The influence of fidelity of implementation on teacher-student interaction quality in the context of a randomized controlled trial of the Responsive Classroom approach

Tashia Abry, Sara E. Rimm-Kaufman, Ross A. Larsen, Alexis J. Brewer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the direct and indirect effects between training in the Responsive Classroom® (RC) approach, teachers' uptake of RC practices, and teacher-student interaction quality, using a structural equation modeling framework. A total of 24 schools were randomly assigned to experimental or control conditions. Third- and fourth-grade teachers in treatment schools (n=132) received training in the RC approach, whereas teachers in control schools (n=107) continued "business as usual." Observers rated teachers' fidelity of implementation (FOI) of RC practices 5 times throughout the year using the Classroom Practices Observation Measure. In addition, teachers completed self-report measures of FOI, the Classroom Practices Teacher Survey and Classroom Practices Frequency Survey, at the end of the school year. Teacher-student interactions were rated during classroom observations using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System. Controlling for teachers' grade level and teacher-student interaction quality at pretest, RC training was expected to predict posttest teacher-student interaction quality directly and indirectly through FOI. Results supported only a significant indirect effect, β=0.85, p=002. Specifically, RC teachers had higher levels of FOI of RC practices, β=1.62, p<.001, R2=69. In turn, FOI related to greater improvement in teacher-student interaction quality, β=0.52, p=001, R2=32. Discussion highlights factors contributing to variability in FOI and school administrators roles in supporting FOI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-453
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Volume51
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

Keywords

  • Fidelity of implementation
  • Responsive Classroom approach
  • Social and emotional learning
  • Structural equation modeling
  • Teacher quality
  • Teacher-student interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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