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The Importance of Professional Knowledge for Learning Support in German ECEC Settings

Chapter

Abstract

Results and aims:

The study “BIKE” (Bedingungsfaktoren für gelingende Interaktionen zwischen Erzieherinnen und Kindern – Conditional factors of successful teacher-child interactions) analyzes possible relations between the quality of interactional processes in early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings and conditions, attitudes and knowledge of the educators. The aim is to make evidence-based recommendations to improve professional development and structural conditions in day care centers based on empirical data.

Through an assessment of classroom quality with the CLASS Pre-K (Pianta R, La Paro K, Hamre B: Classroom assessment scoring system. Manual (pre-K). Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Baltimore, 2008), we found good quality in the Emotional Support and Classroom Organization, but only low quality for Instructional Support (Concept Development, Quality of Feedback, Language Modeling). These findings are consistent with results from international studies (e.g. Hamre B, Pianta R, Downer J, DeCoster J, Mashburn A, Jones S, Brown J, Cappella E, Atkins M, Rivers S, Brackett M, Hamagami A: Elem Sch J 113(4):461–487, 2013). With regard to the importance of effective support of cognitive and language development for children, a substantial improvement of professional practice is needed. The article highlights possible ways to optimize this interaction quality in training and professional pedagogic practice. In addition we found significant correlations between planning competencies and quality of interactions.

Methods:

In a sample of 85 ECEC classrooms for children between the ages of three to six in Germany, interactions were observed live and rated using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS Pre-K) (Pianta, La Paro & Hamre, 2008). The centers were randomly recruited in four Bavarian citys. The study used a set of case vignettes (Mischo, Hendler, Wahl & Strohmer, 2011) to describe and explain how to support language learning in the described situations. All educators were given individual feedback on the interactional quality we observed, in order to help them improve their proximal processes.

Implications:

Professional development of educators needs to focus on supporting strategies for cognitive and language development. The article will describe how to transfer these strategies into practical training for educators.

Additionally it will be discussed how educators’ knowledge is connected to implementation in daily interactions.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The State Institute of Early Childhood ResearchMunichGermany

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