Publication Date

Spring 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Elizabeth Lemerise (Director), Diane Lickenbrock, and Matthew Shake

Degree Program

Department of Psychological Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS, LaParo, Pianta, & Stuhlman, 2004) assesses quality of teacher social and instructional interactions with children, and classroom management and productivity. Prior research indicated low quality of feedback scores in programs serving low-income children (Early et al., 2005). The purpose of this study was to compare the quantity and quality of managing interaction utterances (i.e. a type of feedback) provided by Head Start teachers (N = 8) in two classroom contexts. Video-recorded book-reading and 20-minute center-time sessions in the fall and spring of a school year were used to assess managing interaction utterances in structured (book-reading) and unstructured (center-time) contexts.

A coding system was developed to classify managing interaction utterances by statement type. Statements were coded as “do” commands, “don’t” commands, negative comments, general praise (good job), or labeled praise (Good job sharing your toys). Command utterances were also coded for purpose as managing behaviors (not directly related to academic learning) or teaching behaviors (guide child in academic learning). Results indicated there was a higher quantity of managing interaction utterances in center time than book reading. In addition, there was a higher quality of managing interaction utterances in center time. This finding was demonstrated through a greater rpm of “do” commands, general praise, and overall developmentally appropriate statements (“do” commands, general praise, and labeled praise) in center time than book reading. Analyses of purpose revealed center time commands were used to manage and teach the children, whereas in book reading commands only had a managing function; however, this trend failed to reach significance. The differences in quantity and quality of classroom management statements across contexts indicate within-group variation of instruction as a function of context. Thus, teachers may benefit from context-specific training sessions.


Child Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Early Childhood Education | Educational Psychology | Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education