Agreement among student, parent and teacher ratings of school inclusion: A multitrait-multimethod analysis

Schwab, Susanne ; Zurbriggen, Carmen L.A. ; Venetz, Martin

In: Journal of School Psychology, 2020, vol. 82, p. 1-16

One of the central objectives of inclusive education, and education in general, is not only to support every students' academic learning, but also their social and emotional development. It therefore is important to identify difficulties in a child's socio- emotional development at school. The current study investigates students' emotional inclusion and social inclusion, as well as students'... More

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    Summary
    One of the central objectives of inclusive education, and education in general, is not only to support every students' academic learning, but also their social and emotional development. It therefore is important to identify difficulties in a child's socio- emotional development at school. The current study investigates students' emotional inclusion and social inclusion, as well as students' academic self- concept from four different perspectives using the Perceptions of Inclusion Questionnaire (PIQ). In particular, we analyzed the degree of agreement between teacher, mother, and father ratings with students' self-reports. Moreover, we tested if students' gender and special educational needs (SEN) are predictors for possible bias in parent and teacher reports. Survey participants included 721 Austrian, Grade 4 students from 48 classes. In addition, data from 46 teachers, 466 mother reports, and 375 father reports were included. We assessed the consistency (i.e., agreement) between the different raters by means of multitrait-multimethod analyses, or more precisely, a correlated trait–correlated method minus one (CT-C[M- 1]) model. Results of the CT-C(M-1) analyses indicated a rather strong rater bias (i.e., method effects) for all three dimensions of inclusion. However, the consistency for academic self-concept was higher than for emotional and social inclusion. Furthermore, gender and SEN status affected rater bias, particularly for teacher reports. Results suggested that it matters who reports students' emotional inclusion, social inclusion, and academic self-concept, which has methodological and practical implications.