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CPRE : Consortium for Policy Research in Education

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Journal Article

Assessing the Validity of a Language Arts Instruction Log Through Triangulation

In this study we attempted to illuminate why measures of instruction sometimes fail to meet discrete tests of validity. We used a triangulation strategy—multiple methods, data sources, and researchers—to investigate teachers' and observers' reports on a daily language arts log. Data came from a pilot study of the log conducted in 8 urban public elementary schools. Statistical results increased our confidence in the log's ability to measure: a) instruction at grosser levels of detail, b) instructional activities that occurred more frequently, and c) word analysis instruction. Some qualitative evidence gave us greater confidence in the instrument-for example, when teachers differed from observers because they possessed background knowledge not available to observers. Other qualitative evidence illustrated dilemmas inherent in measuring instruction. Overall, we believe triangulation strategies provided a more holistic understanding of the validity of teachers' reports of instruction than past validity studies.

Publication Date

April 2008