CLASS: Ongoing Development and Dissemination

The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)™ is an observational tool that provides a common lens and language focused on what matters—the classroom interactions that boost student learning. Data from CLASS™ observations are used to support teachers’ unique professional development needs, set school-wide goals, and shape system-wide reform at the local, state, and national levels. 

Based on research from the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and studied in thousands of classrooms nationwide, the CLASS™ observation tool

  • focuses on effective teaching
  • helps teachers recognize and understand the power of their interactions with students
  • aligns with professional development tools
  • works across age levels and subjects

Current work focuses on expanding the CLASS into infant and toddler classrooms as well as validation work on Upper Elementary and Secondary versions of CLASS. CASTL also supports the implementation of CLASS as a part of national (Office of Head Start), State (e.g. Virginia, Georgia, Arizona), and local (e.g. San Diego, California) efforts to measure and improve early childhood education.

Funding Sources: Foundation for Child Development and the Picower Foundation

Selected publications:

Hamre, B. K., Pianta, R. C., & Choomat-Mooney, L. (2009). Conducting Classroom Observations in School Based Research. In L. Dinella (Ed).  Conducting Psychology Research in School-Based Settings:  A Practical Guide for Researchers Conducting High Quality Science within School Environments (pp 79-106). Washington DC: APA Press.  

Pianta, R. C., & Hamre, B. K. (2009). Conceptualization, measurement, and improvement of classroom processes: Standardized observation can leverage capacity. Educational Researcher, 38, 109-119. 

LaParo, K.M., Hamre, B. K., Locasale-Crouch, J., Pianta, R. C., et al., (2009). Quality in kindergarten classrooms: Observational evidence for the need to increase children's learning opportunities in early education classrooms. Early Education and Development, 20, 657-692. 

Mashburn, A.J., Pianta, R., Hamre, B.K., Downer, J.T., Barbarin, O., Bryant, D., Burchinal, M., Clifford, R., Early, D., Howes, C. (2008). Measures of Classroom Quality in Pre-Kindergarten and Children’s Development of Academic, Language and Social Skills. Child Development, 79, 732-749.

  • Project Team
    Headshot of Robert C. Pianta
    Robert C. Pianta Batten Bicentennial Professor of Early Childhood Education, Founding Director, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning