional competence in preschool-aged children, none have focused on infants and toddlers.

The current project will be the first to develop a three-tiered model with PD aimed at supporting teachers' implementation of tiered instruction to promote the social-emotional development of infants and toddlers. The Infant-Toddler Pyramid Practices will include PD to support teachers' implementation of three tiers of instructional practices, including instructional/caregiving practices for high-quality environments for all children, universal screening for behavioral or social-emotional delays, higher tiers of intentional teaching of social-emotional skills, progress monitoring for children in the higher tiers, and a decision-making model to determine appropriate intervention for children's changing social-emotional functioning.

Project details

  • Primary Investigator: Kathryn Bigelow

  • Co-PI: Dwight Irvin

  • Co-PI: Alana Schnitz

  • Project start Date: 07/01/2017

  • Project finish Date: 12/31/2022



  • US Department of Education

  • Award Number: R324A170118