Examining the reliability and validity of a teacher self-report and observational measure of social-emotional learning classroom practices in elementary schools

Esther Essie Sutton, Fordham University

Abstract

Over the past decade, a number of social-emotional learning (SEL) programs and initiatives have emerged in schools to promote the development of student’s self-awareness and self-regulation, prosociality, perspective-taking, and empathy. Although studies have found positive outcomes associated with school-based SEL programs, there has been little formal assessment of teachers’ SEL classroom practices and how such practices are related to teachers’ social-emotional well-being and the quality of interactions between teachers and students. This study focused on the development of a self-report and observational assessment of teachers’ SEL classroom practices (SEL-CP), and examined the psychometric properties of these assessments, specifically their reliability and construct validity via their concurrent association with indicators of teacher well-being and the quality of classroom interactions. Participants included 147, full-time, 3rd and 4th grade teachers and their classrooms, drawn from 27 public elementary schools. Data were collected as part of a larger randomized controlled trial evaluating the outcomes of a literacy-based social-emotional learning program supported by a systematic coaching approach. Results indicated a three-factor structure of the SEL-CP Teacher Self-Report scale; items referring to teachers’ use of hands-on activities, lessons and discussions, and conflict resolution strategies mapped onto three subscales, each of which demonstrated acceptable internal reliability. Inter-rater agreement was acceptable for most items on the SEL-CP Observation scale. Although teacher reports of SEL-CP did not correlate with findings from the observation scale, the measures of SEL-CP were significantly associated with specific indicators of teacher social-emotional well-being and the quality of classroom interactions. This was the first study to develop and examine measures of teacher’s practices that focus specifically on social-emotional learning and provides preliminary evidence of the scales’ reliability and validity. Limitations and future directions are discussed with regard to the use of both measures of SEL-CP in research and practice. ^

Subject Area

Psychology

Recommended Citation

Sutton, Esther Essie, "Examining the reliability and validity of a teacher self-report and observational measure of social-emotional learning classroom practices in elementary schools" (2016). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10192262.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI10192262

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