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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2012 Jun;54(6):544-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2012.04264.x. Epub 2012 Mar 28.

Assessing educational outcomes in middle childhood: validation of the Teacher Academic Attainment Scale.

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1
Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK. sjj19@le.ac.uk

Abstract

AIM:

Assessing educational outcomes in high-risk populations is crucial for defining long-term outcomes. As standardized tests are costly and time-consuming, we assessed the use of the Teacher Academic Attainment Scale (TAAS) as an outcome measure.

METHOD:

Three hundred and forty three children in mainstream schools aged 10 to 11 years (144 males, 199 females; 190 extremely preterm and 153 term; mean age 10 y 9 mo, SD 5.5 mo, range 9 y 8 mo-12 y 3 mo) were assessed using the reading and mathematics scales of the criterion standard Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, 2nd (UK) edition (WIAT-II). Class teachers completed the TAAS, a seven-item questionnaire for assessing academic attainment. The TAAS was also completed at 6 years of age for 266 children.

RESULTS:

Cronbach's alpha 0.95 indicated excellent internal consistency, and the correlation between TAAS scores at 6 and 11 years indicated good test-retest reliability (r=0.77, p<0.001). Significantly higher TAAS scores for term vs preterm children demonstrated discriminative validity. TAAS scores at 6 and 11 years were significantly correlated with WIAT-II reading (r=0.69 and 0.75, p<0.001) and mathematics (r=0.75 and 0.82, p<0.001) scores, demonstrating good predictive and concurrent validity respectively. TAAS scores of <2.5 were good predictors of learning difficulties.

INTERPRETATION:

The TAAS is a brief, psychometrically sound teacher-report of academic attainment that yields continuous and categorical outcomes. It provides a cost- and time-efficient outcome measure for large-scale studies.

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