If you’ve ever attended a CLASS Observation Training, you’ve heard the trainer state that the CLASS is a valid tool for measuring the efficacy to teacher-child interactions: that classroom quality, as measured by the CLASS, predicts positive developmental and academic outcomes for children (predictive validity). Specifically, children who attend classrooms with higher CLASS scores demonstrate better social and academic outcomes than their peers in classrooms that were not rated as highly.
You may have wondered, “What is the research behind the CLASS? How can they state so confidently that the CLASS works?” If so, you are in luck! Teachstone is excited to release our paper titled, “Effective Teacher-Child Interactions: A Summary of the Research on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) Pre-K through Third Grade.” This paper reviews over 150 peer reviewed research studies that examined the use of CLASS in pre-K and third-grade classrooms in the U.S. In addition to confirming that the CLASS has predictive validity, they also show that targeted CLASS-based professional development helps teachers improve their interactions with children, leading to improved child outcomes. It’s pretty neat stuff!
To read this paper and learn more, click here. Happy reading. You can also watch our webinar "Research for Real People" that discusses the paper. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
If you are wondering about the other age levels of the CLASS, rest assured that we were working on collecting and analyzing studies on these age levels as well.
Okay, this is a slight change from our usual “What We’re Reading” posts. Instead of highlighting a particular article, we wanted to share an interesting application of research: this childcare cost calculator from the Center for American Progress. You can use it to estimate the impact of improving different parts of structural quality (the infrastructure that surrounds teaching, like teacher-child ratios, the physical space, and materials) on the cost of care.
Everyone experiences stress in their daily lives. Some of it, like deadlines or first date nerves, are good stress. It propels you forward and helps you accomplish goals. Some stress, like the car in front of you slamming on the brakes, is acute, but temporary. But a more concerning type of stress that’s gained a lot of attention in the past few years is toxic stress, long-term, unrelenting exposure to stressful situations. In young children, this stress can alter the development of the brain, creating shortcuts to the parts of the brain that “turn on” stress responses and limiting connections to the parts of the brain responsible for learning and reasoning.
Social-emotional skills are key to student success. These skills include the ability to recognize and regulate emotions and behavior, take others’ perspectives, and make sound choices. Children who have good social-emotional skills have an easier time making friends and maintaining strong relationships with teachers and peers.
Student engagement is crucial for learning. Students who understand the rules and routines of the classroom and have something to do are less likely to engage in disruptive behavior, allowing the teacher to focus more on instruction. Engagement is only heightened when teachers make learning come alive. Warm, caring, and responsive teachers inspire students to focus on classroom activities, be it a read-aloud in an early childhood classroom or a writing activity in an upper grade classroom.