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Equitable teaching practices have been described as "connected" and "communal" interactions in classrooms. Jensen, Grajeda and Haertel (2018) frame these practices in the figure below. They organize nine dimensions of equitable teaching into three domains: Life Applications, Self in Group, and Agency. Below, we define these domains and dimensions, and provide observation rubrics to support implementation across various types of classrooms. Additional resources are provided below. 

Domains and Associated Dimensions of the Classroom Assessment of Sociocultural Interactions (CASI; Jensen, Grajeda & Haertel, 2018)

Life Applications

Life Applications: extent to which interactions explore and value students' out-of-school lives (i.e., routines, practices, interests, relationships, expertise, and values) (1=Disconnected, 5=Well-Connected)


Language Use: How students’ everyday languages or language varieties (e.g., dialects, vernaculars, creoles) are incorporated into the classroom—in order to enhance social relations, facilitate instruction, and reinforce cultural identities. (Indicators: Instructional Discourse, Social Conversation, Students’ Use, Language Inclusion) See Rubric

Content Connections: How teacher and students connect out-of-school experiences (such as routines, interests, social relationships, perspectives, expertise, values, and traditions) with instructional content and learning objectives. (Indicators: Teacher Sharing, Encourages Sharing, Draws Connections, Personal Sharing, Make Connections) See Rubric

Equity: How teacher and students address fairness, bias, and justice within the classroom as well as in wider society. (Indicators: Examination, Resolution, Commitment to Equity, Experiences with Inequity, Equity Topics) See Rubric

Self In Group

Self in Group: extent to which interactions orient students to work and identify with others versus focus on individual accomplishments (1=Not Communal, 5=Communal)


Competition: How interactions promote the success of individual students at the expense of others’ success. Unlike for all other CASI dimensions, indicators for Competition are reverse-worded. That is, more competition is associated with scores that fall on the left end (i.e., “not communal”). (Indicators: Student Comparison, Achievement Emphasis, Peer Orientation, Competitive Activity) See Rubric

Peer Collaboration: The extent to which opportunities are provided for students to collaborate with peers in shared classroom activities, and the manner in which students engage in these activities. (Indicators: Group Work, Social Coordination, Peer Communication, Activity Goals) See Rubric

Social Organization: How social relationships are organized in the classroom to motivate students' effort and learning. (Indicators: Shared Responses, Authentic Incentives, Social Enthusiasm, Authentic Participation) See Rubric


Agency: extent to which interactions support student choice and freedom (1=Not Communal, 5=Communal)


Autonomy: How classrooms provide opportunities for students to make choices and be proactive in academic tasks and in the learning process (Indicators: Task Choices, Classroom Responsibilities, Cultivates Expression, Initiative, Self-Expression) See Rubric

Role Flexibility: How classroom interactions provide opportunities for role switching between teachers and students. (Indicators: Teacher as Learner, Teacher as Listener-Observer, Student as Authority, Listening & Observing) See Rubric

Equitable Expectations: How the teacher communicates to all students that s/he believes in their capability to succeed. (Indicators: Instructional Inclusion, Equitable Affect, Equitable Scaffolding, Equitable Correction) See Rubric


Jensen, B. (2018). Measuring cultural dimensions of classroom interactions Educational Assessment, 23(4), 250-276.

Jensen, B., Mejía-Arauz, R., Grajeda, S., Toranzo, S. G., Encinas, J., & Larsen, R. (2019). Measuring cultural aspects of teacher–child interactions to foster equitable developmental opportunities for young Latino children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

Reese, L., Jensen, B., & Ramirez, D. (2014). Emotionally supportive classroom contexts for young Latino children in rural California. The Elementary School Journal, 114(4), 501-526.