All Together Now: Measuring Staff Cohesion in Special Education Classrooms

This study sought to validate a new measure, the Classroom Cohesion Survey (CCS), designed to examine the relationship between teachers and classroom assistants in autism support classrooms. Teachers, classroom assistants, and external observers showed good inter-rater agreement on the CCS and good internal consistency for all scales. Simple factor structures were found for both teacher- and classroom assistant-rated scales, with one-factor solutions for both scales. Paired t tests revealed that on average, classroom assistants rated classroom cohesion stronger than teachers. The CCS may be an effective tool for measuring cohesion between classroom staff and may have an important impact on various clinical and implementation outcomes in school settings.

Keywords: autism; classroom cohesion; classroom team; teacher-staff relationship.