Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS)

CLASS is a tool for assessing the quality of early childhood education environments.

Program details

  • Priority area: Communication, wellbeing (social and emotional), access and inclusion
  • Primary audience: Educators
  • Delivery mode: Group training
  • Strength of evidence: Considered a valid assessment tool
  • AEDC sub-domains:
    • Language and cognitive development basic literacy
    • Language and cognitive development v interest in literacy/numeracy and memory
    • Language and cognitive development advanced literacy
    • Communication skills and general knowledge
  • Item cost: Moderate ($200–$2,000 per person/item)

Program description

CLASS assesses emotional and instructional elements of quality in early childhood educational environments by measuring child-teacher interactions in a classroom setting. It can be used for research and program evaluation, and to improve the practices of educators and teachers.

Following training in CLASS, the provider can coach participants to embed appropriate strategies in educational programs.

Training dates change regularly based on demand. For current details, visit the provider's website.

Detailed cost

  • Two-day training per person: $1,600 (excluding GST)
  • Scale manual: $38

Implementation considerations

  • Target population: educational leaders and kindergarten teachers.
  • Staffing: a certified CLASS observer must conduct the classroom observations and assessments: teachers cannot use CLASS to self-assess.
    • It is helpful if 2 professionals from one setting attend training to support implementation and application of CLASS.
    • Services should consider the cost of backfill when determining the cost of accessing this resource.
  • Factors to consider: educators who become certified in CLASS and conduct observations and assessments in other rooms may require backfill in order to conduct the observations.
  • Training requirements: using CLASS requires training to be able to make consistent qualitative judgements. CLASS includes 2 observational tools, one for kindergarten classrooms and one for Prep to Year 3 classrooms. Training for each is a 2-day workshop.
  • Australian experience: the Melbourne Graduate School of Education provides CLASS training.

VEYLDF alignment

Item uses these practice principles

  • Reflective practice
  • High expectations for every child
  • Integrated teaching and learning approaches
  • Respectful relationships and responsive engagement
  • Equity and diversity

Item responds to these sub-outcomes

  • Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes
  • Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media
  • Children engage with a range of texts and get meaning from these texts
  • Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work
  • Children use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking