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Promoting a person-centered approach to strengthening early childhood


Research Findings: This paper presents findings from an exploratory study to define associations between social–emotional teaching practices and teacher characteristics through a person-centered approach. The sample consisted of 97 teachers working in center-based early childhood education settings with young children ages 2–5 in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. We analyzed teachers’ observed classroom social–emotional teaching practices and self-reported Professional Development (PD) experiences, job attitudes (e.g., job-related stress, satisfaction, and commitment), and disciplinary efficacy to identify profile membership of teachers. A latent profile analysis revealed 4 profiles: (a) higher practice quality, higher PD experience, higher job attitudes, and higher disciplinary efficacy, (b) higher practice quality, mixed PD experience, lower job attitudes, and lower disciplinary efficacy, (c) lower practice quality, mixed PD experience, higher job attitudes, and higher disciplinary efficacy, and (d) lower practice quality, mixed PD experience, mixed job attitudes, and lower disciplinary efficacy. Practice or Policy: The results suggest that a person-centered approach to understanding classroom quality might provide multiple dimensions to consider for quality improvement. Additionally, a tailored and tiered professional development approach to support the early childhood workforce is needed that considers the complex connections between teachers’ practices, beliefs, and job attitudes. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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