Measuring approaches to learning in preschoolers: validating the structure of an instrument for teachers and parents

Otilia C. Barbu, Ronald W Marx, David B Yaden, Deborah Levine-Donnerstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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This study examined a 13-item instrument measuring approaches to learning (AtL) as a component of school readiness in the context of early childhood socio-emotional development. Few instruments, limited to preschool teacher ratings, measure AtL among kindergarteners with short easy-to-use questionnaires. We investigated psychometric properties of the instrument designed to provide practical measures of AtL behaviours identified in the Arizona Early Learning Standards with teacher (n = 205) and guardian (n = 1025) samples. We found a one-factor structure via exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The multi-group CFA for combined teacher and guardian models indicated a good fit, which demonstrated the structure validity of the AtL instrument. This finding, combined with evidence of reliability of the instrument, supported the educational utility of the AtL as a new tool for measuring school readiness among kindergarteners in Arizona.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEducation 3-13
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Mar 20 2015



  • approaches to learning
  • CFA
  • EFA
  • readiness
  • structural validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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