The Teacher Belief Q-Sort


The TBQ method offers the opportunity to describe characteristics of teachers as well as compare a group of teachers’ beliefs and priorities to an “ideal” teacher. The TBQ is particularly effective at assessing teachers’ priorities and beliefs as they change during the process of implementation of a new intervention.

For example, when teachers are implementing a new intervention, the TBQ can be used to examine how well aligned the teachers’ beliefs are with his/her intervention coaches’ beliefs. The Teacher Belief Q-sort offers an advantage as it is less susceptible to bias than traditional questionnaire methods. Both the reliability and construct validity (both convergent and discriminant validity) appear high. The measure is more fully explained in relation to measuring teachers’ implementation of the Responsive Classroom approach.

The measure can be administered using a paper or a web-based interface. We, at the UVA Social Development Lab no longer administrate an online version of TBQ.  However, we welcome you to use other web-based survey tools to administer the TBQ.

You are also welcome to adapt items and anchors in the TBQ. Of course, we ask that you cite the source appropriately.


Decker, L. E., & Rimm-Kaufman, S. E. (2008). Personality characteristics and teacher beliefs among pre-service teachers. Teacher Education Quarterly, 35(2) 45-64. PDF

Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., & Sawyer, B. E. (2004), Primary-grade teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs, attitudes toward teaching, and discipline and teaching practice priorities in relation to the “Responsive Classroom” approach. The Elementary School Journal, 104(4), 321-341. PDF

Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., Storm, M., Sawyer, B., Pianta, R. C., & La Paro, K. M. (2006). The Teacher Belief Q- Sort: A measure of teachers’ priorities and beliefs in relation to disciplinary practices, teaching practices, and beliefs about children. Journal of School Psychology, 44(2), 141-165. PDF