The objectives of this study were to examine (i) behavioral differences in popular and unpopular children; (ii) the ability of kindergarten teachers to identify children with peer interaction difficulties; and (iii) strategies teachers use to guide appropriate social behaviour in the kindergarten classroom. Forty-eight 4-5 year-olds completed sociometric interview. Eight children including two Popular, two Rejected, two Average and two Controversial were observed during free play. Popular children had good social skills; they were able to initiate and maintain peer contact, communicated clearly and were co-operative. On the other hand, Rejected children were more physically and verbally aggressive with peers and showed low levels of co-operative behaviour. Teachers had some difficulties to identify the social status of children in their class, suggesting that they placed more emphasis on academic development than social development. They did not typically interact with children during free play. However, they occasionally tried to enhance the cognitive complexity of children’s play. The implication of these findings for teacher-training are discussed. Copyright © 2001 New Horizons in Education.
|Journal||New Horizons in Education|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2001|
CitationLau, M. W. C. (2001). Kindergarten teachers' rating of children's social competence and strategies they use to guide appropriate behaviour. New Horizons in Education, 44, 77-89.
- Young children
- Social competence
- Early childhood education
- Teacher-child interaction