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The association between teachers' child-centered beliefs and children's academic achievement: The indirect effect of children's behavioral self-regulation

Recent studies have suggested that teachers' psychological attributes can be an indicator of teacher quality (Rimm-Kaufman and Hamre in Dev Psychol 45(4):958-972. doi:10.1037/a0015861, 2010), and teachers' child-centered beliefs have been associated with children's academic achievement (Burchinal and Cryer in Early Child Res Q 18(4):401-426, 2003). The process underlying this link, however, has less been explored. One potential intervening factor can be children's behavioral self-regulation. Objective The goal of this study was to explore the association between teachers' child-centered beliefs and children's academic achievement and the intervening role of children's behavioral self-regulation. Methods We randomly selected 444 preschool children from 103 teachers and conducted path analysis, accounting for the nested nature of the data. Children's academic achievement variables measured by Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening for Preschool, and Woodcock Johnson-III were first regressed on teachers' child-centered beliefs and then children's behavioral self-regulation, as measured by Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders, was entered as an intervening variable. Results The results revealed that teachers' child-centered beliefs were not directly associated with children's literacy and math but indirectly through children's behavioral self-regulation. Conclusion Teachers' child-centered beliefs can be considered an indicator of teacher quality. Future studies need to investigate how teachers with child-centered beliefs may promote children's self-regulation. Teacher professional development programs may need to target teachers' belief system as a way to improve teacher quality. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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