Speaking Truth to Policy: The Importance of Quality Educational and Human Developmental Research

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Patrick Tolan, Presentation given at the 2013 Steele Symposium at the University of Delaware, April 2013

http://curry.virginia.edu/news/updates/tolan-delivers-keynote-on-research-policy-and-youth-development

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Speaking Truth to Policy: The Importance of Quality Educational and Human Developmental Research

  1. 1. Speaking Truth to Policy: The Importance of Quality Educational and Human Developmental Research Patrick Tolan Ph.D. Youth-Nex Center, University of Virginia 2013 Steele Symposium College of Education & Human Development University of Delaware April 12, 2013
  2. 2. YOUTH-NEX Mission • Promote Healthy Youth Development • Reduce Risk & Prevent Problems in Development • Through Focused Research, Training and Service • For Integrated Multidimensional Understanding of Youth Development • To Facilitated and Enhance Potential of Youth as Healthy Productive Citizens
  3. 3. How Do We Get Directions on Questions about Youth Development? • • • • School Size Teacher/Classroom Qualities? Early Intervention Help? Focus on High Risk or All?
  4. 4. In Search of the One Armed Scientist • • • • • • RESEARCH Theory Variables Incremental Conservative Qualify Results Not Wrong • • • • • • POLICY Politics People Binary Resolute Emphasize Certainty Not Wrong
  5. 5. Research is Our Best Hope for Good Policy
  6. 6. The facts are coming! The facts are coming!
  7. 7. Two Examples: SAFE CHILDREN GREAT SCHOOLS AND FAMILIES
  8. 8. Can Early Support Help Children in High Risk Neighborhoods Succeed? • Family Groups with Parents of Entering First Graders • Tutoring 1/2 hour, 2 x per week on Reading Mastery • Across 8.5 months (16 family sessions, 22 tutoring) • Booster for half of treatment in fourth grade
  9. 9. Reduces Delinquency F(2,318) = 5.28, p=.005 3 p < .01 p < .01 2.5 2 Control 1.5 Initial Only2 1 Initial + Booster 0.5 0 Low Family Risk Hi Family Risk
  10. 10. Improves Graduation Rates • Control: 35% • Early Only: 40% • Early Plus Booster: 44% Booster increases Graduation Rate by 29%
  11. 11. Multisite Violence Prevention Project (MVPP) Efficacy of Universal Versus Selective Approaches to Youth Violence Prevention
  12. 12. Collaborating Groups UGA VCU Duke
  13. 13. Early Adolescence/Middle School as Time of Increasing Risk Level and Prevalence • Increased Risks • Decreased Support for Development • Increased Beliefs/Values Supporting Problem Behavior and Lower School Affiliation • Rise of Social Group as Most Influential
  14. 14. MVPP Interventions • Universal – 20-session social-cognitive curriculum – 12-hour teacher workshop – 10 consultation/support meetings for teachers • Selective − 15 week group-based family intervention− parenting, school involvement, school achievement • Combined Universal Plus Selective
  15. 15. Effects for Cohort-Wide Sample • Effect on Aggression in Selective Intervention Schools • Effect on Victimization in Universal Intervention Schools (Maybe)
  16. 16. Composite Aggression Selective School Effects on Aggression (Cohort Wide Sample) Selective only vs. Control p < .05
  17. 17. Targeted Sample Effects of Selective Intervention
  18. 18. Table 5 Weighted Intervention Condition Linear Slope Effects for Primary Outcomes and Individual Mediators
  19. 19. Monitoring Composite
  20. 20. Cohesion Composite
  21. 21. Sometimes You Get Them To Listen New Findings on Approaches to Improving Children’s Social and Emotional Learning Implications for Academic Performance and Behavior Briefing Presented to the US Department of Education Monday, June 20, 2011
  22. 22. Annual Taxpayer Costs & Benefits: Forecast with Moderate Portfolio of Evidence-Based Programs

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