Posted from archive: 09.10.2013 | by AMRA

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The importance of various teaching competencies can’t be assessed without the tools to measure them. Assessing teaching performance is crucial, not only for improving teacher training, but also for verifying the integrity of research protocols. Crane et al. [Assessment] describe the development of the Mindfulness-Based Interventions Teaching Assessment Criteria (MBI:TAC), a research instrument for assessing mindfulness teachers’ competence and adherence to protocol. The MBI:TAC was developed by senior mindfulness teacher trainers at three different universities with postgraduate training programs in MBSR/MBCT.

The developers arrived at consensus on six evaluation domains: (1) coverage, pacing and organization of session curriculum, (2) relational skills, (3) embodiment of mindfulness, (4) guiding mindfulness practices, (5) conveying course themes through interactive inquiry and didactic teaching, and (6) holding the group learning environment. Each of the domains can be rated for six levels of teacher competence.

While the developmental process of the MBI:TAC helped provide a level of face and content validity, the authors evaluated its reliability and concurrent validity using a cohort of 43 mindfulness teachers and teacher trainees whose performance was rated by 16 senior teacher-trainers. Internal consistency was high (α = .94) and inter-rater reliability (r = .81) good.

In a test of concurrent validity, second-year trainees outperformed first, year trainees on all six domains. The effect sizes for training year were all large and significant, but raters were not blind to the training year of the participants. Although still in its early stages of development, the MBI:TAC holds promise as a method for assessing fidelity to research protocols and assisting the process of teacher training.

Reference: Crane, R. S., Eames, C., Kuyken, W., Hastings, R. P., Williams, J. M. G., Bartley, T., . . . Surawy, C. (2013). Development and validation of the mindfulness-based interventions–teaching assessment criteria (MBI: TAC). Assessment, 20(6):681-88. [PMID: 23794181]

[Link to abstract]