Prioritizing Interactions to Support Children’s Academic Achievement

Timothy W. Curby, Catharine Chavez


This article summarizes research on the use of dimensions of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS; Pianta, La Paro, & Hamre, 2008) to predict pre-k children’s achievement outcomes. The CLASS is widely used to examine the quality of teachers’ interactions with students. The CLASS provides information about 10 dimensions that are usually averaged into three domains. Given the broad nature of the domains, policy makers and school personnel may find it difficult to identify starting points for professional development or training. In this study, we looked at which specific dimensions of the CLASS were most strongly predictive of children’s achievement. Results indicated that Positive Climate, Productivity, and Concept Development were the best predictors of the four academic outcomes. The results suggest that these three dimensions should be given priority when it comes to policies, professional development, and observations meant to change or monitor student academic achievement.

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