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Teacher/Classroom Constructs

· Positive Emotional Climate

Positive emotional climate reflects the overall emotional and social tone of the classroom. In classrooms with positive emotional climate children demonstrate that they feel they are in a safe and pleasant environment by smiling and laughing frequently, approaching the teacher without hesitation and showing respect to the teacher and each other. The teacher frequently smiles, laughs, and uses physical proximity and touch in appropriate ways (as demonstrated by the child's comfort with any physical contact). Overall, classrooms receiving high scores would be considered a happy and pleasant place to be.

· Negative Emotional Climate

The negative emotional climate code is intended to capture classrooms with a climate that is hostile, tense, angry, punitive, cold and/or controlling. Observations of negative emotional climate should be based on interactions between the teacher and all the children as well as among the children. The rating should take into account expressions from the teachers of anger or hostility toward the children in the form of negative regard, disapproval, criticism, or annoyance. Classrooms high on this scale may be characterized by frequent expressions of irritation by the teacher, such as frowning, yelling, or exasperated sighs. The teacher may also discourage children from taking "risks" by ignoring or criticizing their input into class discussions. Frequent fighting, crying, and other expressions of sadness or anger amongst the children should also be considered as characteristic of classroom receiving high rating on this scale.

· Other possible teacher constructs include: responsivity/sensitivity; classroom management; intrusiveness/overcontrol; detachment/disengagement; discipline strategies; teaching strategies; evaluative feedback; instructional conversation.

Child Constructs

· Self-Reliance

Self-reliance reflects the degree to which the child displays autonomy, self-regulation, and personal initiative within the classroom. The child high on this scale takes responsibility for his own actions, activities, and materials. He persists in difficult situations and tolerates frustration, but seeks adult assistance when appropriate. The child low on self-reliance may show self-directedness in low-stress or highly-structured activities, but often lacks these qualities in ambiguous or challenging situations. He may appear to lack confidence and may seek adult assistance before even attempting a task.

· Negative Affect

Negative affect reflects the anger, hostility, and aggression of the child. The child who receives a high rating on negative affect expresses physical aggression or verbal assaults. The anger and/or aggression may be directed at peers, teachers, or materials. This type of behavior is to be distinguished from aggressive fantasy play and playful aggression that occurs in the context of positive affect and shared goals with a play partner.

· Other possible child constructs include: positive affect; activity level; disruptive behavior; sociable/cooperative with peers; attention.

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