Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
17/12/2013
Date assigned
22/01/2014
Last edited
19/06/2015
Prospective/Retrospective
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Ongoing
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Language competence (including spoken communication and literacy) is a major influence on children's development and life success. The ability to communicate and use language effectively impacts upon the capacity of children to learn, on their mental health and behaviour, on their future educational and employment achievements, and on their social and community participation opportunities. As a teacher's effectiveness has a powerful impact on students, this study will determine whether a teacher professional development program (called CPOL) can lead to improved teacher knowledge and practice leading to improved student outcomes in oral language, literacy and mental health for early years primary school children.

Who can participate?
Schools will be selected for inclusion in this study based upon the 2009 and 2012 Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) data for their school. Schools with AEDI results in the language and cognitive skills domain with vulnerability rates of ≥ 10% who had at least 10 children participate in the AEDI will be eligible to participate in this study. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) and Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) will arrange their own calls for expressions of interest from the pool of eligible schools across the state of Victoria. From this pool, schools that were identified as vulnerable in both the 2009 and 2012 AEDI data will be approached first, after which schools vulnerable only on the 2012 AEDI will be approached. The aim will be to recruit 50 eligible schools in each sector, to a total of 100 schools.

What does the study involve?
Schools will be allocated to one of two groups: intervention group (CPOL) or control group (no CPOL). As a result all the children in one classroom at each school will be either part of the intervention group or of the control group.
Children - With the exception of the completion of Reading Progress Test (RPT) at the end of Grade 1, the students in the study will not be asked to engage in any activities outside of their normal classroom experiences managed by their usual classroom teacher(s). Completion of the RPT will be the students' only point of interaction with a member of the research team.
Teachers - In April 2014, teachers in the intervention group of the study will attend two face-to-face days of professional learning convened by the research team, and will also engage in a self-directed manner in an online learning network of teachers in like-schools in the first half of 2014. Two additional days of face-to-face learning will be held in late 2014/early 2015. In addition to these formal days of professional learning and access to the online forum, teachers will liaise with CPOL Support Officers, via intermittent face-to-face, telephone, and online contact, in order that questions are addressed and program fidelity is enhanced. Teachers will also provide data relating to the consented students' English Online Interview (EOI) results. Teachers will also complete the Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire on each child in their classroom, at baseline and follow-up points. Casual teaching relief (CRT) will be funded from by the Partner Organisations for these periods. Teachers will also be asked to record reflections (either in hard copy or electronically) for the research team on their application of new knowledge and practices derived from the professional learning program. They will be asked to identify challenges and how these were overcome, as well as additional innovations they have developed as a result of the CPOL intervention. At the conclusion of this study, a purposively selected sample of teachers will be asked to participate in either a focus group or an in-depth interview, so that their reflections on the CPOL intervention can be explored in some depth. Teacher knowledge concerning oral language and its role in supporting the transition to literacy will also be explored at that point.
Parents/Guardians - Parents/guardians will be asked to complete the Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire on their child, at the beginning of the study and at certain points during the follow-up. Parents will also be asked for permission to access and use their child's National Assessment program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data, that will be routinely collected as a part of normal classroom procedures when their child is in Grade 3 in 2017.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
We do not anticipate that participation in the study will entail any significant risk beyond that associated with everyday life for any participant group (students, teachers, parents). Possible benefits to teachers of the intervention group include developing new knowledge through the teacher professional learning intervention days. The students in the teacher's classes may also benefit as the teacher may develop more effective teacher practices. Benefits to schools include the backfill of staff whilst teachers are participating in the intervention days.

Where is the study run from?
The study will be run from 2 private locations for the intervention days plus online interaction. The teachers will implement new practice across 100 primary schools in Victoria, Australia.

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study will run from June 2013 to June 2018. The study will recruit participants for 2 months ending January 2014.

Who is funding the study?
ARC Linkage Grant and The Ian Potter Foundation (Australia).

Who is the main contact?
Associate Professor Sharon Goldfeld
Sharon.goldfeld@rch.org.au

Trial website

Contact information

Type

Scientific

Primary contact

Dr Sharon Goldfeld

ORCID ID

Contact details

Royal Children's Hospital
50 Flemington Road
Parkville
3052
Australia

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

ClinicalTrials.gov number

Protocol/serial number

LP130100308

Study information

Scientific title

The classroom promotion of oral language: a cluster randomised controlled trial

Acronym

CPOL

Study hypothesis

Improving teacher knowledge and practice relating to teaching oral language improves primary school students' achievements in oral language and literacy and improves their social and emotional wellbeing.

Ethics approval

Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee, ref: CF13/2634-2013001403

Study design

Cluster randomised controlled trial

Primary study design

Interventional

Secondary study design

Cluster randomised trial

Trial setting

Schools

Trial type

Quality of life

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a participant information sheet

Condition

Early Years Education, Oral Language Development, Teacher Profession Learning

Intervention

Schools are randomised to two arms: intervention arm and the control arm.
All children in one classroom at each school will be allocated together as a single unit for randomisation ('the cluster'). This is the most appropriate approach to randomisation given the intervention will be focused on teacher professional learning and the implementation of that knowledge within a whole-of-classroom approach.
In April 2014, teachers in the intervention arm of the study will attend two face-to-face days of professional learning convened by the research team, and will also engage in a self-directed manner in an online learning network of teachers in like-schools in the first half of 2014. Two additional days of face-to-face learning will be held in late 2014/early 2015. The professional learning delivered to teachers is based on Munro's (2011) ICPALER (Ideas, Conventions, Purposes, Ability to Learn, and Reception), Framework, and was the subject of a successful large-scale pilot led by CI Snow (Snow et al., in press). In addition to these formal days of professional learning and access to the online forum, teachers will liaise with CPOL Support Officers, via intermittent face-to-face, telephone, and online contact, in order that questions are addressed and program fidelity is enhanced.

Intervention type

Other

Phase

Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

1. National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN): A full description of the way in which NAPLAN is administered is available at: http://www.nap.edu.au/naplan/naplan.html
2. The Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)
3. Reading Progress Test (RPT)

Secondary outcome measures

English Online Interview (EOI)
At the conclusion of the CPOL trial, a purposively selected sample of teachers will be asked to participate in either a focus group or an in-depth interview, so that their reflections on the CPOL intervention can be explored in some depth. Teacher knowledge concerning oral language and its role in supporting the transition to literacy will also be explored at that point.

Overall trial start date

01/06/2013

Overall trial end date

01/06/2018

Reason abandoned

Eligibility

Participant inclusion criteria

Victorian Primary Schools (25 Government Schools and 25 Catholic Schools) with >10% children identified as vulnerable in the language and cognition domain of the 2012 Australian Early Development Index (AEDI - http://www.rch.org.au/aedi/)

Participant type

Patient

Age group

Child

Gender

Both

Target number of participants

Total (children, teachers, parents): 5300

Participant exclusion criteria

N/A

Recruitment start date

01/06/2013

Recruitment end date

01/01/2014

Locations

Countries of recruitment

Australia

Trial participating centre

Royal Children's Hospital
Parkville
3052
Australia

Sponsor information

Organisation

The University of Melbourne (Australia)

Sponsor details

Royal Children’s Hospital
50 Flemington Road
Parkville
3052
Australia

Sponsor type

Research council

Website

Funders

Funder type

Research council

Funder name

Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant (LP130100308)

Alternative name(s)

ARC

Funding Body Type

government organisation

Funding Body Subtype

Federal/National Government

Location

Australia

Funder name

The Ian Potter Foundation, Australia (20130004)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype

Location

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes