STaR is committed to evidence-based practice in the education of young children with disabilities and additional needs, Including support of their families and educators.
The basic philosophy and strategies of the STaR Childcare Placement and Support Program, including our Transition to School program, were developed from a 10-year research project undertaken at the Macquarie University Special Education Centre (MUSEC).
We continue to incorporate emerging evidence-based practices into our programs. We also conduct our own research, usually in collaboration with academics from Macquarie University’s Department of Educational Studies.
From the beginning, STaR has been committed to contributing to the evidence base in early intervention for young children with disabilities and additional needs.
Download a summary of publications and conference presentations based on research with STaR program children and families.
A STaR team of special education teachers and social welfare staff provided workshops and mentoring to educators from a Sydney family day care service, thanks to a local government community grant.
STaR has been evaluating the effects of the training on the educators’ confidence and attitudes about including children with additional needs in their programs and supporting the children’s families.
A 2014 study involved the 2013 STaR-Macquarie University Special Education Centre (MUSEC) research team and this was funded through a Macquarie University grant. It took place in two of our affiliated childcare centres with three STaR children, their educators and some of their typically-developing peers.
The study measured the effect of an intervention that involved coaching the peers to help the STaR children to take turns using an iPad app.
What was special about this research?
- It capitalised on the presence of typically developing peers.
- It made use of mobile touch screen devices that appeal to children.
- The educators who were involved gained professional development in instructing and coaching.
A study in 2013 compared the effect of picture books and iPad apps as catalysts to engage three STaR children who had high support needs and were identified as difficult to engage.
Researching with STaR
STaR supports collaborative research with other organisations or research by external researchers if the STaR Research Committee judges it to be:
- Ethical and respectful of the people participating
- Aligned with the mission and values of the STaR Association
- Contributing useful knowledge about early intervention and/or family support.