ERIC Number: ED447935
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Effects of Child and Teacher Characteristics on Children's Observed Engagement.
Ridley, Stephanie Maher; de Kruif, Renee E. L.; McWilliam, R. A.
Noting that there is little information available about how child and teacher characteristics are related to child engagement behaviors, this study examined the effects of child characteristics on observed engagement in early childhood settings, and the interaction effects of child characteristics and teacher interaction behaviors on observed engagement. Participating in the study were 71 children and 40 lead teachers selected from 40 classrooms at 17 child care centers. Approximately half were female; half were racial or ethnic minorities. All the teachers were female. Of interest for this study were parent ratings of child engagement in two areas (competence and persistence) and personality and competence in three areas (attention, behavior modulation, and verbal/emotional expressiveness). Teachers were rated for their quality of redirective, elaborative, and nonelaborative interactive behaviors and the quality of their affect. Children's engagement level (sophisticated, differentiated, focused attention, unsophisticated, nonengagement) was based on observations during 15-minute observation sessions. The findings of the study suggest that nonelaboratives such as praising or introducing should not be used excessively with attentive and active children. Some engagement levels (sophisticated, differentiated, nonengagement) are susceptible to treatment-by-aptitude effects, others are not (differentiated, unsophisticated). Some teacher interaction behaviors are equally effective (affect) or ineffective (redirectives) regardless of child characteristics. Active and emotionally expressive children are likely to spend time in sophisticated engagement, regardless of teacher interaction. (Contains 12 references.) (KB)
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A