Application of Rasch model and traditional statistics to develop a measure of primary school classroom learning culture

The study developed and validated a scale of elementary school classroom culture through sequential application of Rasch model and traditional statistics. The conceptual framework for the study was a theoretical model of elementary school classroom culture comprised of two educational outcome factors (six sub-factors), two class group factors (seven sub-factors), a teacher factor (four sub-factors) and a parental involvement factor. Likert scale items were written for each factor and sub-factors to produce a 108 item scale. The scale was administered to a convenience sample of 622 students in 28 elementary school classrooms.

The psychometric properties of the data were analysed using the computer programs SPSS and Rasch Unidimensional Measurement Models (RUMM). Both programs were then used for scale development and validation. The refined scale contained 59 items organised into five factors and 15 sub-factors. Each sub-factor was internally reliable and factors elicited data on a discreet construct. The items within each sub-factor were arranged in Guttman patterns from 'easy' to 'hard'. Scale development ensured the data from the refined scale fitted the theoretical model.

The study shows that the measurement capacity of a scale can be enhanced by application of both Rasch model and traditional statistics in scale development.