Do emotional support and classroom organization earlier in the year set the stage for higher quality instruction?

Timothy W. Curby, Sara E. Rimm-Kaufman, Tashia Abry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many teachers believe that providing greater emotional and organizational supports in the beginning of the year strengthens their ability to teach effectively as the year progresses. Some interventions, such as the Responsive Classroom (. RC) approach, explicitly embed this sequence into professional development efforts. We tested the hypothesis that earlier emotional and organizational supports set the stage for improved instruction later in the year in a sample of third- and fourth-grade teachers enrolled in a randomized controlled trial of the RC approach. Further, we examined the extent to which the model generalized for teachers using varying levels of RC practices as well as whether or not teachers were in the intervention or control groups. Teachers' emotional, organizational, and instructional interactions were observed using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (. Pianta, La Paro, & Hamre, 2008) on five occasions throughout the year. Results indicated a reciprocal relation between emotional and instructional supports. Specifically, higher levels of emotional support earlier in the year predicted higher instructional support later in the year. Also, higher levels of instructional support earlier in the year predicted higher emotional support later in the year. Classroom organization was not found to have longitudinal associations with the other domains across a year. This pattern was robust when controlling for the use of RC practices as well as across intervention and control groups. Further, teachers' use of RC practices predicted higher emotional support and classroom organization throughout the year, suggesting the malleability of this teacher characteristic. Discussion highlights the connection between teachers' emotional and instructional supports and how the use of RC practices improves teachers' emotionally supportive interactions with students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-569
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of School Psychology
Volume51
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013

Keywords

  • Bidirectional
  • Cross-lagged autoregressive model
  • Elementary
  • Longitudinal
  • Teacher-child interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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