Early childhood educators' pedagogical decision-making and practices for emotional scaffolding

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Title: Early childhood educators' pedagogical decision-making and practices for emotional scaffolding
Author: Park, Mi-Hwa
Abstract: This dissertation , a qualitative case study conducted from a constructivist perspective , focuses on the construction and implementation of strategies of emotional scaffolding by two early childhood educators in a public elementary school . This study finds that emotional scaffolding is an excellent example of a tool that could help teachers reach developmentally appropriate practices for early childhood education in an age of accountability . The primary data consist of participant observations , participant interviews and key documents . The study has two primary interests . The first aims at understanding how young children’s learning experiences are enhanced when early childhood educators integrate emotions into their decision -making and practices . The second aims at enhancing the emerging picture of what emotional scaffolding means in early childhood education contexts . My analysis highlights three major themes that contribute to these participants’ decision -making for emotional scaffolding . The first is the participants’ beliefs about their self -perceived teaching identities . The second is their deep understanding of children . The third involves their assessments and reactions to their school climates . The findings focus on four areas of divergence from the literature . First is the important role that teachers’ personal beliefs about the most pedagogically important emotion play in constructing and implementing strategies for emotional scaffolding . Second , emotional scaffolding is an important part of teachers’ mediated agency in a time of increasing accountability . Third , teachers’ capacity to balance student excitement and engagement through their emotional scaffolding is the key to establishing and maintaining children’s engagement in academic activities . Fourth is that emotional scaffolding carried out in the early childhood classroom involves emotion work , not emotional labor . The study provides several implications . The first is that our perception of the emotional scaffolding process in the early childhood education context can be expanded . The second is the importance of sufficient preservice training . The third is that a principal who respects a teacher’s decision -making and practices can help a teacher provide effective emotional scaffolding . The final and perhaps most important implication is that an awareness of self is the most important element contributing to better decision -making in creating a meaningful and engaging environment for their students .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -05 -1290
Date: 2010-10-11

Citation

Early childhood educators' pedagogical decision-making and practices for emotional scaffolding. Doctoral dissertation, University of Texas at Austin. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -05 -1290 .

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