Children, Youth, Families & Schools, Nebraska Center for Research on



Julia C. Torquati

Date of this Version



Published in Learning and Individual Differences 56 (2017), pp 85–95. doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2017.04.007


Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. Used by permission.


Children’s learning and development are directly and indirectly influenced by teachers’ beliefs and pedagogical strategies toward child behaviors. This cross-sectional study explored elementary preservice teachers’ attitudes and pedagogical strategies for working with hypothetical children demonstrating temperament-based shy, exuberant, and average behaviors in the classroom. A secondary goal was to compare attitudes and pedagogical strategies at the beginning and end of teacher training program. A total of 354 participants responded to three vignettes describing children frequently displaying these behaviors. Results indicated preservice teachers were more likely to use social-learning strategies with shy children and high-powered strategies with exuberant children. Participants were more likely to show warmth to shy children, but believed they would be less academically successful. Participants at the end of the program reported higher self-efficacy and more warmth toward all children compared to those beginning the program. Results are discussed in terms of their educational implications.