Development and factor structure of the Classroom Environment Questionnaire (CEQ)

Ms Carissa Lyons1, Dr Ted Brown1, Dr Helen Bourke-Taylor1

1Monash University, Frankston, Australia

Aim:

Occupational therapists offer a unique perspective regarding the environment’s contribution to occupational performance, and as such, would benefit from an assessment tool that measures the unique characteristics of the primary school classroom environment where children complete their schoolwork activities. The aim of this study was to develop and psychometrically evaluate a new teacher report questionnaire to measure characteristics of the physical, social, temporal, institutional and cultural primary school classroom environment.

Method:

The Classroom Environment Questionnaire (CEQ) utilises a 4 point rating scale where teachers rate 51 environmental characteristics of their classroom.  Teachers also rate, on a 10 point scale, the extent to which they believe the five environmental domains mentioned above contribute to students’ schoolwork performance.  Principal components analysis was undertaken to examine the factor structure and construct validity of the CEQ, utilising a sample of 117 participants.

Results:

The CEQ was found to be multi-dimensional, with items loading onto nine viable factors representing characteristics of the classroom environment. Based on the analysis results, 20 items were removed from the scale and 31 items were retained. The factor structure of the CEQ conceptually links with occupational therapy theory and definitions regarding the constructs of the environment, with the unique nature of the classroom environment supporting a multi-dimensional scale.

Significance of the findings to allied health:

Overall, the identified factor structure of the CEQ indicates supporting evidence that the CEQ items fit together in measuring the unique, multi-dimensional construct of primary school classroom environments, and therefore has the potential to be a valuable scale for healthcare professionals.