A Course on Effective Teacher-Child Interactions: Effects on Teacher Beliefs, Knowledge, and Observed Practice
Hamre, Bridget K.
Pianta, Robert C.
Downer, Jason T.
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Among 440 early childhood teachers, half were randomly assigned to take a 14-week course on effective teacher-child interactions. This course used the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) as the basis to organize, describe, and demonstrate effective teacher-child interactions. Compared to teachers in a control condition, those exposed to the course reported more intentional teaching beliefs and demonstrated greater knowledge of and skills in detecting effective interactions. Furthermore, teachers who took the course were observed to demonstrate more effective emotional and instructional interactions. The course was equally effective across teachers with less than an associate’s degree as well as those with advanced degrees. Results have implications for efforts to improve the quality of early childhood programs through the higher education system.