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“It’s Embedded in What We Do for Every Child”: A Qualitative Exploration of Early Childhood Educators’ Perspectives on Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Learning

Blewitt, C, O’connor, A, Morris, H, Nolan, A, Mousa, A, Green, R, Ifanti, A, Jackson, K and Skouteris, H 2021, “It’s Embedded in What We Do for Every Child”: A Qualitative Exploration of Early Childhood Educators’ Perspectives on Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Learning, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 1-16, doi: 10.3390/ijerph18041530.

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Title “It’s Embedded in What We Do for Every Child”: A Qualitative Exploration of Early Childhood Educators’ Perspectives on Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Learning
Author(s) Blewitt, C
O’connor, A
Morris, H
Nolan, AORCID iD for Nolan, A orcid.org/0000-0003-3519-6317
Mousa, A
Green, R
Ifanti, A
Jackson, K
Skouteris, H
Journal name International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume number 18
Issue number 4
Start page 1
End page 16
Total pages 16
Publisher MDPI
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2021-02-05
ISSN 1661-7827
1660-4601
Keyword(s) early childhood
kindergarten
preschool
qualitative research
social and emotional learning
teacher-child interactions
Summary Early childhood educators play an important role in supporting children’s social and emotional development. While a growing body of research has examined the impact of curriculum-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs on child outcomes, the approaches educators use to strengthen children’s social and emotional functioning through their everyday practices are less defined. This study explored Australian early childhood educators’ perspectives on children’s social and emotional development, the approaches educators use to encourage children’s social and emotional skills, the enablers and barriers to SEL within the preschool environment, and the additional support needed. Thirty Early Childhood Education and Care professionals participated in semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. Findings suggest children’s social–emotional development is at the forefront of educator planning, practice, and reflection. Participants described utilising various approaches to support children’s social and emotional skills, embedded within interactions and relationships with children and families. Specifically, strategies could be grouped into four broad categories: a nurturing and responsive educator–child relationship; supporting SEL through everyday interactions and practice; utilising the physical environment to encourage SEL; and working in partnership with caregivers. There was, however, inconsistency in the variety and type of approaches identified. Time constraints, group size, educator confidence and capability, high staff turnover, and limited guidance regarding high-quality social and emotional pedagogy were identified as key barriers. Participants sought practical strategies that could be embedded into daily practice to build upon current knowledge.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/ijerph18041530
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 130102 Early Childhood Education (excl Maori)
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2021, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30147948

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Education
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.