Improving Classroom Quality: Teacher Influences and Experimental Impacts of the 4Rs Program

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classroom quality, classroom emotional and instructional climate, randomized trial, social– emotional learning, school-based intervention


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This study capitalizes on recent advances in the reliable and valid measurement of classroom-level social processes known to influence children’s social– emotional and academic development and addresses a number of limitations in our current understanding of teacher- and intervention-related impacts on elementary school classroom processes. A cluster randomized controlled trial design was employed to (a) examine whether teacher social– emotional functioning forecasts differences in the quality of 3rd-grade classrooms, (b) test the experimental impact of a school-based social– emotional learning and literacy intervention on the quality of classroom processes controlling for teacher social– emotional functioning, and (c) examine whether intervention impacts on classroom quality are moderated by these teacherrelated factors. Results indicated (a) positive effects of teachers’ perceived emotional ability on classroom quality; (b) positive effects of the 4Rs Program on overall classroom quality, net of teacher social– emotional functioning indicators; and (c) intervention effects that are robust to differences in these teacher factors. These findings support and extend recent research examining intervention-induced changes in classroom-level social processes fundamental to positive youth development.

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Peer Reviewed