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Title:Teaching social competence in young children: A study of one preschool teacher's beliefs and practice
Author(s):Lee, Lo-Hsun Karen
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Katz, Lilian G.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Early Childhood
Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:This ethnographic study is about social competence teaching in a preschool classroom. Within it, I focus on several issues, such as what the teacher Betty's beliefs about social competence are, where they are derived from, how they shape her teacher-child relationships, and how they guide her teaching of social competence and the teaching of children with special needs. During the one-year data collecting period, I used participant observation, interviews, and videotaping techniques. I also gathered relevant documents from the site and used the sociometric method to collect data on children's social network.
This study shows that Betty's beliefs and knowledge about social competence are derived from her personal experience and philosophy of life. She indicates that children need to learn to be considerate and respectful and not mean to others so as to develop harmonious peer relationships.
In her classroom practice, Betty builds a friendly and pleasant relationship with children. She incorporates her teaching of social competence through several strategies: direct instruction, modeling, reinforcement, and intervention in a variety of activities. Under her help and guidance, children can exhibit some prosocial actions such as turn-taking, sharing, comforting, and so on. Betty also encourages them to develop problem-solving ability in conflict situations.
In dealing with socially incompetent children, Betty's help of Anne increases her interactions with other children. However, in addition to TLC and time-outs, Betty has no better and effective strategy with which to help Mary solve her behavioral problems. Regarding those children with borderline social difficulties, Betty notices their problems, but does not take further actions to help them.
In conclusion, several issues are discussed: affection for children, activity arrangement, knowledge of social competence, time-out as a discipline strategy, and rough and tumble play among children. This study shows that Betty's social competence teaching is based on her practical knowledge. Through the interviews, she acknowledges that she needs to learn more in this area and has begun to read relevant articles. This reflection helps deepen her awareness of her own teaching and reminds her to make further improvement.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Lee, Lo-Hsun Karen
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9625155
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9625155

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