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CASTL Measures

Classroom Assessment Scoring System™

CLASS™ is an observational instrument developed at the University of Virginia to assess classroom quality in PK-12 classrooms. It describes multiple dimensions of teaching that are linked to student achievement and development and has been validated in over 2,000 classrooms. The CLASS™ can be used to reliably assess classroom quality for research and program evaluation and also provides a tool to help new and experienced teachers become more effective. More information and resources on CLASS™.

Individualized Classroom Assessment Scoring System™

The inCLASS is the first rigorously tested instrument to assess preschool children’s patterns of interactions with teachers, other children, and learning activities, based on systematic observations in the classroom. This tool can provide educators with a thorough, objective report of a child’s capabilities in a classroom setting, so they are better able to target instruction and support to meet a child’s needs. When used as a research tool with large samples of children, inCLASS gives scientists the opportunity to describe preschoolers’ individual experiences in a classroom setting and examine how their engagement with teachers, peers and tasks may contribute to early learning. More information and resources on inCLASS.

Child-Parent Relationship Scale (CPRS)

A self-report instrument completed by mothers and fathers that assesses parents' perceptions of their relationships with their sons and daughters. The 15 items are rated on 5-point Likert scales and the ratings can be summed into groups of items corresponding to conflict and closeness subscales. Scale Guide Early School Behavior Scale A brief screening measure of competencies and behavior problems for children aged 4-6 years. Describing children's behavior in early childhood, the ESBS consists of two 4-point Likert scales, a 43-item scale for parents and a 40-item scale for teachers, which can be used separately. The items describe positive and negative behaviors that are characteristic of preschool children. The scale yields a total score and three subscale scores: Competence, Acting-Out and Anxiety (internalizing behavior). Early School Behavior Scale – For Parents Early School Behavior Scale – For Teachers Early School Behavior Scales – Scoring Information Student-Teacher Relationship Scale (STRS) Identifies student-teacher relationships that could benefit from intervention and support and helps determine the extent to which relationship strengths and weaknesses should be addressed in program planning. Learn more.

Teacher Beliefs Q-Sort (TBQ)

The TBQ is a tool that measures three aspects of teachers' beliefs and priorities: Discipline and Behavior Management, Teaching Practices, and Beliefs about Students. The TBQ method offers the opportunity to describe characteristics of a sample of teachers in relation to these three dimensions as well as compare a group of teachers' beliefs to an "ideal" teacher. For more information and an online TBQ demo, visit the Social Development Lab website.

Teacher Relationship Interview (TRI)

A semi-structured, 11-question, narrative interview concerning teachers' representations of their relationships with a specific student, elicits relationship narratives encompassing seven dimensions of a teacher's relationship, what teaches say about their interactions, how teachers talk about their relationships with children, and the emotions they express during these conversations. The seven dimensions assessed are: compliance, achievement, secure base, neutralizing, agency, positive affect, and negative affect. Teacher Relationship Interview Teacher Relationship Interview Qualitative Coding Manual Teacher Relationship Interview Qualitative Scoring Sheet.

The M-Scan Measure

The M-Scan measure is an observationally-based tool designed to assess Mathematics Instructional Quality in elementary school mathematics classrooms. A trained research observes a classroom mathematics lesson and rates the lesson and the teachers’ interactions with students on a one to seven scale in relation to: structure of the lesson, cognitive depth, problem solving, connections and applications, explanation and justification, mathematical discourse community, multiple representations, students’ use of mathematical tools, and mathematical accuracy. For more information about the M-Scan, contact Robert Berry,


The Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders (HTKS) is a research instrument developed for the University of Michigan Pathways to Literacy Project. The HTKS is considered an observational measure of behavioral self-regulation and requires children to focus and shift attention, remember multiple rules, and inhibit automatic responses. Extensive work in North America and cross-culturally has established reliability and validity for the HTKS in children ages 4-6 years. An ongoing IES study (2010-2014) at Oregon State University seeks to develop the HTKS as a readiness screening instrument. For more information, please contact Claire Cameron,


Information about additional measures developed through Robert C. Pianta's research.

CLASS and State QRIS

As many as 57% of children ages 3 to 5 and 20% of infants and toddlers spend time in center-based care. The vast majority of these child care centers had little oversight of their efforts to improve children's school readiness, until 13 years ago, when a few states began developing quality rating and improvement systems.

Based on early childhood education research, most of these states have targeted teacher-child interactions as an area of child care quality they must monitor. A number of states have decided that the Classroom Assessment Scoring System™ was the best instrument for this task. The CLASS coding system addresses interactions related to emotional and instructional support as well as to classroom management.

As trained observers using the CLASS instrument characterize the quality of teacher-child interactions in a child care setting, they can also use the instrument’s thorough descriptions of high-quality interactions to illustrate ways a center can improve.

"It's the single most effective thing I've ever been involved with for children and staff," said Mary Margaret Gardiner, child care quality program manager at Children, Youth and Family Services, which monitors 24 centers in the Charlottesville area. "With the CLASS tool, you can see what's going on. You get a good picture of a child's day-to-day experience."

The CLASS instrument is being used in rating systems in Virginia and four other states. In six states, the CLASS is included in the mix of allowable and recommended measures that local jurisdictions can choose, and it is being considered by eight other states as they plan for rating-system development.

Read more.

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