Video lesson can boost parent knowledge
- January 2, 2020
- / Shannon Nickinson
- / early-learning
Pensacola moms spent nearly two years on the front lines of research to help change the trajectory of young children from the very first days of life.
The research was part of a partnership between the Studer Community Institute and the TMW Center for Early Learning and Public Health at the University of Chicago.
The study involved a video lesson that aims to boost what a moms know about their child’s early brain development, and the power that language has to build an infant’s brain and fuel school readiness.
The study — which took place in the mother-baby units at Baptist, Sacred Heart and West Florida hospitals — showed that the video lesson can be an influential learning tool for parents.
Now the research that Pensacola women were a key part of will be used in other communities to help fine-tune a strategy for how to saturate a community with the message of the importance of a child’s earliest years.
“Crucially, this study has also informed the model for implementing the 3Ts Newborn intervention in the context of regular care, which is critical in achieving population-level changes in young children’s language development outcomes,” wrote the researchers, who included Kristin Leffel, research and strategic operations at TMW Center.
"We saw increased knowledge about child language and cognitive development after participants watched TMW-Newborn," Leffel said. "This is significant and important because we know from other research that what parents know right after birth (as measured by the SPEAK) predicts their interaction with their children at 9 months of age. We are happy to see growth among parents across all income groups, and are particularly encouraged to see growth in parents from low-socioeconomic status backgrounds."
The TMW team presented preliminary findings at the Society for Research in Child Development conference in Baltimore in March 2019. The findings will be used in the TMW Center next project: a five-year, communitywide demonstration project in collaboration with the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, (Florida). The goal of that project is to reach 10,000 families with young children over the duration of the project.
The research project is a key part of SCI’s effort to create an Early Learning City in Pensacola — a community where only 45 percent of kindergartners are ready for school according to state standardized tests.
Research shows that children who don’t have the foundational skills they need to be “kindergarten ready” can face an uphill climb to catch up to their peers who do have those strong early language skills.
If those children still lag behind grade level in their language skills by third grade, it can put them on a path of struggling to keep up and succeed in school, graduate on time and pursue higher education opportunities.
The work of SCI is focused around improving school readiness and giving every parent the tools they need to give their child a better chance to be ready for school. And the TMW Center partnership is part of that effort.
From 2017-2019, TMW Center partnered with six hospitals — 3 in the Chicago area and 3 in Escambia County — to test:
— If a video lesson could boost parent knowledge of infant language and cognitive development.
— If it could boost what parents knew about the importance of the universal newborn hearing screening.
— If such a video could fit into the context of regular maternity care.
The answer in all three cases was yes.
In all, more than 5,800 parents were offered the chance to be part of the study. Of them, 2,467 Florida women were offered participation in the study and 1,333 completed the study, which wrapped up in fall 2019.
Will Condon, president Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart, said his hospital was honored to be part of this important study for the community.
“The more we can educate our moms on the importance of early childhood development and interaction the better for everyone involved,” Condon says. “Partnerships with organizations like the Studer Community Institute are vital for the future health and wellbeing of our communities that we are privileged to serve. We look forward to playing a key role in future educational programs that better prepare our patients and families for life outside of the hospital.”
Mark Faulkner, president and CEO of Baptist Healthcare, said, “We were delighted to have partnered with SCI to participate in a study of such importance.
“This program allowed our nurses to embrace our Mission at Baptist Health Care of helping people throughout life's journey — in this case at the earliest stages of life by supporting this effort which highlights the value of early brain and language development through purposeful interactions that begin with newborns and continue as the child ages.
“We look forward to continued opportunities to partner in order to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve."
HOW IT WORKED
Moms were presented a survey on an iPad, asking them set questions about how babies’ brains develop and how they learn and process language.
Moms then watched a video that highlights some key teaching points about how parent talk and interaction influence a child’s brain development.
Then moms were asked the same questions again to see what they learned from the video.
The video was in four versions: a short version (about 7 minutes); a longer version (about 14 minutes); a short version with questions that pop up to interrupt the video (parents must answer for the video to continue playing); and a long version with the interstitial questions.
— Moms from both low- and high-socioeconomic status groups increased their knowledge about brain and language development.
— The video with interstitial questions helped moms with a lower educational attainment level learn more than the video without questions. The interstitial questions had no impact on the learning gains made by moms with a four-year degree or higher.
— No significant differences in knowledge gains between the long and short versions of the videos.
— It also shows, the study authors say that such an intervention can be made part of routine postpartum care.
The participation rate for the 2015-2016 pilot study in Chicago was 25 percent.
Our participation rates are:
— West Florida: 38.7 percent.
— Baptist: 63.4 percent.
— Sacred Heart: 52.4 percent.