Kindergarten teachers' practices to support children's social and emotional development: Case studies in Western Australian catholic schools
Kirk, Gillian (2014) Kindergarten teachers' practices to support children's social and emotional development: Case studies in Western Australian catholic schools. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.
This study investigated how teachers in Western Australian Catholic schools supported kindergarten children’s social and emotional development. By employing a sociocultural conceptual approach to analyse the data, this study highlighted the contribution of the local community’s educational values on the methods and patterns of programming and interactions within the classroom. The quantity and quality of teacher-child interactions, and where they occurred in the program were indicative of the support given to children’s social and emotional development.
An ethnographical approach was employed to investigate the complexity of classroom interactions and cultural influences on the program. Six teachers volunteered to participate in the study, providing a diverse range of not only pedagogical styles but also socio-economic areas and cultural backgrounds. A triangulation of research instruments were used to provide a more holistic view of how the teachers were supporting children’s social and emotional development. These included a teacher survey that investigated how the teacher interpreted their pedagogical approach; a survey that required teachers to rate the participating children’s social and emotional development; extensive participant-observations, and informal and formal teacher interviews. The data were presented as case studies with the emerging themes and patterns discussed in the cross case analysis.
This study found that children’s social and emotional development was best supported when (1) the classroom program provided a balance between teacher- and child-guided activities, (2) the teachers perceived both modes of activities as important vehicles for learning, and (3) the teachers recognised the importance of their role in supporting children’s social and emotional development in both teacher- and childinitiated activities. In addition, the teachers that were more effective in supporting children’s social and emotional development placed equal emphasis on relationships, play and physical and psychological environment. The data suggested that different suburbs in the Perth metropolitan area held different values on educational goals. These values influenced kindergarten teachers’ pedagogy and the emphasis they placed on supporting social and emotional development. This study has implications for early childhood educators and the way they organise their programs and classrooms. Specifically it emphasises the importance of the teachers’ role in supporting children’s social and emotional development in all aspects of the classroom context, not just during teacher-initiated activities.
|Publication Type:||Thesis (PhD)|
|Murdoch Affiliation:||School of Education|
|Supervisor:||Hammond, Libby-Lee and MacCallum, Judy|
|Item Control Page|
Downloads per month over past year