Volume 37, Issue 2 (2008)
Teacher-Child Relationships and Pedagogical Practices: Considering the Teacher's Perspective
Jochem T. Thijs, Helma M. Y. Koomen, Aryan Van Der Leij
Abstract. This study explored the link between teachers’ reports of their relationships with individual kindergartners and their self-reported pedagogical practices toward these children. Two samples of kindergarten teachers were examined. They were questioned about, respectively, 117 and 167 children selected as socially inhibited, hyperactive, or average relative to their classmates. Multilevel regression analyses revealed significant associations between relationship characteristics and teachers’ practices independent of children’s behaviors. Teachers reported more socioemotional support and more behavior regulation for children with whom they reportedly had unfavorable (dependent, conflicted, or distant) relationships. Teachers’ appraisals of children’s behaviors partly mediated the links between their ratings of the teacher–child relationship and their practice reports. Results qualify the idea that supportive teacher behaviors are a defining characteristic of positive teacher–child relationships, and further underline the need to include teachers’ relationship perceptions in practical assessments of children referred for emotional or behavioral problems.
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