Learning to Objectively Observe Kids (LOOK)

  • Research Project

What We Do

Learning to Objectively Observe Kids (LOOK) is an early childhood mental health consultation model developed in partnership with early childhood education programs as part of funding from the U.S. Department of Education. 

Project Info

Funding Source: Institute of Education Sciences (IES)
Principal Investigators: Jason Downer, Amanda Williford, Rebecca Bulotsky-Shearer (University of Miami)
Partners: University of Miami

LOOK is a set of professional development resources designed to support early childhood teachers' use of effective strategies when addressing challenging behaviors in the classroom.

LOOK includes:

  • Online learning modules
  • Assessment reports to identify children's strengths and challenges
  • Easy-to-use strategy guides
  • Guided classroom video review with a consultant

The goals of LOOK are to:

  • Help young children successfully regulate their behavior, attention and emotions
  • Support teachers in addressing challenging behaviors in early care and education classrooms

How LOOK Supports Teachers 

  • A mental health consultant provides individualized collaborative support.
  • Online learning modules provide practice for honing observational skills and introduce teachers to a framework for observing important behaviors in the classroom.
  • A guided video-review process of classroom footage provides opportunities for reflection and feedback around strategy implementation.
  • Teachers have access to a menu of evidence-based strategies to address challenging behaviors in the classroom.
  • Assessment reports highlight strengths and challenges of children and guide strategy selection.


Together with consultants, teachers involved in LOOK engage in a 4-phase process to address challenging behaviors.

  1. LOOK. Teachers objectively observe what is happening in the classroom
  2. ANALYZE. Teachers analyze the context in which challenging behaviors occur
  3. PLAN. Using information from the analysis, teachers choose strategies to implement in the classroom.
  4. ACT. Consultants guide teachers to implement strategies effectively.

This process repeats itself throughout the year. Through observation, video analysis, and consultant feedback, teachers become better observers and meet the needs of children who are struggling to regulate their behavior, attention, and emotions.

View YouTube Video

Watch the LOOK Consultation Model: A Four-Step Process video for an in-depth introduction to the LOOK Model.

Project Team

Stephanie Adams

  • Lead ECE Content and Training Developer
Carina Alvarez

Carina Alvarez

  • Ph.D. Student
Jason T Downer

Jason T. Downer

  • Professor
  • Director, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning
Ann Lhospital headshot

Ann Shargo Lhospital

  • Senior Scientist
Sarah V. Lydic

Sarah Virginia Lydic

  • Senior Instructional Technology Specialist
  • Multimedia Developer
Kate Matthew

Kate Matthew

  • Senior Project Manager
  • STREAMin3 Project Director
Kathy Neesen

Kathy Neesen

  • Research Scientist
  • Instructional Technology Director
Matthew C. Semanik

Matthew C. Semanik

  • Multimedia and Web Developer
Virginia (Ginny) E Vitiello

Virginia E. Vitiello

  • Research Associate Professor
Amanda P Williford

Amanda P. Williford

  • Batten Bicentennial Professor of Early Childhood Education Associate Director for Early Childhood Education
  • CASTL Clinical Psychologist



Downer, J.T., Williford, A.P., Bulotsky-Shearer, R.J. et al. Using Data-Driven, Video-Based Early Childhood Consultation with Teachers to Reduce Children’s Challenging Behaviors and Improve Engagement in Preschool Classrooms. School Mental Health 10, 226–242 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-017-9237-0

Williford, A. P., Bulotsky-Shearer R., *Bichay, K., *Reilly, S., & Downer, J. (2018). Adapting assessments of child engagement to develop an early childhood consultation model. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 56, 67-78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2018.01.005