What do good teachers do to foster learning?

The CLASS tool measures teacher–child interactions and helps you target areas for improvement

CLASS logoThe quality of teaching can vary greatly, even in classrooms led by highly credentialed teachers. What has been found to be more important than certificates or degrees are the interactions between teachers and students and what teachers do with the materials they have.

To accurately assess factors directly tied to student learning—including positive and negative classroom climate, teacher sensitivity, language modeling, and behavior management—Dr. Robert Pianta and his colleagues developed the Classroom Assessment Scoring System® (CLASS®).

Researched for over 15 years in more than 3,000 early childhood settings, these valid, reliable observational tools objectively measure the quality of teacher–student interactions. With versions for infant, toddler and Pre-K programs, as well as K–3 classrooms, the CLASS tools help pinpoint areas of strength and areas for growth, providing critical information programs and schools can use to guide improvement efforts.

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At a glance

What is the CLASS tool?

A valid, reliable observational tool that objectively measures the quality of teacher–child interactions in early childhood programs and early elementary classrooms.

What age range does it cover?

From infants to third-grade students

How long does it take?

The CLASS tools require 30-minute cycles for observation and scoring, repeated up to 6 times over 3 hours

Who completes it?

Administrators, supervisors, principals, program directors, researchers

Is it valid and reliable?

Yes, the CLASS tool was researched for over 10 years as part of the NCEDL Multistate and Sweep Studies and The NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Together, these studies conducted observations in more than 3,000 pre-K to third grade classrooms.

Is training required?

Reliable use of the CLASS tools requires training. The two-day CLASS Observation Training prepares observers to use the measure accurately and culminates with a test and one-year CLASS observer certification. For more information on recommended training, availability, and scheduling, please visit the Teachstone website.