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Title: Assessment of classroom quality in inclusive preschool settings : development and validation of a new observation measure
Author: Soucacou, Eleni P.
ISNI:       0000 0000 5119 1303
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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This research study investigates quality indicators of classroompractices in inclusive preschool settings. For this pUIpose, the Inclusive Classroom Profile (ICP), a structured observation rating scale was designed to assess the quality of daily practices that support the developmental progress of children with special education needs in early childhood settings. The development of the rating scale addressed a need recognised in the educational literature for direct, systematic assessment of classroom quality in inclusive programmes, and responded to the inadequacy of existing observation measures in meeting this need. Following a multi-step, iterative process, the development of the rating scale entailed systematic fieldwork in inclusive preschool settings, as well as a comprehensive review of the literature within the fields of early childhood and early childhood special education. The newly developed measure was field tested in 45 inclusive settings in three local authorities in England. The results of the validation study showed that the measure has good inter-rater reliability, is internally consistent and shows a good factor structure. Correlations between the new scale and other established measures of classroom quality provided some initial evidence for construct validity. This thesis argues that assessment measures which have traditionally been used to assess quality in early childhood classrooms are useful but not sufficient in assessing those dimensions of classroom quality which can support the diverse needs of children with disabilities in preschool settings. The diverse profiles of children in early childhood classrooms require measures that are sensitive to their individualised needs and goals. The measure developed in this study challenges current applications of structured observation measurement of classroom quality by placing the focus of assessment on specific groups of children within their classroom environment. This assessment tool has implications for both research and practice. As a research tool it may be used to measure quality of inclusive classrooms. It can also allow researchers to investigate the relationship between aspects of classroom quality and children's development. As a self-assessment tool, it might be used in the future to help teachers and administrators reflect on their own practice so they can adapt classrooms to better accommodate children's needs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available