Embedded Instruction for Early Learning

Embedded Instruction for Early Learning applies the 3R’s of Early Learning: Relationships, Repetition, Routines ™ to help children learn important skills during everyday activities with familiar people at home, in early learning programs and in the community. It is important for people who interact regularly with young children to learn how to do embedded instruction, because children learn best during everyday routines and activities with people and things that are part of everyday life.

Embedded Instruction for Early Learning is recognized as a recommended practice nationally and internationally. The Center and our collaborators have received continuous support for Embedded Instruction for Early Learning from local, state and national sponsors since 2007. Our research focuses on helping those who interact regularly with young children to learn to do embedded instruction at home, in early learning programs and in the community.

“It’s really been great to watch [this child] grow and learn. Last year he was barely saying one word to us. Now he is talking [in] full sentences, coming to his friends and asking and answering questions, and it’s been great!”

Embedded Instruction for Early Learning Teacher

Elements of Embedded Instruction

Embedded Instruction for Early Learning has four key parts that are interconnected:

“I have been working in early intervention for many years and the hardest thing has always been [knowing] how to engage families.  Now I have concrete skills to engage them. It’s very rewarding to hear mom say, ‘I know how my child learns.’”

Early Intervention Provider

Center Priorities

Generating Knowledge
Research on Embedded Instruction for Early Learning has led to its identification as a recommended practice in early childhood.

Engaging with Partners
Our work on Embedded Instruction for Early Learning has engaged local, state, national and international partners who use embedded instruction in homes, early learning programs and communities.

Preparing Leaders
Future early childhood leaders from undergraduate through postdoctoral levels at the University of Florida and at collaborating institutions of higher education have participated in Embedded Instruction for Early Learning activities since 2007.

Making an Impact
Embedded Instruction for Early Learning has had impacts throughout the United States and the world.

“The whole family has gotten involved. …Now we are not doing things without thinking about them. Now we do them a little more intentionally. Every time we are going to do something, we try to apply something we have already learned.”

Caregiver

Impact

Research on Embedded Instruction for Early Learning shows:

  • Familiar adults can learn to use embedded instruction.
  • People who use embedded instruction and report that it is helpful for them and for children.
  • Embedded instruction helps children learn skills in everyday routines and activities as they interact with familiar people and things.
  • Embedded instruction helps children use the skills they learn in different routines and activities.
  • Embedded instruction helps children continue to use the skills they learn over time.

“I got rid of my bag of toys. I didn’t need to bring it because we were working with what [the family] had. It was easier for [parents] to provide opportunities throughout their day.”

Early Intervention Provider

“[Embedded Instruction for Early Learning is] one of the most helpful tools… that I learned in my time being a teacher… it’s so rewarding to see how much progress you’re seeing so frequently, and it is so effective, and you have the data right in front of you.”

Embedded Instruction for Early Learning Teacher

Our Work in Embedded Instruction for Early Learning

Embedded Instruction for Early Learning: Tools for Families

Building on Embedded Instruction for Early Learning: Tools for Teachers (R324A07006; R324A150076), this project is developing and evaluating a new part of Embedded Instruction for Early Learning known as Tools for Families. This project extends previous research on embedded instruction for children with or at risk for disabilities. Tools for Families focuses on developing, validating, and evaluating materials and accompanying tools to enhance collaborative partnership practices between teachers and families to support the use of embedded instruction across home, school, and community settings to benefit child development and learning.

Read the IES abstract here.

  • Funding Source: Institute of Education Sciences
  • Funding Period: 7/1/2020 – 6/30/2023
  • Funding Number: R324A200044

Team:

  • Crystal Bishop, Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • Patricia Snyder, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • Brian Reichow, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • James Algina, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • Mary McLean, Investigator, University of Florida
Embedded Instruction California

The Embedded Instruction California (EI-CA) project is a collaboration among the California Department of Education, Special Education Division, and Napa County Office of Education Desired Results Access Project. Using implementation research and practices, this project’s team collaborates with the Desired Results Access Project and state and teams in local sites to support adaptation, installation, implementation, sustainability, and scale-up of Embedded Instruction for Early Learning (R324A070008) in the California context. Local and statewide coaches support preschool practitioners in partner sites throughout California working in inclusive classrooms to implement Embedded Instruction for Early Learning practices.

  • Funding Source: Napa County Office of Education
  • Funding Period: 7/1/2015 – present

Team:

  • Patricia Snyder, Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • Mary McLean, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • Darbianne K. Shannon, Project Coordinator, University of Florida
  • Therese Snyder, Project Coordinator, Desired Results Access Project, Napa County Office of Education
  • Patty Salcedo, Co-Director, Desired Results Access Project, Napa County Office of Education
  • Steve Lohrer, Co-Director, Desired Results Access Project, Napa County Office of Education
  • Elizabeth Schroeder, Director of Research, Desired Results Access Project, Napa County Office of Education
  • Larry Edelman, Consultant, Desired Results Access Project, Napa County Office of Education
Florida Embedded Practices and Intervention with Caregivers Early Steps Professional Development

Florida Embedded Practices and Intervention with Caregivers (FL-EPIC) Early Steps Professional Development (ESPD) is a collaboration that began in 2017 among the Anita Zucker Center at the University of Florida, the CEC-RAP Center at Florida State University, the Florida Department of Health, Children’s Medical Services, Early Steps program, and local Early Steps programs throughout Florida. FL-EPIC was adapted from EPIC (R324A130121) for use in the Florida Early Steps program (an early intervention program for infants and toddlers with or at risk for disabilities and their families). The primary goal of FL-EPIC ESPD is to support and examine the installation, implementation, sustainability and scale-up of FL-EPIC across the state of Florida. Throughout Florida, early intervention sites are supported by local and statewide leadership teams, including coaches, to implement FL-EPIC practices.

  • Funding Source: Florida Department of Health
  • Funding Period: 7/29/2019 – present
  • Contract Number: COQXY

Team:

  • Patricia Snyder, Program Director/Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • Brian Reichow, Co-Program Director/Co-Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • Crystal Bishop, Co-Program Director/Project Coordinator, University of Florida
  • Cinda Clark, Research Assistant, University of Florida
  • Jennifer Harrington, Post-Doctoral Affiliate, University of Florida
  • Mollie Romano, Principal Investigator/Co-PI, Florida State University
  • Juliann Woods, Co-Principal Investigator, Florida State University
Initial Efficacy Trial of Florida Embedded Practices and Intervention with Caregivers (FL-EPIC)

Florida Embedded Practices and Intervention with Caregivers (FL-EPIC) is adapted from EPIC (R324A130121). It builds on longstanding collaborations between the University of Florida’s Anita Zucker Center and the CEC-RAP Center at Florida State University to support caregiver coaching and embedded practices and intervention in early intervention programs throughout Florida. This study will provide additional efficacy evidence for FL-EPIC in which providers learn home visiting practices that build families’ confidence in supporting their children’s learning during everyday routines and activities. This project’s transdisciplinary team partners with local Early Steps programs across Florida to identify providers and families to participate. The intervention includes caregiver coaching using home visiting practices and supporting caregivers to develop family and child plans for learning in everyday routines and activities (i.e., embedded intervention). It also involves job-embedded professional development for providers, including workshops and practice-based coaching.

Read the IES abstract here.

  • Funding Source: Institute of Education Sciences
  • Funding Period: 7/1/2021 – 6/30/2025
  • Funding Number: R324A210081

Team:

  • Brian Reichow, Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • Patricia Snyder, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • James Algina, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • Wei Li, Investigator, University of Florida
  • Mollie Romano, Site Principal Investigator/Co-Principal Investigator, Florida State University
  • Juliann Woods, Co-Principal Investigator, Florida State University
Teachers to Teach Vocabulary (T3V): A Professional Development Intervention for Toddler and Preschool Teachers Serving Children at Risk for Communication Difficulties

This project involves the formation of a professional development intervention to support early childhood classroom teachers in using evidence-informed practices to improve vocabulary development among young children at risk for communication difficulties (CD). The current project will develop and evaluate an intervention, Teaching Vocabulary 3 (TV3). TV3 provides job-embedded professional development and effective teaching resources and materials for teachers to implement multi-tiered instruction to improve the vocabulary development of young children at risk for CD.

Read the IES abstract here.

  • Funding Source: Institute of Education Sciences
  • Funding Period: 7/1/2018 – 6/30/2023
  • Funding Number: R324A180192

Team:

  • Annemarie Hindman, Principal Investigator, Temple University
  • Barbara Wasik, Co-Principal Investigator, Temple University
  • Patricia Snyder, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Florida
Impact of Professional Development on Preschool Teachers' Use of Embedded-Instruction Practices: An Efficacy Trial of Tools for Teachers (Past)

The goal of this study was to examine the efficacy of Embedded Instruction for Early Learning: Tools for Teachers (R324A070008), a professional development intervention for using embedded instruction with preschool children with or at risk for disabilities. Embedded instruction is an evidence-informed approach for providing instruction to young children in the context of everyday activities and routines. This study used a cluster, randomized controlled trial to compare the efficacy of two versions of Tools for Teachers professional development program, using on-site coaching versus web-based self-coaching and a “business-as-usual” comparison group to determine effects on teachers’ embedded instruction practices and children’s outcomes.

Read the IES abstract here.

  • Funding Source: Institute of Education Sciences
  • Funding Period: 7/1/2015 – 6/30/2020 (no-cost extension)
  • Funding Number: R324A150076

Team:

  • Patricia Snyder, Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • Mary McLean, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • James Algina, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • Crystal Bishop, Project Coordinator, University of Florida
  • Brian Reichow, Investigator, University of Florida
  • Mary Louise Hemmeter, Site Principal Investigator/Co-Principal Investigator, Vanderbilt University
Embedded Practices and Intervention with Caregivers (EPIC): Development and Innovation (Past)

This project built on previous work focused on Family Guided Routines-Based Intervention and Embedded Instruction for Early Learning (R324A070008). The transdisciplinary research team developed and evaluated a caregiver-coaching approach for early intervention providers to support families to embed learning opportunities in everyday activities and routines for their infants and toddlers with significant disabilities. First, the team designed, developed, and validated a caregiver-implemented intervention approach called Embedded Practices and Intervention with Caregivers (EPIC). Once developed, the EPIC approach was evaluated to determine whether it led to providers’ increased use of caregiver-coaching practices, caregivers increased use of embedded intervention practices, and improved child and family outcomes.

Read the IES abstract here.

  • Funding Source: Institution of Education Sciences
  • Funding Period: 6/1/2013 – 5/31/2017
  • Funding Number: R324A130121

Team:

  • Juliann Woods, Principal Investigator, Florida State University
  • Patricia Snyder, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • Christine Salisbury, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Brian Reichow, Investigator, University of Florida
Tennessee Early Intervention Data System Plus (TEIDS-PLUS): Development and Innovation (Past)

This project’s goal was to develop, validate, and evaluate a web-based quality assurance system, called Tennessee Early Intervention Data System Plus (TEIDS-PLUS), built upon the existing Tennessee early intervention data system. It incorporated components related to legal requirements and recommended practices for developing and implementing quality Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs) and improving the functionality and quality of child and family outcomes. This project developed, validated, and conducted an initial evaluation of whether the use of the TEIDS-PLUS led to higher quality IFSPs, improved fidelity to IFSP implementation, and improved child and family outcomes.

  • Funding Source: Institute of Education Sciences
  • Funding Period: 7/1/2007 – 6/30/2012
  • Funding Number: R324B07266

Team:

  • R.A. McWilliam, Principal Investigator, Vanderbilt University
  • Patricia Snyder, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • Robyn Ridgley, Co-Investigator, Middle Tennessee State University
  • James Kilpatrick, Co-Investigator, TEIS Director of Early Childhood Programs
Impact of Professional Development on Preschool Teachers' Use of Embedded Instruction Practices (Past)

This project was the initial study focused on the development, validation, and evaluation of Embedded Instruction for Early Learning: Tools for Teachers (EIEL-TfT). The project involved three key phases: developing EIEL-TfT, validating it with diverse stakeholders who would implement or oversee the implementation of EIEL, testing EIEL-TfT feasibility and examining its potential efficacy. The promising evidence identified in this development and innovation project led to the Efficacy Trial for Tools for Teachers (R324A150076).

Read the IES abstract here.

  • Funding Source: Institute of Education Sciences
  • Funding Period: 3/1/2007 – 2/28/2011
  • Funding Number: R324A070008

Team:

  • Patricia Snyder, Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • Mary Louise Hemmeter, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Florida
  • Mary McLean, Co-Principal Investigator, the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
  • Susan Sandall, Co-Principal Investigator, University of Washington
  • Tara McLaughlin, Project Coordinator, University of Florida