5. Construct Validity
To take another example, research on the impact of early child care and educational interventions requires sensible measures of those activities. As Layzer and Goodson (2006):556 note "There is a widespread belief that high-quality early care and education can improve children's school readiness. However, debate continues about the essential elements of high-quality experience, about whether quality means the same things across different types of care settings, about how to measure quality, and about the level of quality that might make a meaningful difference in the outcomes of children."
In their article they address four questions:
- How is the quality of child care environment commonly defined and measured?
- Do the most commonly used measures capture the child's experience?
- Do measures work well across all care settings?
- Are researchers drawing the correct conclusions from studies of child care environments and child outcomes?
Good measurement can be boiled down to two features: validity and reliability. Both in practice are matters of degree. For validity the issue is how well you are measuring what you think you are measuring.