© 2018 by The RELATE Project, LLC

Supportive Classrooms


Drawing from large, extant, longitudinal data-sets, we model trajectories of student and teacher outcomes as functions of individual-, classroom-, and school-level factors. Our research questions focused on supportive classrooms include the following:

  • What are the individual-, classroom- and school-level factors that are most beneficial for students and teachers to create these optimal outcomes?

  • Do these differ as a function of the individual-, classroom-, and school-level characteristics?

  • ​If differentiation emerges, how do we inform educational policy and practice to create the most beneficial supportive learning setting for students and the teachers who educate them?

A supportive learning environment can provide students with the academic and social capital necessary for success in both school and life outside of the classroom. School-level factors, like curricular interventions and investment from school leaders, positively impact both teacher and student performance across K-12 schools. Teachers who feel supported not only tend to have students who perform better, but are also more likely to stay in their profession and report higher satisfaction with their life outside of the classroom. More specifically, SEL interventions reduce teacher burnout, improve student engagement, and support student outcomes including academic achievement, behavior, and social-emotional competence. We also know school connectedness predicts improved achievement trajectories and fewer conduct problems by way of increasing student engagement. When students feel their teachers are more invested in them, they engage and achieve at greater levels than their less connected peers.

Validating the Emotion-Focused Interactions Scale for Teacher-Student Interactions
Teacher-student interactions contribute to the quality of the classroom environment.
Although numerous measures of these interactions exist, few target the affective
expression and reception of interactions directly. To fill this need, we detail the piloting
and psychometric validation a self-report measure, the Emotion-Focused Interactions
(EFI) Scale. Results show the EFI is reliable as a 1 factor measure, with strong positive
loadings and adequate internal consistency. Confirmatory factor analysis rendered the
EFI valid, test-retest reliability was adequate, and concurrent validity was significant.
Results suggest the EFI has good psychometric properties as a measure of affective exchanges among teachers and students. Implications for use and further study are discussed.
Citation: Cipriano, C., Barnes, T. N., Kolev, L., Rivers, S., & Brackett, M. (Forthcoming, 2018) Validating the Emotion-Focused Interactions Scale for Teacher-Student Interactions. Journal of Learning Environments Research, 10.1007/s10984-018-9264-2 
Examining the Relationship between Perceptions of Teacher Self-Efficacy, School Support, and Teacher and Paraeducator Burnout in a Residential School Setting
Despite teacher teaching self-efficacy and burnout’s influence on student outcomes, little research has been conducted on teacher self-efficacy and burnout in residential treatment schools. This study attempts to fill this need by examining the self-efficacy and burnout of teachers and paraeducators in a residential treatment school in the United States. We explore the relationships between educators’ perceptions of school supports and educators’ sense of self-efficacy and burnout Our results revealed that while educators’ perceptions of school supports were not related to educators’ sense of efficacy, there was a significant relationship between educators’ perceptions of school supports and reported levels of burnout Educators who reported lower levels of school supports had high levels of burnout. We discuss implications for larger studies on this topic and for supporting educator well-being in residential treatment schools.
Citation: Barnes, T. N., Cipriano, C., McCallops, K., Cuccini-Harmon, C., & Rivers, S. E. (Forthcoming, 2017) Examining the Relationship between Perceptions of Teacher Self-Efficacy, School Supports, and Teacher and Paraeducator Burnout in a Residential School Setting. Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties.