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

Purple, blue, teal, yellow and pink letters spelling out 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

  • Project start Date: 07/01/2017

  • Project finish Date: 12/31/2022



  • US Department of Education

  • Award Number: R324A170118

Kathryn BigelowDwight IrvinAlana SchnitzProfessional developmentSocial behavioral success