Graduate Program

School Psychology

Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2021

Thesis Director

Margaret T. Floress

Thesis Committee Member

Gary L. Canivez

Thesis Committee Member

Caridad F. Brito


The present study aimed to develop and pilot a standardized classroom observation tool intended to assess teachers’ current use of the five features critical to effective classroom management. Thirty-nine observers who regularly conducted classroom observations (e.g., school psychologists) were recruited to complete 39, 20-min observations in kindergarten through twelfth grade classrooms. Due to COVID-19, observers could either complete a live observation or think of a previously completed observation. Of the 39 observations, 13 were live and 26 were recalled. To complete the observation, observers indicated whether the teacher was observed to use each of the 21 evidence-based strategies and if endorsed, the observer rated the quality of the strategy. The frequency of teacher praise and reprimand was also collected for the 13 live observations. On average, teachers used 13 of the 21 strategies (61.9%) and the average quality rating was 4.1 (of 5). There was a positive correlation between evidence-based strategies and frequency of behavior-specific praise observed, which was statistically significant. Quality ratings for behavior-specific praise were also positively related to frequency of behavior-specific praise, which was statistically significant. Quality ratings for brief instructional corrections were significantly related to frequency of mild reprimands observed. Future research and implications of these findings are discussed.