Examination of school readiness constructs in Tanzania
Psychometric evaluation of the MELQO Scales
Raikes, A., Koziol, N., Janus, M., Weatherholt, T., Smeby, A., & Sayre, R. (2019). Examination of school readiness constructs in Tanzania: Psychometric evaluation of the MELQO Scales. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 62, 122-134. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2019.02.003
This study examines the development and learning of 684 Tanzanian children starting school, averaging 7 years of age. A primary goal was to evaluate the psychometric properties of a globally-informed measure of school readiness. Using multiple measures including newly-developed direct assessment, and teacher and parent reports of child development, we hypothesized that children's development and learning would demonstrate expected constructs of academic and social/emotional skills and associations with family and child characteristics. Children's direct assessment scores factored into five domains measuring pre-mathematics, pre-literacy, executive functioning, fine motor skills, and socioemotional knowledge. Teachers' reports of children's social/emotional abilities factored into three domains measuring children's social competence, attention/self-regulatory abilities, and problem behaviors. Structural analyses indicated that children's attentional/self-regulatory abilities were associated with their direct assessment scores. Future research should examine these constructs in other countries, with additional methodologies to examine cultural fit and relevance.