NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ798998
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0013-127X
Opportunity Lies in Teacher-Child Interaction
Munro, Susan
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v73 n6 p46-48 Feb 2008
Most state regulations for early childhood programs focus on structural aspects of classrooms: class size, teacher/child ratio, teachers' professional degrees, curriculum, and so forth. Those are not the critical factors, according to Robert Pianta, director of the National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education and professor of psychology at the University of Virginia. His work has identified teacher-child interactions as the key to learning. This article presents a condensed version of Pianta's presentation at a preconference symposium of the Chicago Metro Association for the Education of Young Children, which was held in January, 2007. As an investigator in two studies (the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Study of Early Child Care and the National Center for Early Development and Learning's Multi-State Study of Pre-Kindergarten), Pianta has analyzed results from observations of nearly 4,000 classrooms in preschool, kindergarten, and first, third, and fifth grades. He found many opportunities for improvement. The greatest opportunity for learning lies in moments of teacher-child interaction when the teacher crafts learning experiences that stretch children just beyond their current skill level. Pianta's efforts to assess teacher-child interactions relies on comprehensive, standards-based observations of classrooms. The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), developed by Pianta's team at the University of Virginia, provides clear goals and sets standards for teachers. It uses three sets of scales that correspond to broad domains essential to high-quality classrooms: (1) emotional support; (2) instructional support; and (3) organizational management. Adhering to this system enables policy makers to assess the learning environment and gives teachers feedback on how to change their practices.
Prakken Publications. 832 Phoenix Drive, P.O. Box 8623, Ann Arbor, MI 48108. Tel: 734-975-2800; Fax: 734-975-2787; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: Teachers; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A