The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale - Third Edition (ECERS-3) is the latest version of one of the most widely used observational tools for assessing the quality of classrooms serving preschool-aged children. This study was the first assessment of its factor structure and validity, an important step given its widespread use. An ECERS-3 observation was conducted in 1063 preschool classrooms in three states. In a subset of those classrooms (n = 119), Classroom Assessment Scoring System - Pre-K (CLASS Pre-K) and child assessment data were also collected. Analyses of the ECERS-3 suggested that a single factor does not adequately capture item variability. Of the solutions tested, the four-factor (Learning Opportunities, Gross Motor, Teacher Interactions, and Math Activities) provided the best combination of statistical support and theoretical utility. In general, the ECERS-3 Total Score and the four factors were moderately correlated with the three domains of the CLASS Pre-K. ECERS-3 Total Score, Learning Opportunities, and Teacher Interactions were positively related to growth in executive function, as were all three domains of the CLASS Pre-K. However, all significant associations were small, and most tested associations between ECERS-3 scores and children's growth, and between CLASS Pre-K and children's growth, were not significant. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for measuring preschool quality. (author abstract)
Factor structure and validity of the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale - Third Edition (ECERS-3)
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