Academic journal article Science and Children

Teacher-Child Interactions and Children's Development

Academic journal article Science and Children

Teacher-Child Interactions and Children's Development

Article excerpt

Teachers' daily interactions with children are crucial to making sure they're ready for school. Many state early childhood systems and the federal Office of Head Start consider teacher-child interactions when they measure programs' quality. But research hasn't always been clear about which aspects of interactions are most important to how children do academically and socially. A new study that used a novel approach to analyzing data in this area has identified which types of teacher-child interactions support children's learning and development in which areas.

Researchers studied about 1,400 preschoolers and 325 early child-hood teachers from across the country. They looked at the ways teachers taught, as well as how the children developed academically and socially and how they regulated their behavior.

They found that it was not just the quality of instructional interactions that mattered for children's academic progress. What the researchers termed responsive teaching, which involved teachers' sensitivity in responding to the children as well as their fostering of positive relationships and respect for the children's autonomy, contributed to multiple aspects of the children's development, including their language and literacy development and their ability to hold information in memory and the quality of their relationships. …

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