- The teacher's role in supporting young children's level of play engagement
- Early Child Development and Care
- Volume | Issue number
- 184 | 8
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
This paper discusses the results of a study of the relationships between teacher behaviour and the level of play engagement in two- and three-year-old children in Dutch childcare centres. We found that the continuous proximity of the teacher had the greatest impact on the level of play engagement, while the teacher's walking around and only brief contacts with the children had a negative impact. In line with earlier studies, two-sided and reciprocal interactions between teacher and children also yielded positive results for play engagement. Both our quantitative and qualitative analyses showed a strong co-variation of variables. When the teacher paid only brief visits, and peers also walked in and out, there was a greater likelihood of one-sided interactions, When the teacher was always nearby, we observed the opposite. Dutch teachers spend most of their time walking around. Their pedagogy seems to be based on a model of individual care and control and insensitiveness of group dynamic processes.
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