Measurement of Teachers' Social-Emotional Competence: Development of the Social-Emotional Competence Teacher Rating Scale
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The significant role that teacher social-emotional competence (SEC) may play in the classroom environment through classroom management, forming positive teacher-student relationships, and implementation of social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula, as well as the influence SEC may have on teachers' overall well-being, requires an assessment that is able to reliably measure this construct in a manner that is valid for research and applied purposes. This study investigated the development of a scale measuring teacher SEC, the Social-Emotional Competence Teacher Rating Scale (SECTRS). The SECTRS was created and evaluated by an expert panel. Following the content validation process and follow-up revisions, the scale was administered to a sample of teachers (N = 302) and the scale's factor structure was explored, along with basic elements of the scale's reliability and validity. Finally, demographic characteristics were assessed to determine if relationships to SEC scores existed across these characteristics. Results of the factor analysis revealed a four-factor solution that explained 37.93% of the variance. The four factors identified measured aspects of teacher-student relationships, emotion regulation, social-awareness, and interpersonal-relationships. Internal consistency reliability estimates ranged from .69 to .88. Convergent validity results revealed that the SECTRS factor and total scores had significant, positive correlations (.44 to .65) with a scale measuring emotional intelligence and low, negative correlations with a scale measuring teacher burnout (.01 to -.34). Teacher ratings on the SECTRS did not demonstrate differences across gender, ethnicity, and community setting. Teacher ratings on the SECTRS differed based upon years of teaching experience, age, teacher setting, and grade-level. Finally, the SECTRS was found to have significant, positive correlations with perceptions of teacher-student relationships (.40 to .64), controlling behavior management styles (.17 to .22), as well as positive school climate. The SECTRS had significant, negative correlations with authoritative instructional styles (-.31 to -.55). Overall, results suggest that the SECTRS has adequate psychometric properties and provides an initial version of a scale that measures teacher SEC; however, the results of the factor analysis are far from conclusive and additional research is required to refine and validate the SECTRS tool before it is used in research and practice.
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