"O-M-G THIS HAS REALLY AFFECTED US": THE PANDEMIC EXPERIENCES OF EARLY CHILDHOOD AND PRIMARY GRADE INTERVENTIONISTS
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in wide disruptions to in-person schooling which have exacerbated conditions in the public-school system. While creating chaos in general, these disruptions have also affected the assessment of children and the delivery of instructional interventions, processes which are crucial to the implementation of Response to Intervention, in which children receive increased academic support at progressive tiers of intervention. The current study used a qualitative design aligned to the classic cultural-historical methods used by Vygotsky. Specifically, this study examined the experiences of Birth to 3-years-old and Kindergarten to Grade Three interventionists, who provided intervention to children during the pandemic. Nine participants, four Birth to 3-years-old interventionists and five Kindergarten to Grade Three interventionists, participated in a series of focus groups in which research questions were presented as tools for analysis. All sessions were audio and video recorded. The data were transcribed and analyzed using in-vivo codes, subcategories, dominant categories and themes.Five themes emerged from the data analysis. The first two themes related to alterations of service but remained distinct on the basis of whether the alteration was in relationship to a social need or of material necessity. The next two themes were primarily characterized by verbal responses that indicated emotions or feelings. The final theme was a distinct set of verbal responses about future orientation and characterized by concerns about educational practice and children’s experiences. The study’s findings capture how interventionists altered services for children during the pandemic, the experience of providing intervention during the pandemic and expectations about intervention in subsequent school years. The methodology developed for this study suggests the potential to align modern methods to classical cultural-historical methods. The data also reveal specific alterations that interventionists implemented, perspectives on their experience and concerns. These verbal responses serve as rich vignettes of the COVID-19 pandemic and have implications for District-level, and other public policy decisions. These findings underscore the importance of conducting studies within a methodological framework that emerges on a clear theoretical basis and may inform future research of Response toIntervention.
Early childhood education
Response to intervention
Response to intervention
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