The purpose of this paper was to explore factors that influence teacher-child relationships in Head Start. Three Head Start teachers from three centers were recruited for this study. Interview and observation data were analyzed using a grounded theory approach by using the qualitative data analysis software NVivo. Two coders completed the coding process. Inter-coder reliability and other triangulation techniques were employed to ensure the credibility of this study. The analysis revealed factors that teachers perceived as beneficial or harmful to their relationships with children. Three main themes emerged: professionalism (i.e., teacher beliefs, education, and work experience), teacher self-efficacy (i.e., teacher empowerment, children's progress, and sufficient education and work experience), and job stress (i.e., lacking organizational support, teacher-parent conflict, workload, and insufficient training). The data vividly illustrated the mechanisms through which those influential factors might work. The results may have implications for teacher education and fostering positive teacher-child relationships in Head Start. (author abstract)
Exploring teacher factors that influence teacher-child relationships in Head Start: A grounded theory
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