Measures of Effective Teaching in Developing Countries
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This paper exploits an ongoing research program that used the CLASS instrument to assess 7th grade mathematics classrooms in Chile. In this research, we re-code the same teacher videos using the Stallings instrument. We generate the first global evidence on the comparability and validity of the dimensions of teacher practice they measure. Because CLASS is significantly more expensive and complex to use, there is a policy and research interest in analyzing the degree to which the simpler, open-source, Stallings instrument produces similar results.
We ranked the Chilean teachers on their scores in each of the CLASS instrument’s three domains (classroom organization; emotional support and instructional support) and analyzed the resulting quartile distributions’ correlations with key Stallings measures of teacher performance. We found that teachers’ scores on the Classroom organization domain of CLASS were modestly correlated with the most important Stallings measures, in all cases in the directions expected and with statistical significance. Teachers’ CLASS scores on classroom organization were positively correlated with their use of time for instruction and negatively correlated with time spent on classroom management. Teachers’ scores on the CLASS classroom organization domain were also positively correlated with the Stallings measures of teachers’ ability to keep students engaged. However, Stallings measures were not correlated with teachers’ scores on the other two CLASS domains: instructional support and emotional support.
Use of the CLASS and Stallings instruments in developing countries is in its infancy. Our study provides some early evidence that in their area of overlap, the two instruments produce consistent assessments of teachers’ effectiveness in managing their classrooms and that these skills are important for student learning. This suggests that both instruments have potential to help teachers improve their practice and help school systems raise student learning. The main strength of the Stallings instrument is its suitability for larger-scale studies in representative samples of schools, to benchmark efficiency-related dimensions of education system performance or to evaluate the impact of new education programs or policy reforms on system efficiency. From the sample of teachers observed, Chile may be ready to tackle the more complex teaching skills because efficient classroom management is largely achieved. The observed teachers could benefit from CLASS-type feedback. But teachers in many other developing countries still struggle with time and behavior management. For them, Stallings can be very useful, perhaps more than CLASS at this stage, and at much lower cost.