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Teacher Social Competence

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The Teacher Social Competence (TSC) measure is a revision and integration of two measures collected in the initial years of Fast Track: the Social Competence Scale-Teacher (SCT) and the Teacher Post Ratings (TPR). The SCT includes 25 items assessing competency across three primary areas-academic behavior, prosocial skills, and emotional regulation. The SCT was administered in kindergarten, first, and second grades for all three cohorts (excluding cohort 1, grade 1). The TPR is a brief 10 item instrument designed to evaluate changes in academic performance and behavioral functioning over the course of an academic year. The TPR was administered in grades 2 and 3 (cohort two was also administered the TPR in grade 1). Technical reports exist for both the SCT (hard copy only, dated 9/95) and the TPR (soft copy on-line, dated 10/95). It should be noted that teacher ratings of social competence are also collected on the Social Health Profile (SHP). The SHP includes 9 items evaluating both prosocial behavior and emotional regulation, and was administered to all cohorts, from grades1-6. A technical report detailing this scale is available in hard copy through data center.

This measure was developed with three principal objectives: (1) to reduce the assessment load on teachers by integrating the SCT and the TPR into a shorter, more efficient scale; (2) to minimize overlap with the SHP; and (3) to reduce the likelihood of response bias by organizing items according to content. The resultant scale is a 17 item measure assessing several dimensions of social behavior including prosocial behavior, emotional regulation, and academic competence. Each item has two parts. The first part of each item allows the teacher to rate the frequency of individual social behaviors on a 6 point scale (ranging from "almost never" to "almost always"). The second part of each item allows the teacher to rate improvement in the behavior over the course of the school year on a 7 point scale (ranging from "much worse" to "much improved").

The SCT contains three conceptually derived scales-prosocial/communication skills, emotion regulation skills, and academic behavior skills-although factor analyses suggest that the prosocial and emotion regulation scales are highly intercorrelated. The TPR yields two relatively clean scales reflecting change in academic functioning and change in prosocial behavior. While the TSC bears considerable conceptual similarity to the measures from which it derives, the changes made during the process of revision and integration are substantial. Consequently, exploratory factor analyses of the TSC (using Harris-Keiser rotation) were conducted. These analyses were conducted separately for each of the two sections of the TSC-once for items assessing the frequency of various socially competent behaviors and once for items assessing change in socially competent behavior over time. Results will be presented separately for each section.

As noted, the TSC can be divided into two sections, the first assessing the frequency of 17 social behaviors and the second assessing change in these behaviors over the course of an academic year. Results from the analyses conducted here strongly suggest that these two sections should be scored separately and treated as distinct.

Additionally, while this measure was developed to include three conceptual subscales (prosocial behavior, emotion regulation, and academic competence), the prosocial behavior and emotion regulation subscales are highly intercorrelated (this is true for both frequency and change sections). Hence, the two subscales should be scored separately only when a strong theoretical rationale supports making this distinction. For most research purposes, the items in these two scales should be combined in order to score a single social competence dimension.

Keywords: Academic Performance, Prosocial Skills, Affective Behavior, Emotional Regulation, Empathy, Aggressive Behavior, Peer Relationships, Goal Orientation, Reading Skills, Math Skills.

Administration History

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24 June 2004