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A study of teacher factors in teacher -child relationships with preschool children

Li-Chuan Chung, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


In recent years, literature has shown that the teacher-child relationship not only has a great impact on young children's learning and social development but also is a stable predictor of their early school adjustment. In addition, a positive teacher-child relationship can be a protective factor for young children who are at high risk for retention or referral for special education. ^ A dramatically increasing number of children age six and under spend much of their time with childcare or preschool teachers due to the increasing rates of maternal employment and single parenthood during the last decade. Childcare and preschool teachers teach children facts, provide comfort when they get upset, take care of their hygiene needs, and play with them or supervise their play. Teachers in these school-like settings are the most capable social partners for scaffolding young children's learning and social interactions on a regular basis. Exactly how teachers influence young children's development and learning continues to be a popular topic of study in the fields of child psychology and early childhood education. ^ The purpose of the present study was to examine the role teacher factors play in the quality of the relationships teachers have with preschool aged children. In addition, this study intended to identify the most important teacher factor that influences teacher-child relationships. Teachers' educational backgrounds, years of teaching experience, teaching efficacy, and parent-teacher relationships were the teacher factors examined in this study by using one teacher information questionnaire and three rating scales. A total of 152 childcare and preschool head teachers of 3-to-6 year old children participated in the present study. ^ Results have indicated that teachers' educational backgrounds, teaching efficacy, and parent-teacher relationships were the teacher factors related to teacher-child relationships. Parent-teacher relationships appeared to be the strongest predictor of teacher-child relationships. The relationship between all these factors and teacher-child relationships are discussed in detail. Implications for educational practices, suggestions for future study, and limitations of the current study are also addressed. ^

Subject Area

Education, Early Childhood|Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Special

Recommended Citation

Chung, Li-Chuan, "A study of teacher factors in teacher -child relationships with preschool children" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9976982.