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ERIC Number: EJ751425
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Nov
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1538-6619
Teacher-Child Relationships at the Forefront of Effective Practice
Gallagher, Kathleen Cranley; Mayer, Kelley
Young Children, v61 n6 p44-49 Nov 2006
This article reflects on what it means for teachers to put relationships with children as the priority in their practice. The authors focus on four themes that they believe are at the heart of a good relationship: (1) recognition; (2) familiarity; (3) respect; and (4) commitment. "Recognition" is acknowledging another person's presence and preferences. "Familiarity" refers to deeper knowledge of a person's abilities, preferences, contexts, and history, including the important people in his or her life. "Respect" involves treating a person as a highly valued individual, consistent with how one wants to be valued by others. Finally, "commitment" demonstrates an intent to remain in a relationship with a person. They developed these themes through examining research on close relationships. The authors conclude that relationships with children, regardless of age, develop one at a time, over time. Each relationship is precious. Teachers build relationships with children by recognizing, respecting, gaining knowledge about, and making a commitment to each child. A good teacher-child relationship may be even more valuable for children with behavior and learning challenges, so teachers need to learn which children need more of their attention and time. The very good news, the authors say, is that the investment of attention and time in service of building a relationship is never wasted. When teachers support children's learning to recognize, respect, know, and commit to others, they are supporting development of the most essential social skills--those that develop and maintain relationships.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A