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Different Types of Teacher-Child Interactions are Crucial in Child’s Development

Update Date: Nov 22, 2013 09:27 AM EST

Teachers’ daily interaction with children is helpful to their development in different aspects. A new study has been able to figure out which aspects of interactions actually help children in performing academically and socially.

Researchers considered about 1,400 preschoolers and 325 early childhood teachers. They studied the way teachers taught children and the way children incorporated the teachings and evolvied academically and socially.

In the research it was evident that the quality of instructional interactions was not the only thing that mattered in the child’s academic progress. The degree of sensitivity in replying to a child's query also mattered. The researchers calleded this type of interaction responsive teachings.

There were also differences in every teacher’s methodology in the way they structured the classroom environment as well as provided clear and consistent rules and routines. During the study they found that especially those interactions which conveyed positive rules and routines were the ones that impacted more to the child’s development. They were also able to regulate their own behavior if interactions were positive.

According to researchers, cognitive facilitation which is engaging in language-rich and challenging instruction, is also critically important for the child’s academic progress.

“The results provide new insight into the ways teachers’ interactions with young children support their growth in a variety of areas,” said Bridget K. Hamre, associate research professor at the University of Virginia, who also led the study in a press release.

“An exclusive focus on enhancing instruction in preschool classes may fail to have as meaningful an effect as a more balanced approach that also emphasizes responsive interactions,” Hamre concluded.

The study is published in the journal Child Development.

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