Assessing Noncognitive Aspects of School Readiness: The Predictive Validity of Brief Teacher Rating Scales of Social–Emotional Competence and Approaches to Learning

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Research Findings: Head Start teachers completed brief rating scales measuring the social–emotional competence and approaches to learning of preschool children (total N = 164; 14% Hispanic American, 30% African American, 56% Caucasian; 56% girls). Head Start lead and assistant teacher ratings on both scales demonstrated strong internal consistency and moderate interrater reliability. When examined longitudinally, preschool teacher–rated approaches to learning made unique contributions to the prediction of kindergarten and 1st-grade academic outcomes, need for supplemental services, and grade retention, even after we accounted for preschool academic skills. In contrast, preschool teacher–rated social–emotional competence made unique contributions to the prediction of reduced behavior problems and peer difficulties in kindergarten and 1st grade. Practice or Policy: The findings demonstrate that preschool teachers are able to provide distinct and reliable ratings of child social–emotional competence and approaches to learning using brief rating scales, with validity for predicting elementary school adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1094
Number of pages14
JournalEarly Education and Development
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 17 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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