Graduate Program

School Psychology

Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2022

Thesis Director

Margaret T. Floress

Thesis Committee Member

Assege HaileMariam

Thesis Committee Member

Wesley D. Allan


The present study aimed to assess the social validity and feasibility of a standardized classroom observation tool intended to assess teachers’ current use of the five features critical to effective classroom management. Forty-three observers who regularly conducted classroom observations (e.g., school psychologists) were recruited to complete 20-min observations in kindergarten through twelfth grade classrooms, and then complete an adapted behavior intervention rating scale to assess their social validity ratings of the tool. Due to COVID-19, observers could either complete a live observation or recall a previously completed observation. Of the 43 observations, 15 were live and 28 were recalled. To complete the ratings, observers answered 15 Likert-style items to produce a total score with a maximum of 75 points. Total rating of 60 points or higher were considered acceptable. Seventy-nine percent of participants rated the tool a score of 60 or higher, suggesting most found the tool acceptable. No significant differences were found in ratings of the tool between live vs. recalled participants, participants with or without graduate training in consultation and direct observation, or participants who obtained more objective or less objective data from the tool itself. Additionally, no significant correlation was found between BIRS ratings and number of observations participants typically conduct per month. Additional comments left by participants presented important themes, as well, including positive feedback on the inclusion of operational definitions and the breadth of data the tool can collect, concerns regarding subjectivity of the strategy quality ratings, and a surprising amount of hesitation to provide classroom management skills feedback to teachers because of how they may react or perceive it. Future research and implications of these findings are discussed.