Relations between the everyday activities of preschoolers and their teachers’ perceptions of their competence in the first years of school

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jonathan R. Tudge, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This paper contributes to a growing literature that suggests that in order to understand the transition to school, one should employ an ecological approach. Such an approach involves simultaneous consideration of individual and contextual factors, studied over time. Much of the current literature on the transition focuses on the transition from the perspective of school, but we were interested in relations between what occurs prior to school and performance in school. We used Bronfenbrenner’s Process-Person-Context-Time (PPCT) ecological model to focus primarily on the relations between school-relevant activities of preschool-aged children and teachers’ subsequent perception of the children’s competence once they had entered school. At Time 1 we observed 20 3-year-olds’ engagement in everyday activities (Process) and their initiation of those activities (Person) over a 20-hour period covering the equivalent of an entire waking day. Children were drawn from two social classes (Context). The preschool observations were followed by 2 consecutive years of teacher reports of academic competence following entry into elementary school (Times 2 and 3). Middle-class preschoolers engaged in more school-relevant activities than did working-class children, and preschoolers who initiated and engaged in more conversations were subsequently perceived by their teachers as being more competent.

Additional Information

Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 18(1), 42-64
Language: English
Date: 2003
Ecological theory, Preschoolers’ activities, Parents’ beliefs, Teachers’ perceptions, Longitudinal

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