Teacher Observations of Preschoolers’ Social-Emotional Behavior: A Formative Evaluation

2015-10-21T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Claire G. Christensen
Social-emotional competencies—skills for managing one’s emotions and relationships—are integral to children’s academic and social success. Early-childhood educators need quality measures to track and support these competencies. One such measure is the Minnesota Preschool Affect Checklist-Teacher (MPAC-T), a new teacher observation tool. This paper describes a formative evaluation of a rater training program for teachers learning to use the MPAC-T.Twenty-two early-childhood educators participated in a pretest; a laboratory visit including MPAC-T training, a post-test, and focus groups; and a one-week follow-up. Teachers rated videos more accurately at post-test than at pre-test. Teachers’ post-test ratings were moderately accurate and consistent over time. Multi-facet Rasch measurement analyses revealed specific items and videos that were rated least accurately. Focus group responses highlighted specific ways the MPAC-T training program can be revised to improve the accuracy of teachers’ ratings.