Stability and change in early childhood classroom interactions during the first two hours of a day

Timothy W. Curby, Kevin J. Grimm, Robert C. Pianta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations

Abstract

Early childhood classrooms support children's learning in a variety of ways. Of critical importance are the interactions teachers have with children. The type and quality of classroom interactions vary and can be grouped into three domains: instructional, organizational, and emotional. The purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which the quality of classroom interactions is stable over time and the extent to which certain types of interactions (e.g., organizational) set the stage for other types of interactions (e.g., instructional) during the first two hours of a typical pre-k day. Classrooms (n= 693) were observed during four contiguous observation cycles (20. min for observation, 10. min for ratings) using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System. Stability estimates from autoregressive models showed the quality of classroom interactions was highly stable. Latent difference score models were then fit to determine how these domains of teacher interactions related with one another over time. Contrary to hypotheses, higher levels of Classroom Organization and Emotional Support were not related to positive changes in Instructional Support. However, the final model indicated that Classroom Organization and Emotional Support were positively related to one another over time. That is, higher levels of Classroom Organization were related to higher levels of Emotional Support at the next observation cycle and vice versa. Implications for the understanding of classroom interactions and the measurement of interactions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-384
Number of pages12
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Classroom interactions
  • Early childhood education
  • Latent difference score model
  • Stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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