Teacher Version of the My Class Inventory-Short Form: An Accountability Tool for Elementary School Counselors

Article excerpt

This article reports on a psychometric study examining the validity and reliability of the My Class Inventory--Short Form for Teachers, an accountability measure for elementary school counselors to use as they evaluate aspects of their school counseling programs. As a companion inventory to the student version of the My Class Inventor--Short Form (Sink & Spencer, 2005), this instrument assesses teachers' perceptions of the classroom climate as they relate to five scales: overall student satisfaction with the learning experience, peer relations, difficulty level of classroom materials, student competitiveness, and school counselor impact on the learning environment. Implications for practice are included.

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Given the widespread implementation of comprehensive school counseling programs (CSCPs) across the country, professional school counselors are now able to solidify their roles and functions within their buildings. For years, Gysbers and Henderson (e.g., 1988, 2004, 2005; Gysbers & Lapan, 2003) and other leading counselor educators (Adelman & Taylor, 2002; Borders & Drury 1992; Dahir, 2004; House & Hayes, 2002; Paisley & Hayes, 2003; Shepherd Johnson, 2000) have argued that school counselors' CSCP practices must be congruent with school districts' educational mission statements. Moreover, for at least two decades, the need for increased school counselor accountability and results-based practice has been stressed in the professional literature (e.g., Adelman & Taylor; American School Counselor Association [ASCA], 2005; Astramovich, Coker, & Hoskins, 2005; Bleuer, 1984; Brigman & Campbell, 2003; Borders & Drury 1992; Dahir & Stone, 2003, 2006; Gysbers & Henderson, 2005; Hayden & Pohlmann, 1981; House & Hayes, 2002; Hughes & James, 2001; Isaacs, 2003; Johnson & Johnson, 2003; Lapan, 2001, 2005; McGannon, Carey, & Dimmitt, 2005; Myrick, 2003).

After considerable effort in formulating a model framework, the ASCA National Model[R (American School Counselor Association, 2005) provides pre K-12 school counselors with a well-designed and coherent structure to guide their activities, interventions, and services. The ASCA National Model clearly indicates that counselors are to be educationally focused, assisting all students with their classroom learning. As such, school counselors at all grade levels require valid and reliable instruments to measure the efficacy of their work with students, caregivers, and other relevant school constituents. For instance, school counselors require research-based tools to effectively assess changes in student behavior and the accomplishment of counseling and program outcomes (Lapan, Gysbers, Multon, & Pike, 1997; Sink & Spencer, 2008; Studer, Oberman, & Womack, 2006; Thompson, Loesch, & Seraphine, 2003). They also should have compatible measures to assess both students' and teachers' views of their learning milieus. However, accountability tools with acceptable psychometric properties and validated on school-based populations within a CSCP context are in short supply.

In an ongoing attempt to close this instrumentation gap, we report on the development and psychometric analysis of a new classroom climate survey called the My Classroom Inventory-Short Form for Teachers (TMCI-SF). The investigation summarized below is a follow-up study to Sink and Spencer (2005). In that investigation, the psychometric evidence supporting the use of the My Classroom Inventory-Short Form Revised (MCI-SFR) in elementary school counseling programs was offered. Before turning to the study's findings, we briefly address the rationale for using school and classroom environment scales, situating the discussion within the school success literature as well as the school and classroom climate research.

STUDENT DEVELOPMENT AND SCHOOL SUCCESS CONNECTION

Similar to other school-based educators attempting to fulfill the mandates of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB, 2001) legislation, professional school counselors are encouraged to realign their CSCP goals to foster student learning and academic development (Hayes, Nelson, Tabin, Pearson, & Worthy, 2002). …