Analysis of Communication Skill and Interpersonal Problem Solving in Preschool Trainees

Article excerpt

A situation becomes a problem for an individual when this situation disturbs him/her, when this situation is perceived as a problem, or when the individual faces an obstacle in achieving an objective (Bingham, 1998; Morgan, 1999). It is important to improve problem-solving skills of children starting from the preschool period to ensure that they adapt to real life. Appropriate problems give children the opportunity to find solutions using their own styles. Learning is best achieved by practice during play which helps children to acquire analytical thinking and the skills to produce solutions. When children do not acquire problem-solving skills, they may adopt violent solutions that they see when they watch television or videos. Learning problem-solving skills at an early age will lay a sound basis for children and for the world (Zembat & Polat Unutkan, 2003). The preschool teacher plays a major role in the development of children during preschool years (Ceylan, Yildiz-Bigakgi, Gursoy, & Aral, 2009). Teachers are one of the main sources for improving the problem-solving skills of children. Teachers play an important role in showing children that they (the children) have the ability and ways and means to deal with problems that arise in their environment (Bingham, 1998).

The methods used by teachers to interpret events and situations and the problem-solving styles of the teachers have a significant impact on the cognitive schema of children (Aydogan & Omeroglu, 2004; Kurtyilmaz, 2005). Children discover and improve their abilities thanks to opportunities that enable them to solve problems. Problem solving expedites the personal development of a child and accelerates improvement of the child's abilities, sense of self-esteem, and self-confidence (Bingham, 1998). Children learn how to make use of internal and external sources to solve problems. Appropriate problem solving is achieved by effective communication, which is the common feature of all problem-solving approaches (McWhirter & Voltan-Acar, 2000). The situations and problems individuals encounter take place in social contexts. Therefore, the problems they have to solve emerge in interpersonal communication networks, and problem solving requires an effective use of communication skills (Kurtyilmaz). Communication is the basis of personal relationships. The mutual understanding of needs and figuring out the message by both sender and recipient contributes to communication. The feeling of students that they are accepted by their teachers and friends is the most essential prerequisite of communication in an educational setting. This prerequisite is even more important when considering the development and personal traits of preschool children. Children develop the language they use by imitating the adults. In this context, adults, and especially teachers, have an important role (Caglar & Kurtulus, 2003).

When school life begins, the parental role of hero is transferred to the teacher who becomes the role model for the children and who has a more significant influence in this critical development period. For this reason, the school environment and teachers contribute to the development of attitude and values of the students and also affect their behaviors (Kurtyilmaz, 2005). It has been found that students who have a high level of social support from their teachers have high self-esteem (Arslan, 2009). Preschool is an important period in children's development (Aral & Butun Ayhan, 2008; Aral, Kandir, & Can-Yasar, 2002; Haktanir & Aktas, 1994; Kandir, 2001; simsek-Bekir & Temel; 2006). The purpose in this study was to analyze the communication skill and interpersonal problem-solving skills of preschool teacher trainees who will work in the preschool service.

METHOD

PARTICIPANTS

The survey model was adopted for the current study and the sample was chosen randomly from Selguk University (Konya, Turkey) in 2008. …