Early Childhood Teachers’ Self-Reported Beliefs and Practices for Relationship Management

Erden, Feyza
Öneren Şendil, Çağla
The combination of instruction and sensitive and warm relationships in the classroom is a need for eff ective teaching in early childhood education (NAEYC, 2009). Emotionally positive classroom climate and eff ective management of relationship in the classroom support engagement of children in activities (Gettinger & Stoiber, 1998). Besides, there is a relationship between positive classroom climate and social behaviors of children such as decreased misbehaviors and better cooperation (DiLalla & Mullineaux, 2008; Roland & Galloway, 2002).Management of relationship in the classroom includes management of child-child and teacherchild relationships. Management of child-child relationship is important in the classroom because positive peer relationships reduce misbehaviors and increase activity time in the classroom (Girard, Girolametto, Weitzman, & Greenberg, 2011). Teacher-child relationship also infl uences children’s academic, socio-emotional and self regularity growth (Downer, Sabol, & Hamre, 2010). The role of teachers for eff ective management of relationships in the classroom cannot be ignored. They can take many actions such as encouraging children’s accomplishments, showing positive and negative emotions in an appropriate way, expressing warmth through physical contact to promote teacher-child relationships. Moreover, teachers can help children make friends, assist them in solving their problems, create opportunities for children to play together and learn from each other to support child-child relationship (NAEYC, 2011). In addition, detection of various ranges of peer relation problems among children, developing appropriate strategies for dealing with them for the sake of children’s learning and development, and building a supportive relationship with children seem crucial. For example, observation of children’s play, coaching, scaff olding, asking questions about their problem, demonstrating them the appropriate behavior, all can be considered as a developmentally appropriate teaching strategies which in the long run enable children develop and learn consequently (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997). Expectations and beliefs of teachers shape their actions to manage the relationships in their classrooms and have important infl uences on development and educational outcomes of children (NAEYC, 2009). Thus, this study aims to describe teacher beliefs and practices related to management of relationship in early childhood classrooms. The research questions of this study are: 1. What are early childhood teachers’ beliefs about management of relationships in the classroom? 2. How do early childhood teachers manage the relationships in their classrooms? 3. Is there a consistency between teachers’ beliefs and practices in relation to management of relationships? Participants of the study were 20 early childhood teachers working in Ankara. They were selected with the maximum variation sampling method. A semi-structured interview protocol including 14 questions was designed by the researchers to collect data. For data analysis, transcripts will be prepared from the recordings of the interviews. After transcriptions of the interviews, documents will be read carefully by the researchers and coded separately. This is the process of naming the meaningful parts of the data then examining, comparing and making connections between data (Yıldırım & Simsek, 2005). Then, researchers will discuss the diff erent codes and get agreement about them. Lastly, themes to explain the data will determined. Moreover, some acts toward assuring 3rd International Congress on Early Childhood Education (2012) trustworthiness and credibility in means of how the findings of the research match with the reality will be considered as an internal validity consideration (Merriam, 1998) and for enhancing, some strategies will be conducted. In this study, early childhood teachers’ self-reported beliefs and practices related to relationship management in the classroom will be described. It is expected that findings of the study will be consistent with literature. It means that teachers’ self reported beliefs will be related with their self-reported practices but their beliefs will be more developmentally appropriate (Hegde & Cassidy, 2009; Rentzou & Sakellariou, 2011). Also, teachers’ beliefs and practices which aim to build positive relationship between teachers and children, and child and child, help children make friends, support children’s emotional well-being and encourage them for appropriate expression of positive and negative emotions will be accepted as developmentally appropriate. In the direction of the expected findings, it is assumed that, beliefs and practices of teachers would be used by the early childhood professionals by providing them a notion about the crucial role of teachers in the management of the various relationships in the classroom environment. Teachers may get benefit from this study by realizing the practices that could be made in the direction of social developmental gaining of children, focusing more on the positive social interactions among children, supporting their peer related social interactions and building supportive teacher-child relationship. By basing on the important role of teachers in the process of facilitating social interactions among children and forming positive teacher- child relationship, some strategies may be inferred for teachers, early childhood institutions and curriculum developers in means of designing beneficial organization of various activities for the promotion practices.
3rd International Congress on Early Childhood Education (2012)


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Citation Formats
F. Erden and Ç. Öneren Şendil, “Early Childhood Teachers’ Self-Reported Beliefs and Practices for Relationship Management,” presented at the 3rd International Congress on Early Childhood Education (2012), Adana, Türkiye, 2012, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/70849.