Laura L. Brock, Tracy K. Nishida, Cynthia Chiong, Kevin J. Grimm & Sara E. Rimm-Kaufman

This study examines the contribution of the Responsive Classroom (RC) Approach, a set of teaching practices that integrate social and academic learning, to children’s perceptions of their classroom, and children’s academic and social performance over time. Three questions emerge: (a) What is the concurrent and cumulative relation between children’s perceptions of the classroom and social and academic outcomes over time? (b) What is the contribution of teacher’s use of RC practices to children’s perceptions and social and academic outcomes? (c) Do children’s perceptions of the classroom mediate the relation between RC teacher practices and child outcomes? Cross-lagged autoregressive structural equation models were used to analyze teacher and child-report questionnaire data, along with standardized test scores collected over 3 years from a sample of 520 children in grades 3-5. Results indicate a significant positive relation between RC teacher practices and child perceptions and outcomes over time. Further, children’s perceptions partially mediated the relation between RC teacher practices and social competence. However, the models did not demonstrate that child perceptions mediated the relation between RC practices and achievement outcomes. Results are explained in terms of the contribution of teacher practices to children’s perceptions and student performance. [Copyright 2008 Elsevier]

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