Early identification and remediation of literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional difficulties in kindergarten: an examination of the efficacy of a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS)
Quality education for all is one of the EU’s top priorities. However, several European education systems are regularly pointed out as being underperforming, inequitable or segregated. The core objective of the 4-year MTSS-K project is to adapt, implement and assess the effectiveness and efficiency of a promising American educational approach for kindergarten in five European countries. The so-called Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) aims at reducing inequalities by training teachers to improve the socio-emotional, literacy and numeracy skills of all students and more particularly of the most vulnerable ones. This model calls to adopt evidence-based teaching practices and to regularly and monitor students’ progress on the basis of objective data (Tier 1); to provide early and more intensive group interventions to students who do not progress as expected (Tier 2); and to provide even more intensive interventions to students who continue to need it (Tier 3). This model has been shown to improve equal opportunities of school success and inclusion by significantly diminishing the number of students with learning and behavior difficulties and referred to special education services. However, data is missing as regards comprehensive implementation of this model, its efficacy in kindergarten, its applicability in the European educative systems, and the cost-benefit ratio of this measure. In addition to fill these gaps, the MTSS-K project also aims at making accessible for stakeholders, schools and teachers on a dedicated free-access website evidence-based syntheses, intervention tools, and skills’ assessment instruments developed for the study, to disseminate the results and data in the perspective of the open-science framework, and to make policy recommendations for EU and national authorities.