Teacher-child interactions as related to the sex, income status, age and physical attractiveness of preschool children


Appleford, Barbara H.




The purposes of this observational study were to (a) obtain behavioural data in several preschool settings concerning the frequencies of types of teacher-child interactions and (b) to demonstrate a method for process evaluation of preschool programs. Male and female preschool teachers were observed in three classrooms. Instrumental, social and disciplinary interactions were related to the sex, income status, age and physical attractiveness of the children. The sex and income status of the children were the most imiportant child-characteristics which were related to variations in the teachers' behaviours. In one classroom in particular, boys and low-income children received more teacher-initiated disciplinary contacts and fewer social contacts than girls and middle income children. Further research was suge;ested with regard to physical attractiveness. Implications were discussed in terms of the limited generalizability of the data to other settings due to the large amount of variation which existed both within and between programs. It was concluded that the behavioural data obtained could most usefully be applied to preschool evaluation in providing ideal opportunities for fostering teacher av/areness and in evaluating program aims.


Teacher-student Relationships
Interaction Analysis In Education
Education, Preschool




Carleton University

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