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Preschool teachers' child-centered beliefs: Direct and indirect associations with work climate and job-related wellbeing

Background Early childhood teachers' child-centered beliefs, defined as teachers' attitudes about how children learn, have been associated with teachers' developmentally appropriate practices and positive child outcomes. The predictors of teachers' child-centered beliefs, however, are less frequently explored. Objective This study tested whether teachers' perceived work climate in child-care programs is associated with their child-centered beliefs, mediated by their job-related well-being. Methods The sample consisted of 522 preschool teachers (16 % Head Start, and 25 % nationally accredited programs). Path analysis was conducted to test the direct and indirect associations between teachers' perceived work climate (i.e., collegiality and influence), job-related well-being (i.e., satisfaction and stress), and child-centered beliefs. Results The results of the path analysis showed that teachers' perceived collegiality and influence had positive associations with job-related satisfaction, which in turn was positively associated with child-centered beliefs. On the other hand, teachers' influence in the program was negatively associated with job-related stress, which was in turn, positively associated with child-centered beliefs. Test of mediation using bootstrapping technique showed significant mediation effects. Conclusions Work climate in child-care programs has important implications for teachers' child-centered beliefs through job-related well-being. Teachers may need more support from the program directors and policy to create high levels of collegiality and influence, which will eventually be related with more developmentally appropriate philosophy. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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