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					Chapter 7

Classroom Climate: CAFIAS
One of the earliest and most popular interaction analysis systems was that developed by Flanders (1960) and
called Flanders Interaction Analysis System (FIAS). It was originally designed to describe verbal interaction
patterns between teachers and students and became a measure of classroom climate. In 1974 Cheffers, Amidon,
and Rogers (1974) adapted FIAS to physical education by adding a nonverbal component. Cheffers adaptation
of FIAS, known as CAFIAS, has been widely used in physical education by both the researcher and the
practising teacher. It is presented here as an example of one of the simplest interaction analysis tools used to
describe the climate of the gymnasium. The reader is encouraged to consult the full manual for more elaborate


The purpose of this instrument is to describe the climate of the gymnasium.

Category Definitions

The category definitions for CAFIAS are presented in the box below.

The Categories of CAFIAS

Coding Symbols
Environment (E)
Student (S)

Categories                 Verbal                 Relevant                        Nonverbal

    2–12                     2                                                         12
                Praises, commends, jokes,          Face:        Smiles, nods with smile, (energetic) winks,
                encourages                                      laughs.
                                                   Posture      Claps hands, pats on shoulder, places hand on
                                                                head of student, wrings student's hand,
                                                                embraces joyfully, laughs to encourage, spots in
                                                                gymnastics, helps child over obstacles.

    3–13                       3                                                       13
                Accepts, clarifies, uses, and      Face:        Nods without smiling, tilts head in empathetic
                develops suggestion and                         reflection, sighs empathetically.
                feelings by the learner                         Shakes hands, embraces sympathetically, places
                                                   Posture:     hand on shoulder, puts arm around shoulder or
                                                                waist, catches an implement thrown by student,
                                                                accepts facilities.

    4–13                     4                                                         14
                Asks questions requiring           Face:        Wrinkles brow, opens mouth, turns head with
                student answer                                  quizzical look.
                                                   Posture:     Places hands in air, waves finger to and fro
                                                                anticipating answer, stares awaiting answer,
                                                                scratches head, cups hand to ear, stands still
                                                            half turned towards person, awaits answer.

    5–15                       5                                                  15
                Gives facts, opinions,           Face:      Whispers words inaudibly, sings or whistles.
                expresses ideas, or asks         Posture:   Gesticulates, draws, writes, demonstrates
                rhetorical questions                        activities, points.

    6–16                      6                                                   16
                Gives directions or orders       Face:      Points with head, beckons with head, yells at.
                                                            Points finger, blows whistle, holds body erect
                                                 Posture:   while barking commands, pushes child through
                                                            a movement, pushes a child in a given

    7–19                        7                                                    17
                Criticises, expresses anger or   Face:      Grimaces, growls, frowns, drops head, throws
                distrust, sarcastic or extreme              head back in derisive laughter, roll eyes, bites,
                self-reference                              spits, butts with head, shakes head.
                                                            Hits, pushes away, pinches, grapples with,
                                                 Posture:   pushes hands at student, drops hands in disgust,
                                                            bangs table, damages equipment, throws things

    8–18                       8                                                   18
                Student response that is         Face:      Poker face response, nod, shake, gives small
                entirely predictable, such as               grunts, quick smile.
                obedience to orders, and         Posture:   Moves mechanically to questions or directions,
                responses not requiring                     responds to any action with minimal nervous
                thinking beyond the                         activity, robot like.
                comprehension phase or
                knowledge (after Bloom)

  eine (8\)                  EINE                                             EINETEEN
     &                        (8\)                                                 (19\)
einteen (18\)   Predictable student responses    Face:      A ‘What's more, sir’ look, eyes sparking.
                requiring some measure of        Posture:   Adds movements to those given or expected,
                evaluation and synthesis from               tries to show some arrangement requiring
                the student, but must remain                additional thinking, e.g. works on gymnastic
                within the province of                      routine, dribbles basketball, all game playing.
                predictability. The initial
                behaviour was in response to
                teacher initiation

    9–19                        9                                                   19
                Pupil-initiated talk that is     Face:      Interrupting sounds, gasps, sighs.
                purely the result of their own   Posture    Puts hands up to ask questions, gets up and
                initiative and that could not               walks around without provocation, begins
                be predicted                                creative movement education, makes up own
                                                            games, makes up own movements, shows
                                                            initiative in supportive movement, introduces
                                                            new movements into games not predictable in
                                                            the rules of the games.

   10–20                      10                                                    20
                Stands for confusion, chaos,     Face:      Silence, children sitting doing nothing,
                disorder, noise, much noise                 noiselessly awaiting teacher just prior to
                                                            teacher entry etc.
Recording Procedures

CAFIAS uses continuous coding or a 3 second interval. Every time behaviour changes categories, it is coded. If
behaviour does not change categories in 3 seconds, the same category is recorded. Data from CAFIAS can be
analysed in many different ways. One of the most fruitful analyses is to look at the frequency of behaviour
chains, which are small sequences of behaviour (e.g., 4-8-1-3 or 5-5-5-6-8). When chains of two behaviours are
coupled together, they can be put on a matrix so that clusters of patterns can be identified. The recorded
sequence of 5-6-8 would go on the matrix as pairs of 5-6 and 6-8. (The first and last recorded categories go on
the matrix coupled with a category 1 so that the pairs can be matched.) Teachers will also want to keep track of
when students are in an activity and when they are not by placing an additional code at the start and end of
activity. This will also help the recorder understand the setting in which the behaviour is taking place.

Interpreting Data

Information from CAFIAS can describe the direct or indirect influence of the teacher (categories 5-7 are direct
and categories 2-4 are indirect) and the type of student responses teachers are getting as a result of those
behaviours. Whether teacher influence should be direct or indirect is a value judgement. As stated in the research
literature, physical education tends to be a highly teacher-directed process. In other teaching settings, effective
climates are basically neutral and slightly more warm in their climate. Criticism (category 7) is to be avoided.
Patterns of teacher talk and the use of questioning are largely situation-specific ideas as long as they do not
reduce practice time to unwanted levels.

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