Document Type


Date of Degree


Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Education (Educational Measurement and Statistics)

First Advisor

Qualls, Audrey L.

Second Advisor

Ansley, Timothy N.


The objective of the present study was to investigate the validity of a new teacher rating inventory, the Iowa Early Learning Inventory (IELI). It is intended to assess the young students' cognitive behaviors, behaviors related to or supportive of the learning process. It is intended to be useful for early identification of students who are likely to encounter learning difficulties later in their academic careers. The intended users are kindergarten and 1st grade teachers. The construct theory of the IELI was empirically derived using qualitative analysis of behavior statements obtained from relevant sources. Six areas of cognitive behaviors emerged from the qualitative analysis. The IELI was constructed to measure these areas using representative behaviors for item content. All six areas of cognitive behaviors had medium or strong correlations with each other and all had correlations of medium strength with ITBS achievement measures. Investigation of the relationship of individual cognitive behavior areas with selected measures of achievement supported that the IELI captures variance related to other measures of related constructs. Confirmatory factor analyses of the structure of the IELI investigated five models consisting of the six areas. None of the models was evaluated as adequately fitting the data. The most promising model consisted of six correlated areas or factors, each defined by the items intended to measure the respective cognitive area. Investigation of sex DIF identified a small number of potential problems in three of the six areas, but investigation of ethnic DIF was inconclusive but called for further investigation. Overall, the results indicated that the IELI provides useful and valid information about the cognitive relationships of early learners.


Validity, cognitive behaviors, teacher ratings, inventory, primary grades, achievement


2, xi, 175 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 163-175).


Copyright 2004 Sigurgrímur Skúlason

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