Learning-Related Cognitive Self-Regulation School Readiness Measures for Preschool Children: Optimizing Predictive Validity for Achievement
Co-Principal Investigator(s): Dale Farran, Sandra Wilson, and Carol Bilbrey
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to construct and cross-validate a teacher rating measure and a parallel direct child assessment measure of learning-related cognitive self-regulation (LRCSR) for preschool children. LRCSR skills are conceptualized as cognitive skills that fall into five major categories: (1) attention focus and concentration (e.g, being able to pay attention to a teacherís instruction and focus on an in-class assignment); (2) inhibitory control (e.g., being able to suppress inappropriate off-task responses to distractions in the classroom setting); (3) patience (e.g., being able to wait when you are asked to do so and not respond impulsively or prematurely); (4) attention shifting (e.g, being able to shift your focus within a given classroom assignment and from one task to another as needed); and (5) organizing skills (e.g., being able to follow directions, engage in planning activities, and organize sequences of behavior to move from one activity to another). Such skills have emerged as an important facet of school readiness for preschool children. Valid measures are needed to support descriptive research on the status of preschool children on this aspect of school readiness and, most critically, intervention research on ways to enhance it. None of the measures of LRCSR currently available cover all constituent skills and none have been developed to optimize predictive validity. The first objective of this research is to construct and validate a teacher rating measure of LRCSR that has these critical characteristics. The second objective of this research study is to construct and validate a parallel child assessment measure of LRCSR that has convergent validity with the teacher rating measure.
Project Activities: The research team will use items and subscales from existing measures to construct valid and reliable teacher rating and direct child assessment composite measures of learning-related self-regulation. Initial versions of the teacher rating scale and the direct child assessment will be administered to teachers and children. In fall and spring of the preschool year, teachers will be asked to rate participating children in their classrooms using the candidate LRCSR rating scales. Direct child assessment data will be collected in fall and spring of the preschool year, and in fall and spring of the kindergarten year. The research team will conduct analyses to examine the validity and reliability of the teacher rating scale and the direct child assessment tool.
Products: The products of this research project will be a pair of convergent measures of LRCSR, one teacher rating instrument and one child assessment instrument, with both constructed around the same set of component skills and optimized for predictive validity for achievement gains, and published reports.