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An investigation of the relationship of teacher language to social competence of preschool children in accredited and non-accredited early childhood programs

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posted on 2023-08-04, 15:05 authored by Hiltrun Hermann

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the accreditation status of child-care programs, teacher language and children's social competence. It looked at whether the accreditation status of child-care programs is related to the language that teachers use when talking with young children; whether accreditation status or teachers' language is associated with children's social competence; and whether there is an interactive effect of teacher language and gender on the social competence of girls compared to boys. The study was designed to be a comparative, descriptive study. Observations were conducted in 20 early-childhood programs. Ten were accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC); they were matched with tell programs that were non-accredited. In each classroom one researcher observed the teacher, and another researcher observed two girls and two boys, four to five years old. Data were collected using three instruments: the Program Information Form (PIF) to obtain necessary data from each program; the Caregiver Language Record (CLR) (Stone, 1991) to measure responsive versus restrictive elements of teacher language; and the Behavior Observation Record (BOR) to measure the social competence of children (Segal et al., 1987). It was hypothesized (a) that children's social competence is greater in classrooms where teachers use a higher percentage of responsive language; (b) that teachers use more responsive language in accredited programs; (c) that children's social competence is greater in accredited programs; and (d) that there is no significant interactive effect for girls compared to boys. As expected, study findings indicated that the teachers in NAEYC-accredited programs used significantly more responsive language than teachers in non-accredited programs. In addition, all teachers in this sample fell into the responsive category. In the area of social competence, as hypothesized, there was no interactive effect for girls compared to boys. In several areas the study found no statistical difference between children in accredited and non-accredited programs or between children with high versus low responsive teachers. In other areas, such as percent of time spent involved with others and aggressive behaviors, there were statistical differences, but they were contrary to expectation.







Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 59-03, Section: A, page: 7190.; Advisors: Frederic Jacobs; Lynn Fox; Ramsay Selden.; Ph.D. American University 1997.; English


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