Development of peer competence in preschool

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Development of peer competence in preschool
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Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
    Acknowledgement
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
    List of Tables
        Page v
        Page vi
    Abstract
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Chapter 1. Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
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        Page 4
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    Chapter 2. Literature review
        Page 10
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    Chapter 3. Methods and procedures
        Page 37
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    Chapter 4. Results and discussion
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    Chapter 5. Summary and conclusions
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    Appendix A. Peer relations scale
        Page 85
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    Appendix B. Teacher efficacy scale
        Page 92
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    Appendix C. Goals for young children
        Page 94
    Appendix D. Permission forms
        Page 95
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    References
        Page 98
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    Biographical sketch
        Page 108
        Page 109
Full Text










DEVELOP NT OF PEER COMPETENCE pF PRESCHOOL:
PRESERViCE EARLY CHIILDHOOD TEACHERS' BELIEFS ABOUT
INFL(J'YCE AND IMPORTANCE












JACQUEL1NE J. BATEY



















A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPI]HY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2002














ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank my committee members-Kristen Kemple, Buffy Bondy,

Randy Penfield, and Hazel Jones-for their understanding and support throughout my

doctoral program and for their contributions of patience, humor, and advice during the

dissertation process. Extra appreciation is extended to my publishing partner and

committee chairperson, Kristen Kemple, whose encouragement, guidance, and good

humor have guided me through teaching, presenting, and writing for the past three years.

A special thank you also goes to Randy Penfield, without whose help and advice in the

data collection and analyzing phase I would not have finished. I will remember the

examples all of them set for me of professional commitment and personal concern for

their students. I was fortunate to have been one of them.

I would also like to thank my family members for their support as I pursued this

degree. Special appreciation goes to my mother, who spent many hours helping and

listening, and to my delightful son, Carter, who makes it all worthwhile.














TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

ACKN OW LEDGM ENTS...................................................................................... ii

LIST OF TABLES .................................................................................................... v

ABSTRACT ........................................................................................................... vii

CHAPTERS

SIN TRODUCTION ............................................................................................ 1

Purpose of the Study......................................................................................... 3
Research Questions .......................................................................................... 5
Definition of Term s.......................................................................................... 6
Lim stations of the Study ................................................................................... 8
Summ ary and Overview ................................................................................... 8

2 LITERATURE REVIEW ............................................................................... 10

Introduction to Social Competence................................................................. 10
Developm ental Influences on Social Competence........................................... 13
The Role of Nature ............................................................................. 13
The Role of Parents............................................................................. 15
The Role of Peers................................................................................ 17
The Teacher's Role............................................................................. 25
Teacher Beliefs............................................................................................... 27
Teacher Beliefs and Self-Efficacy....................................................... 29
Teacher Preparation and Beliefs.......................................................... 32
Teacher Beliefs About Social Com petence.......................................... 33
Research on Teachers' Beliefs ............................................................ 34
Conclusion ..................................................................................................... 35

3 M ETHODS AND PROCEDURES................................................................. 37

Data Collection............................................................................................ 37
Participants ..................................................................................... 37
Sam pling Procedures and Setting........................................................ 38








Instrum entation .............................................................................................. 40
Peer Relations Scale............................................................................ 40
Teacher Efficacy Scale........................................................................ 42
Goals for Young Children................................................................... 45
Statistical Analysis ......................................................................................... 47
Results ........................................................................................................... 50

4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION ..................................................................... 52

Research Question Number One..................................................................... 52
Research Question Num ber Two .................................................................... 53
Research Question Num ber Three .................................................................. 57
Research Question Num ber Four.................................................................... 59
Research Question Number Five..................................................................... 61
Research Question Num ber Six...................................................................... 61
Research Question Num ber One..................................................................... 63
Summ ary........................................................................................................ 67

5 SUM M ARY AND CONCLUSION S.............................................................. 71

Review of Purpose, Literature, and M ethods................................................... 71
Review of Purpose.............................................................................. 71
Review of Literature ........................................................................... 72
Review of M ethods............................................................................. 76
Discussion of Results ..................................................................................... 77
Lim stations in the Present Study ..................................................................... 80
Discussion and Implications for Teacher Education........................................ 81
Future Research.............................................................................................. 83

APPENDICES

A PEER RELATIONS SCALE.......................................................................... 85

B TEACHER EFFICACY SCALE .................................................................... 92

C GOALS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN .............................................................. 94

D PERM ISSION FORM S.................................................................................. 95

REFERENCES ....................................................................................................... 98

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................................................................. 108














LIST OF TABLES


Table Page

1 Participants' Demographics, Major, and Current Year of Study...................... 39

2 Sums for Goals for Young Children Survey.................................................... 54

3 Frequency Table for Goals for Young Children Survey.................................. 54

4 Frequency Table for Peer Relations Scale Ranking Question.......................... 55

5 Mean and Standard Deviations for Peer Relations Scale Ranking Question .... 55

6 Mean and Standard Deviations for Peer Relations Scale Item 1 ...................... 56

7 Comparison Table for Ranking and Rating Scores for Peer Relations Scale.... 56

8 Mean and Standard Deviations for Peer Relations Scale Item 2...................... 57

9 Frequency Table for Peer Relations Scale Item 2............................................ 57

10 Mean and Standard Deviations for Teacher Efficacy Scale
(General Efficacy item s)................................................................................. 58

11 Correlation between General and Personal Efficacy and Preservice
Teacher B eliefs.............................................................................................. 59

12 Mean and Standard Deviations for Peer Relations Scale Item 3...................... 60

13 Mean and Standard Deviations for Teacher Efficacy Scale
(Personal Effi cacy Item s)................................................................................ 60

14 Mean and Standard Deviations for Peer Relations Scale Item 4...................... 62

15 Frequency Table for Peer Relations Scale Item 4............................................ 62

16 Mean and Standard Deviations for Peer Relations Scale Item 5...................... 62

17 Frequency Table for Peer Relations Scale Item 5............................................ 63









18 Mean and Standard Deviations for Four Factors: Peer Relations Scale
Item 6 ......................................................................................................... 64

19 Frequency Tables for Influence of Four Factors: Peer Relations Scale
Item 6 ........................................................................................................ 65

20 Sums for Two Most Important Reasons (Good) PRS Item 7........................... 67

21 Sums for Two Most Important Reasons (Have difficulty) PRS Item 8 ............ 67














Abstract of Dissertation presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

DEVELOPMENT OF PEER COMPETENCE IN PRESCHOOL:
PRESERVICE EARLY CHILDHOOD TEACHERS' BELIEFS ABOUT
INFLUENCE AND IMPORTANCE

By

Jacqueline Jennings Batey

May 2002

Chair: Kristen Kemple
Major Department: School of Teaching and Learning

The purpose of this study was to describe early childhood preservice teachers'

beliefs about the importance of social competence in early childhood, their beliefs about

their own role in promoting peer social competence, and their beliefs about the relative

influence of various agents and factors (parents, siblings, peers, teachers, child's inherent

temperament, and abilities) on children's developing social competence. Specifically, the

study was designed to investigate preservice teachers' beliefs about four areas of social

competence that are supported by research and theory as important in the preschool

years: establishing friendships with peers, resolving conflicts with peers, sharing with

peers, and initiating play activities with peers. In addition, the study examined, in a

preliminary way, the relationship between preservice teachers' sense of efficacy and their

beliefs about their role in promoting social competence. One hundred sixty-eight

preservice teachers responded to three surveys: the Peer Relations Scale, Goals for








Young Children, and the Teacher Efficacy Scale. The results of this study found that

preservice early childhood teachers believe that developing social competence in young

children is important and that all four components of social competence are important;

however, they rank teachers as having the least influence over children's developing

social skills behind temperament, parents, and peers. Reliability scores for preservice

teacher efficacy were low, so no conclusions could be drawn about the relationship

between teacher beliefs and efficacy.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

From the moment children are bom, they develop relationships through

interdependence and active engagement with other people. Through these social

interactions, children gain knowledge about who they are and what they can do. Rubin,

Mills, and Rose-Krasnor (1989) stated that "because social relationships are of such

central importance in everyday life, there may well be no skills more important than

those required to sustain relationships" (p. 313). Research provides evidence that socially

competent children are happier than their less competent peers (Alexander & Entwistle,

1988), and there is additional evidence that children's social relations are associated with

greater academic achievement (Goleman, 1995). Thus, the achievement of social

competence can be considered one end point of successful development as well as an

important support of successful development.

Although definitions of social competence may vary, they generally include a

focus on an individual's ability to initiate and maintain successful interaction and

satisfying, reciprocal relationships with others (Katz & McClellan, 1997). Socially

competent young children are those who engage in satisfying interactions and

relationships with adults and peers and through such interactions further improve their

own competence. However, social competence does not happen suddenly or

automatically. Much of this development occurs from infancy through the later

elementary years. The early childhood years are generally considered to be a very








significant time for the development of children's peer competence (Hazen & Brownell,

1999; Ramsey, 1991).

Teachers' beliefs largely influence how they perceive, process, and act in the

early childhood classroom (Bloom, 1992; Charlesworth, Hart, Burts, & DeWolf, 1993;

Dunn & Kontos, 1997; Isenberg, 1990; Munby, 1982; Smith, 1992). Teachers' beliefs

about the sources of influences over children's developing social competence is an

important area to study because such beliefs may significantly influence their inclinations

to strive consciously and intentionally to nurture children's social development.

One important way in which teachers vary is in their views about the causes of

their students' behaviors and characteristics. Some teachers attribute children's

characteristics to trait-like dispositional factors rooted in biology or genetics or to other

internal factors that are more transitory. Other teachers view children's characteristics as

externally determined and influenced by parental efforts or childrearing practices (Booth,

1999). Preservice teacher beliefs are important to study because, to the extent that we can

understand what they believe about the underlying "causes" of children's social behavior,

we can increase the effectiveness of teacher training programs in the areas of social

competence and behavior management.

The concept of teacher efficacy, that is, teachers' situation-specific "perception of

their own teaching abilities" (Ashton & Webb, 1986, p. 4), is prevalent in studies of

teachers' beliefs. Social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986) suggests that individuals

pursue activities and situations in which they feel competent and avoid situations in

which they doubt their capability to perform successfully. Recent findings suggest that

these self-perceptions influence a myriad of teachers' behaviors, including their









classroom management and instructional strategies. Understanding preservice teachers'

efficacy beliefs about assisting in children's development of social competence is an

important component in understanding their general beliefs about social competence.

Understanding the relationship of teaching efficacy to preservice teachers' beliefs about

the importance of peer competence and their role in supporting peer competence can

enrich our understanding of self-perceptions that may influence beliefs.

Although understanding teachers' beliefs about their ability to influence the

development of children's social competence is critical to the study of teachers' practices,

very little is known about those beliefs. If, as Richardson (1996) contended, beliefs are

the most critical factor driving teacher practices, the systematic study of teachers' beliefs

is likely to yield insight into the causes of teachers' behavior and practice in the early

childhood classroom. Ultimately, the accumulation of information about teachers' beliefs

may help teacher educators to develop more appropriate preservice and inservice teacher

education programs.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this primarily descriptive study was to examine early childhood

preservice teachers' beliefs about the importance of social competence in early

childhood, their beliefs about their own role in promoting peer social competence, and

their beliefs about the relative influence of various agents and factors (parents, siblings,

peers, teachers, child's inherent temperament and abilities) on children's developing

social competence. Specifically, the study was designed to investigate preservice

teachers' beliefs about four areas of social competence which were supported by research

and theory as important in the preschool years: establishing friendships with peers,








resolving conflicts with peers, sharing with peers, and initiating play activities with peers

(Rubin, Bukowski, & Parker, 1998). In addition, the study was designed to examine, in a

preliminary way, two hypothesized predictive relationships. The study examined the

relationship between preservice teachers' sense of efficacy and their beliefs about their

role in promoting peer social competence.

The promotion of social competence is a longstanding and central goal of early

childhood education (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997) and is therefore important to early

childhood teacher education. Given that a large body of researchers stated that teachers'

beliefs are reflected in their classroom practices (Dunn & Kontos, 1997; Pajares, 1992), it

is important to know what those beliefs are. Because beliefs do not translate directly and

reliably into practice, we cannot rely on practice as evidence of beliefs. To understand the

connection between beliefs and practices, we must study beliefs in their own right.

Teacher education has the potential to enhance the link between beliefs and

classroom practices. Therefore, the nature of preservice teachers' beliefs is an important

area for investigation. Ultimately, understanding of preservice teachers' beliefs about the

importance of peer social competence in preschool and the potential influence of teachers

in promoting peer competence may be important to developing preservice education

experiences that help to shape teachers' beliefs. Furthermore, the contribution of teaching

efficacy and attributions about the origins of peer competence in the classroom may

provide support for the importance of attending to efficacy and attributions in early

childhood teacher education programs.

Thus, this study was a small step toward describing the nature of preservice

teachers' beliefs about the importance of promoting peer competence in preschool






5

classrooms and the importance of their role in that process. Such beliefs are important to

consider in developing appropriate educational experiences for preservice teachers. If, for

example, preservice teachers are found to hold strong beliefs that teachers can have little

influence on the development of peer competence, then teaching them a variety of

methods for supporting and intervening in classroom peer interactions would be of little

practical and immediate use. If preservice teachers are found to believe they can have

little impact on peer competence, their teacher preparation experiences may need to

include strong emphasis on demonstrating the effectiveness of teacher interventions and

providing experiences that help preservice teachers feel competent and effective in

supporting the development of children's social skills.

Research Questions

The following questions were addressed:

Ql: When preservice teachers are asked to develop their top five goals for
preschool children, are social competence goals among them? Are there
statistically significant and noteworthy relationships among the categories of
goals listed by the participants?

Q2: Are there differences in preservice teachers' beliefs about the importance of
individual components of social competence (initiating play activities, sharing,
resolving conflicts, and establishing friendships)?

Q3: How much influence do preservice teachers believe that early childhood
teachers can have on a child's ability to develop each component of children's
social competence? Are preservice teachers' beliefs about general teaching
efficacy related to how much influence teachers can have on the development of
each component of children's social skills?

Q4: How confident are preservice teachers that, when they are teachers, they will
be able to influence the development of each component of children's social
competence? Are preservice teachers' beliefs about their personal teaching
efficacy related to how confident they feel about their own ability to influence the
development of each component of children's social competence?








Q5: How much work do preservice teachers believe it takes for teachers to help
preschool children who are having difficulty to develop each component of social
competence?

Q6: How much work do preservice teachers believe it will take for them, when
they are teachers, to help preschool children who are having difficulty to develop
each component of social competence?

Q7: How do preservice teachers rank the influence of four factors (temperament,
parents, teachers, peers/siblings) on children's developing social competence? Are
there differences in preservice teachers' beliefs about the importance of individual
components of social competence (initiating play activities, sharing, resolving
conflicts, and establishing friendships)?

Definition of Terms

Attribution theory refers to an information processing approach that stresses that

social behavior depends on the ongoing assessment of persons and behavior. It

emphasizes, in particular, that behavior depends on people's inferences about what is

causing the events around them, about what motives and traits characterize those in the

interaction, and about what properties are inherent in social situations (Dix & Grusec,

1985).

Beliefs refers to a conception of some reality containing enough validity or

credibility, or that is backed by enough experience, to satisfy the individual holding the

belief of its truth (Green, 1971; Pajares, 1992; Richardson, 1996). It is usually temporally

and contextually bound and strongly guides thought, behavior, and action (Fang, 1996;

Harvey, 1986; Pajares, 1992).

Efficacy refers to a belief in one's capability to execute the actions necessary to

achieve a certain level of performance. It is an important influence on behavior and

affect, relating to individuals' goal setting, effort expenditure, and levels of persistence

(Bandura, 1977, 1989, 1993). Teaching efficacy is a multidimensional construct








composed of two relatively independent dimensions: personal efficacy and general

efficacy (Tschannen-Moran, Woolfolk-Hoy, & Hoy, 1998).

General teaching efficacy refers to the degree to which teachers believe educators can

control the learning environment despite influences such as family background, IQ, and school

conditions (Hoy & Woolfolk, 1993; Minke, Bear, Deemer, & Griffin, 1996).

Peer competence refers to the ability to initiate and maintain satisfying, reciprocal

relationships with peers (Katz & McClellan, 1997). It is behavior that reflects successful social

functioning with peers (Howes, 1987) and encompasses two distinct areas of functioning:

gaining acceptance in the wider peer group and forming friendships with some from among this

group (Hart, McGee, & Hernandez, 1993; Howes, 1987). It also refers to how a child defines and

solves the fundamental challenges of initiating and sustaining interactions with peers, resolves

conflicts with peers, establishes friendships with peers, and achieves interpersonal goals in

relation to his peers (Guralnick & Neville, 1997).

Personal teaching efficacy involves teachers' evaluations of their own capabilities to

bring about student learning (Hoy & Woolfolk, 1993; Minke et al., 1996).

Social competence refers to the ability to make judgments about how to "achieve

personal goals through social interactions while simultaneously maintaining positive

relationships with others over time and across situations" (Rubin & Rose-Krasnor, 1992, p. 285).

Although many definitions of social competence exist, Guralnick and Neville (1997) pointed out

that there is general agreement that social competence refers to how an individual defines and

solves the most fundamental challenges in human relationships. These fundamental challenges

include the ability to institute and sustain interactions with others, resolve conflicts, establish

friendships, and achieve related goals (Guralnick & Neville, 1997).









Limitations of the Study

One limitation of this study was that the Peer Relations Rating Scale and the

Goals for Young Children are relatively untested instruments. Because measures of

teachers' beliefs about social competence do not exist, this study relied on modified

measures for which reliability and validity information was limited or not available.

A second limitation of this study was that participants' teacher preparation

programs were not examined and analyzed critically. Therefore, no clear conclusions

could be drawn about the curriculum content of the early childhood programs that the

students received and how their beliefs about social competence were influenced.

Participants may or may not have received instruction in social competence and

participants may be at different levels in their educational programs.

Additionally, although demographic information was gathered with intent to

define the students' prior experience with young children, this study could not reliably

assess the depth or breadth of the participants' experience with young children.

Influences such as their own social development and childhood experiences with

education were also unknown factors. Furthermore, this sample did not represent a

geographically comprehensive sample. Although all participants were enrolled in teacher

education programs in universities, this did not represent the population of all preservice

teachers who would teach young children. Caution should be exercised in extending the

findings to students in other programs and settings.

Summary and Overview

This study addressed (a) ECE preservice teachers' beliefs about the importance of

peer competence in the preschool years, (b) ECE preservice teachers' beliefs about the








relative influence of various agents/factors on the development of children's social

competence in peer relationships, (c) ECE preservice teachers' beliefs about their role in

promoting peer competence in the preschool years, and (d) whether teaching efficacy is

related to preservice teachers' beliefs about their role in promoting peer competence.

Despite the importance of teachers' beliefs, little research has been devoted to the beliefs

of early childhood teachers (see Charlesworth et al., 1991; File, 1994; Isenberg, 1990)

and their beliefs about social competence (Kemple, Hysmith, & David, 1996). This

research was a step toward enhancing the knowledge base on preservice teachers' beliefs,

specifically those who will work with young children.

Chapter 2 provides a review and analysis of relevant literature on social

competence and developmental influences on social competence, including the role that

temperament plays on the development of social competence, the role of peers, parents,

and the teachers' role. Four areas of social competence were explored: the ability to

share, to establish friendships, to resolve conflicts, and to initiate play activities with

peers. The study examined and defined preservice teachers' beliefs regarding peer

competence and their ability to influence the development of peer competence in the

classroom. Chapter 3 contains a description of the research methodology and procedures

used in this study. Chapter 4 describes the results of this study. Chapter 5 discusses the

results of the study in light of previous research. Additionally, the scope and limitations

of the study and the implications for teacher education and further research are discussed.














CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Introduction to Social Competence

Children are social beings. Almost from the moment they are born, they develop

relationships through interdependence and active engagement with other people. Through

these social interactions, children learn about human relationships, develop interpersonal

skills, and discover the rules and values of the culture in which they live. They must

make judgments about how to "achieve personal goals through social interactions while

simultaneously maintaining positive relationships with others over time and across

situations" (Rubin & Rose-Krasnor, 1992, p. 285). How well they do this is a measure of

their social competence.

In the United States, children are generally viewed as more socially competent

when they are responsible, independent, friendly, cooperative, purposeful, and self-

controlled (Baumrind, 1995). Researchers stated that socially competent children are

happier than their less competent peers and considerable evidence suggests that

successful peer relationships contribute positively to mental health, both in childhood and

later on (Hartup, 1983; Parker & Asher, 1987). In addition, evidence exists that children's

social relations greatly influence their academic achievement with more positive social

relations being associated with greater success in school (Alexander & Entwistle, 1988).

Consequently, socially competent children see themselves as worthwhile human beings

who can make a difference in the world.








Although definitions of social competence vary, they generally include an

individual's ability to initiate and maintain satisfying, reciprocal relationships with peers

(Katz & McClellan, 1997). Waters and Sroufe (1983) defined competence as the "ability

to generate and coordinate flexible, adaptive responses to demands and to generate and

capitalize on opportunities in the environment" (p. 80). Specific behaviors associated

with social competence include giving and receiving emotional support, possessing social

awareness, processing information accurately, communicating, problem-solving, and

self-monitoring (Goleman, 1995). In other words, socially competent young children are

those who engage in satisfying interactions and activities with adults and peers and

through such interactions further improve their own competence.

Peer competence is social competence in interactions with one's peer group and

refers to how a child defines and solves the fundamental challenges of initiating and

sustaining interactions with his peers (Guralnick & Neville, 1997). Peer interactions serve

important functions in the child's social, emotional, and cognitive development. In

addition, research confirms that peer interaction facilitates the development of moral

values, communication skills, and the ability to handle aggressive feelings (Hartup, 1983;

Hazen, Black, & Fleming-Johnson, 1984). Peers also provide each other with emotional

support in stressful situations and facilitate cognitive development through direct

instruction and through enriching imaginative play (Asher, Renshaw, & Hymel, 1982).

Children who are socially accepted by their peers have better skills than less accepted

children for initiating, maintaining, and reinitiating coherent discourse across interaction

contexts (Hazen & Black, 1989).








Communication is generally accepted as the foundation of social interaction, the

essential means through which people initiate and maintain social relationships (Hazen &

Black, 1989). Various communication skills have been found to predict social acceptance

in young children, such as establishing friendships, sharing, resolving conflicts, and

initiating play activities with peers. Good peer relationships are developmental

forerunners of good adaptations in later life (Hartup & Moore, 1990), and research in

social competence suggests that child-child relations serve as the context for acquisition

of these social skills, as cognitive and emotional resources, and as models to be used in

forming other relationships.

In the following review of the literature, I examine how developmental influences

impact children's social competence by looking at the function of experience and context,

the role that peers play in development, and what teachers believe about the origins of

children's social competence. Then I examine the literature about teachers' beliefs, what

preservice teachers believe about the importance of social competence in young children,

and their beliefs about their role in promoting the development of social competence in

the early childhood classroom. I also explore the relationship between self-efficacy and

preservice teachers' beliefs about their influence on the development of social

competence in young children. I summarize by speculating on how understanding

preservice teachers' beliefs about social competence could impact teacher training

programs in developing appropriate training experiences.









Developmental Influences on Social Competence

The Role of Nature

The preschool years are now recognized as a vitally important period of human

development in its own right, not as a time to grow before "real learning" begins in

school. Preschool and kindergarten are no longer considered precursors to formal

schooling. Instead, it is now well established that important development and learning

occur during these years in all areas of human functioning: physical, social, emotional,

and cognitive, including language, perception, reasoning, memory, and other aspects of

intellectual development (Ladd & Coleman, 1993; Bredekamp & Copple, 1997).

Children develop and learn within many contexts, usually beginning with the family and

extending into the community. These contexts are embedded within society at large, and

all are interrelated and interdependent (Bronfenbrenner, 1989, 1993). Although no two

children are exactly alike, certain generalizations can be made regarding child

development worldwide. Because certain abilities emerge in most children at fairly

predictable times, developmental principles can guide recognition of commonalities

among children and characteristics typical within age ranges. Because no one aspect of

development occurs independently of the others, all of the threads of development

interweave and exist simultaneously (Hartup & Lieshup, 1995; Ladd, 1999). Language,

memory, cognition, self-esteem, and physical development all influence how children

approach others, how they adapt to social situations, and how they feel about their

encounters with peers. Therefore, the attitudes and actions associated with social

competence involve all aspects of child development.








In the 1990s, research on affective and physiological correlates of children's peer

competence and relationships was primarily guided by frameworks that focused on the

interplay of emotional dispositions or temperament (e.g., intensity with which individuals

feel emotion), emotional regulation (e.g., modulating internal affective processes), and

behavioral regulation (i.e., modulating the expression of emotionally driven behavior)

(Ladd, 1999). Eisenberg and Fabes (1992), for example, contended that children who

have difficulty regulating their emotions or their emotionally driven behaviors are prone

to externalizing problems, such as aggression. In contrast, Eisenberg, Fabes, Guthrie,

Murphy, and Maszk (1996) found that children who were low in negative emotionality

were less prone to externalizing problems and that children's ability to regulate their

emotions reduced the effects of aggression. Researchers have shown that linkages like

these account for variations in other aspects of children's social competence and peer

relations, including social skills, prosocial behavior, and peer acceptance (Eisenberg,

Fabes, Bemrnzweig, Karbon, & Poulin, 1993; Hartup & Lieshout, 1995).

Attention has also focused on the role of sex and gender differences in an effort to

identify behavioral patterns and subtypes. In fact, sizable bodies of evidence have been

assembled for males on topics such as aggression and peer rejection (Ladd, 1999);

however, much of the evidence indicates that boys and girls simply express aggressive

behavior differently (Crick & Grotpeter, 1995). In addition, a number of developments

during the 1990s encouraged investigators to consider whether the current knowledge

base was sufficiently broad to permit inferences about children from different ethnic or

cultural backgrounds. Recent initiatives include attempts to investigate ethnic and

cultural diversity in children's peer relations both within and across national boundaries








(Ladd, 1999). Cross-national comparisons of children's peer relations suggest that the

role of nature in combination with the role of the family is difficult to extricate, and

further research suggests that often forces outside the child, such as familial relational

circumstances and affiliations, may affect the extent to which children develop socially.

The Role of Parents

The family is regarded as the preeminent socialization context because the child's

earliest experiences occur within it and more time is consumed in family interactions than

in interactions with other socializing agents (Hartup & Moore, 1990). Parent-child

relationships are usually considered to be the well-springs of social competence, and

most theories of personality development attribute effectiveness and success in adult

functioning to the formation of smooth, secure relationships in family experience.

Similarly, deviance and debilitation in adolescence and adulthood are thought to have

their roots in inadequate relationships within the family (Hartup & Moore, 1990). Recent

studies have suggested that a close relationship between secure family relations and peer

relations is established in early childhood.

Family relationships function as a base that supports children in engaging the

environment on their own. "Secure base behavior" (exploration supported by the

relationship between a mother and child) is one component of social function that

enlarges the child's world to include other children (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall,

1978). Often, it is the mother who provides opportunities that determine what the child

will do and with whom (Hartup & Lieshout, 1995; Ladd & Coleman, 1993). Many

mothers arrange contact between their young children and other preschoolers, believing

this to be desirable. These contacts serve as bridges between the family and peer social








relationships (Hartup & Moore, 1990). The mothers of securely attached children are

known to arrange these contacts more frequently than mothers of insecurely attached

children (Lieberman, 1977), indicating a connection between the quality of the mother-

child relationship and the mother's active management of the child's social activities.

These early relationships between parents and children contribute to the child's

success in relationships with other children through maximizing their self-esteem and the

provision and practice of effective social skills (Hartup & Moore, 1990). In studies,

significant correlations were obtained between children's behavior toward each other and

the behavior of their mothers, including the mother's ability to initiate and sustain

interaction, her responsiveness, the synchronicity of her interactions, and her affective

expressions (Parke & Bhavnagri, 1989).

Other mother-child interactions are also related to the young child's behavior with

other children. The extent to which the mother uses aversive controls in interacting with

the child, for example, is positively correlated with the child's aversiveness toward other

children and negatively correlated with his or her cooperative social contact (Putallaz,

1987). Children who are coerced by parents find justification for their behavior in the

environment and discount possible internal causes, while children induced by more subtle

means may find insufficient justification for their behavior in external events and,

therefore, attribute prosocial behavior to internal traits or values (Dix & Grusec, 1983).

Findings from both the laboratory and field studies consistently show that stable, internal

attributions appear to increase the generalization of behavior of children at other times, in

different situations, and in the absence of adults (Grusec & Redler, 1980). The evidence,








then, suggests that parent and peer relationships are synergistic, beginning early in

childhood.

The Role of Peers

Social competence does not happen suddenly or automatically. It is acquired over

time and is affected by development and experience. Much of this learning occurs from

infancy through the later elementary years. It is during this time that children develop the

social foundation and interactive skills upon which they build for the rest of their lives

(Kostelnik, Stein, Whiren, & Soderman, 1998). Interactions between adults and children

are characterized by a difference in status. Although these relationships can be marked by

love and respect, they are basically unequal. Peers, on the other hand, are children of

about the same age or maturity level. Children become competent with peers when they

engage in increasingly complex play sequences with them (Howes, 2000).

It is not uncommon today for children to enter daycare or preschool environments

at an early age and spend large amounts of time in the company of their peers. A major

reason for the shift toward earlier exposure to peers is the number of preschool children

with mothers employed outside the home, which has nearly doubled since 1970 (U.S.

Department of Labor, 1991). The demand for preschools, organized playgroups, and

childcare arrangements has brought the age of access to peer relations down, almost, to

birth.

Given that a substantial body of research verifies that both successful and difficult

peer relations in childhood are a strong predictor of adjustment later in life (Howes &

Phillipsen, 1998; Kupersmidt, Coie, & Dodge, 1990; Parker & Asher, 1987), the

preschool years may be the ideal time to assist children in developing positive peer








relationships (Katz & McClellan, 1991; Ramsey, 1991). The study of peer relations has

focused considerable attention on the emergence, maintenance, and changes in peer

acceptance and social status, but relatively little research has focused on the role of

friendship in early development (Walden, Lemerise, & Smith, 1999). Four aspects of peer

competence are examined in this study: establishing friendships, sharing, resolving

conflicts, and initiating play activities with peers.

Important peer competencies

Establishing friendships. Vandell and Mueller (1980) showed that, as early as

age two, children begin to develop preferences for particular peers and seek them out as

play partners. Over time, early playmate interactions and preferences may lead to other,

more complex forms of relationships, such as friendships. Friendship refers to a dyadic

relationship (Ladd & Coleman, 1993). Children become increasingly interested in having

friends as they grow older. Friends offer unique opportunities for children to learn among

equals. Hence, with friends, a child can be expert in one circumstance and learner in

another. Each child needs chances to lead, follow, contribute ideas, respond to

suggestions, negotiate, and compromise (Hartup, 1991). All humans need satisfying

relationships with others for stimulation, guidance and assistance, companionship,

physical and ego support, social comparison, and for intimacy and affection (Parker &

Gottman, 1989).

Friendship, however, is defined separately from peer status or popularity by

specialists in social development (Katz & McClellan, 1997; Ladd, 1999). Peer status is

distinguished from friendship by its directionality and specificity. Vandell and Hembree

(1994) explained," Whereas peer status is unilateral and measures the extent to which a








child is liked or accepted by a peer group, friendship is a dyadic relationship requiring

mutual selection between two specific children" (p. 462). It is possible for a child to be

accepted by peers without developing the reciprocal acceptance that characterizes

friendship. A child can be popular without developing any actual friendships; conversely,

a child may be unpopular among his peer group and maintain one or more friendships.

Although peer acceptance is an important aspect of children's peer relations, greater

attention should be given to the role that friendships play in the development of social,

emotional, and intellectual skills and the individual characteristics that may be associated

with the ability to develop and maintain friendships (Parker & Asher, 1993). In reference

to social competency, the capacity for friendship probably carries greater significance for

long-term development than popularity (Katz & McClellan, 1997; Walden et al., 1999).

The purpose of friendship in the early childhood years is essentially the development of

communication and conflict resolution and takes place mostly through play.

Initiating play activities with peers. For young children, play is both common

and complex. Although play is a predominant social activity of early childhood, it

continues to provide common ground for informal social exchange as children mature

(Kostelnik et al., 1998). Teachers who guide the social development of children need to

understand the nature and the function of play.

Play is essentially pleasurable and intrinsically motivated. It is almost always an

unproductive activity in which the process is more important than the product. To be

play, the activity must be voluntary, freely chosen by the child. Finally, play involves

activity; the player is actively engaged in the process (Frost, 1992). In addition to these

universal characteristics, play has certain systematic relationships to other aspects of








development: cognition, language, perceptual and motor development, and social and

emotional development (Hazen, Black, & Fleming-Johnson, 1984).

Clearly, social participation is important if children are to practice interacting with

other children. Interacting with other children is more difficult than interacting with a

parent or another adult. Watching other children play is easier than coordinating one's

behavior with one or more other players (Frost, 1992). Because children bring to the play

experience their cultural background and life-style as sources of information,

considerable variety can be expected. Popular children are generally the most effective in

their ability to direct their communications to others and initiate play activities (Hazen et

al., 1984). They clearly indicate the child to whom they are speaking by addressing the

child by name or by establishing eye contact or touching the other child. These skills are

particularly important in preschool classrooms where social initiations that are not clearly

addressed are more likely to be ignored (Hazen et al., 1984). Popular children usually

have a wide range of social initiation strategies at their disposal and are able to adapt

them to the individual interests and needs of different playmates (Walden et al., 1999).

Many children, however, may need the knowledgeable encouragement and

support of the early childhood teacher to begin to initiate successful social interactions

during opportunities for play. Limitations in the social skills repertoires of children may

include inflexible, stereotyped behavior in which they overuse particular initiation

routines without adapting them to particular situations and different children (Hazen et

al., 1984). Other children are aware of communications made by their playmates but are

uncomfortable joining into social interactions, perhaps because they fear rejection to the

point that they would rather be ignored than rejected (Hazen et al., 1984).









For young children with disabilities, the acquisition of social competence skills

may differ from that of typically developing children. In a series of studies, Guralnick

and colleagues found that preschool children with disabilities, in comparison to typically

developing children, interacted less frequently with peers (Guralnick & Weinhouse,

1984), were less successful in initiating play activities with peers (Guralnick, Connor,

Hammond, Gottman, & Kinnish, 1996), and developed fewer friendships (Guralnick &

Groom, 1988). Other researchers have corroborated these general findings. In their

observations of preschool children with developmental delays, Kopp, Baker, and Brown

(1992) found that children with disabilities engaged in less social play, had less positive

affect, and tended to have more disruptive play entry than typically developing children

in the play group.

Ramsey (1991) suggested that the most useful social intervention for children

having difficulty initiating play activities with peers may be spontaneous coaching and

modeling in the immediate context of peer interaction that occurs naturally in play. Katz

and McClellan (1991) agreed that

an important ingredient in fostering good peer relationships in young children is
the opportunity for them to interact about something significant in the presence of
adults who, when necessary, can suggest social strategies appropriate to the
context in which they are to be applied. (p. 16)

Given that participation in positive interactions with socially competent peers is the most

natural mode through which children acquire social skills (Odom, McConnell, &

McEvoy, 1999), one rationale for successful intervention was to group children of

varying social abilities in play groups that are designed to promote positive social

interactions guided by knowledgeable early childhood teachers, (DeKlyen & Odom,

1989).








Sharing with peers

One of the more difficult aspects of play development for children is the learning

process that occurs through sharing; yet, in a typical early childhood program or

playgroup that serves toddlers and preschoolers, there are frequent examples of children

sharing (Reynolds, 1996). Children as young as 2 years old offer playthings to one

another. However, at this stage in their development, they find sharing with adults easier,

and their frequency of sharing with peers is relatively low compared with older children.

This is because younger children are by nature territorial and egocentric (Reynolds,

1996). They become highly attached to the possession of the moment, making it difficult

for them to relinquish objects, even when they are no longer using them. Additionally,

younger children do not have the verbal negotiation skills necessary to resolve disputes

over possessions or strike bargains that satisfy the parties involved. Consequently, their

initial reasons for sharing focus on self-serving interests, such as sharing now so that the

recipient will be obliged to share with them in the future or to appease a peer (Birch &

Billman, 1986).

Throughout the later preschool and early elementary years, most children come to

realize that sharing leads to shared activity and that playing with another person is often

more fun than playing alone (Ladd & Coleman, 1993; Reynolds, 1996). During this time

children's peer interactions increase, and their sharing abilities become greater. There are

several reasons why older children share more easily. First, their more mature intellectual

abilities enable them to recognize that it is possible for two people to want the same thing

at the same time, that possessions shared can be retrieved, and that sharing often is

reciprocated (Ramsey, 1991). They also understand that there is a difference between








sharing (which means a temporary loss of ownership) and giving (which is permanent)

and can understand, as well as make clear to others, which of the two is intended (Ladd &

Coleman, 1993). In addition, they have more skills at their disposal that allow them to

share in a variety of ways, such as taking turns or bargaining. Eventually, children learn

that prosocial acts such as sharing are seen as good, making it likely that children who

engage in such behavior will enjoy the approval of their peers (Hartup & Moore, 1990).

Resolving conflict

In addition to sharing, children who use constructive ways of resolving

differences, while still meeting their own needs, are the most successful in pursuing

lasting relationships. There is a strong correlation between children's effective use of

negotiation skills and their ability to communicate accurately (Holden, 1997) since

successful conflict resolution depends on all parties having a common idea of the source

of the problem and being able to express to others their ideas for a solution.

Helping children to express strong emotions constructively and control aggression

is a significant role for early childhood teachers. Toddlers' aggression is most often

instrumental, that is, connected to obtaining a toy or getting into a space occupied by

another child. During the preschool years, however, children's aggression becomes less

instrumental and more hostile, directed at other children who anger them in some way

(Rourke, Wozniak, & Cassiday, 1999). In children and adults alike, conflict resolution

has emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components; both feelings and reasoning come

into play, and the consequences have powerful effects on children's future actions (Berk,

1997; Hazen et al., 1984). In the same way that constructive social interaction cycles are








established, so, too, are negative, ineffective cycles (Gottman, Gonso, & Rasmussen,

1975; Asher & Renshaw, 1981).

Young children's conflicts tend to be relatively frequent, short in duration, and

most often solved by the children without adult intervention (Rourke et al., 1999). Once

engaged in a dispute, children tend to use power assertions and negotiations and use

disengagement less frequently than other strategies. Many times, conflicts end with one

child yielding to the unaltered demands of another (Rourke et al., 1999). Hay and Ross

(1982) found that social factors, perhaps in the form of fairly sophisticated social

awareness skills, may play as important a role in young children's conflict behaviors as

individual factors (such as level of cognitive development and aggressive behavior

styles). The role of social factors and individual variables would thus be important

information for professionals designing conflict resolution programs.

Rourke, Wozniak, and Cassiday (1999) stated that "preschool-aged children

possess at least some implicit psychological knowledge of their peers, and that they use

this knowledge directly to shape their interactive behavior, to express a difference in or to

negotiate their needs and wants" (p. 223). That children recognize and respond differently

to individual peers relates to many daily classroom decisions, such as how to pair or

group children and how to guide them through conflict resolution or other troubling

social interactions. With the growth of enrollment in early childhood programs, children

today are involved in social interaction with agemates at a younger age and for longer

periods of time (Kemple, Hysmith, & David, 1996). A significant part of the early

childhood teacher's role in strengthening social competence is to help children participate

in appropriate, successful conflict resolution in the preschool classroom.








The Teacher's Role

Although few empirical studies of children's social competence have actually

examined such variables as teachers' beliefs and practices, Kemple, David, and Hysmith

(1997) suggested that teachers can play a significant role in supporting social growth and

development. They studied teachers' behavior in response to children's naturally

occurring peer interactions, the frequency and nature of teachers' intervention behaviors,

and potential predictors of teacher behavior. The results of the study indicated that

teachers' beliefs about developmentally appropriate practice were more predictive of "a

greater proportion of interventions involving facilitation of peer communication, altering

of the physical environment to facilitate peer interaction, and pointing out children's

common interests, while predicting a lesser proportion of restrictive interventions"

(Kemple, David, & Hysmith, 1997, p. 44).

In the early childhood years, children probably do not learn social competence

through direct instruction, particularly when social skills are taught to the class as a

whole. Whole-group instruction is not well suited to the way young children learn best,

and it is very unlikely to be effective in reversing socially disruptive behavior, even if the

behavior pattern is common to a number of children in the class (Madsen, Becker, &

Thomas, 1969). It is generally suggested that individualized guidance works best with

young children, such as when the teacher offers the child suggestions in a warm and

supportive context individually. Individual focus and the warmth of the interaction

increase the child's capacity to hear and respond meaningfully to the teacher's instruction

(Katz & McClellan, 1997).








Facilitating children's social understanding and skills is as valid and important a

teaching responsibility as teacher mediation offered in any other area of development

(File, 1993). Preschool teachers who are knowledgeable in identifying children's social

interaction patterns that lead to social acceptance or rejection and isolation, can

effectively guide children toward using communication strategies associated with

successful relationships (Hazen et al., 1984). It is through careful observation of a child's

interaction style in actual social situations that teachers gain insight into which behaviors

are contributing to a child's development. The role of the classroom teacher is as an

interpreter, helping neglected or rejected children realize how other children interpret, or

fail to interpret, their communications. Adults can intervene to guide children toward

interactions that maximize their chances for successful social experiences (Asher &

Renshaw, 1981).

Childcare settings provide the few studies that conclude that teachers spend very

little time mediating children's interactions (File, 1994; Howes, 1987; Hundert,

Mahoney, & Hopkins, 1993). Howes and Galuzzo (1992) reported the results of two

investigations of teacher-child interactions in child care settings. They stated that teachers

mediated peer play during only 2% of the study's observation intervals, despite the fact

that the children were observed to be in proximity to teachers approximately 50% of the

time. Similarly, File (1994) observed that teachers mediated preschool-age children's

interactions with peers during only 2% of free-play observations. Limited available

evidence suggests that teachers rarely intervene in young children's peer play for the

purpose of promoting peer social competence (File, 1993).









The recommended practice in the literature for facilitating children's peer

competence appears to contradict the "hands off' approach to peer interactions often

observed in preschool classrooms. Teachers may implicitly expect children to pick up

social competence skills on their own. The risk is that children with strong social skills

will succeed in establishing strong mutual peer relations, leaving children with weaker

skills increasingly isolated from peer circles (File, 1993). When they are viewed as active

agents in facilitating children's social development, teachers increasingly can define

themselves as thoughtful, active, and deliberate decision makers in the social

development of young children. As such, it is important to uncover the belief system that

drives preservice teachers' possible classroom practices in order to develop teacher

education programs that promote teachers as active decision makers, attempting to tailor

teaching strategies to help young children develop social competence.

Teacher Beliefs

Teachers' beliefs largely influence how teachers perceive, process, and act in their

classroom (Bloom, 1992; Charlesworth, Hart, Burts, Thomasson, Mosley, & Fleege,

1993; Dunn & Kontos, 1997; Isenberg, 1996; Munby, 1982; Smith, 1992). Therefore, as

an element of the causes of teacher classroom practice and behavior, it is important to

understand teachers' beliefs (Richardson, 1996). The difficulty in understanding teachers'

beliefs generally lies in how they are defined, how they are studied, and how they relate

to other constructs and phenomena, many of which are themselves difficult to study or

quantify.

No uniform definition has emerged from the various studies of constructs defined

as "beliefs." Generally, however, a belief is a conception of reality containing enough








validity or credibility, or that is backed by enough experience, to satisfy the individual

holding the belief of its truth (Green, 1971; Pajares, 1992; Richardson, 1996). It is usually

temporally and contextually bound and strongly guides thought, behavior, and action

(Fang, 1996; Harvey, 1986; Pajares, 1992). Pajares (1992) suggested that confusion about

beliefs usually relates to the distinction between knowledge and beliefs; knowledge is

generally based on objective fact while beliefs are generally based on evaluation and

judgement. Additionally, beliefs are thought to have more affective and evaluative

components than knowledge (Malouf& Schiller, 1995). Because teaching is a blurry

field, full of contradictions and difficulties, what is meant by teachers' beliefs is difficult

to pinpoint with precision.

Beliefs also comprise or are related to other constructs, such as belief systems,

attitudes, perceptions, values, opinions, judgments, rules, principles, preconceptions,

dispositions, and strategies (Malouf& Schiller, 1995; Pajares, 1992; Richardson, 1996).

The extent to which these constructs guide and control thought and behavior was only

recently the subject of research in education. Most of these research studies attempt to

link teachers' beliefs and similar constructs to their classroom practices (Richardson,

1996). Green (1971) suggested that it is quite possible for individuals to hold beliefs that

are incompatible. Green proposed that individuals hold beliefs in clusters, with each

belief cluster contained within a larger belief system. Therefore, beliefs that are

contradictory may be part of different belief clusters. Conflicting beliefs may persist

because they are never compared and examined for consistency.

Although some researchers found discrepancies between teacher beliefs and

practices in settings with young children (Hatch & Freemen, 1988), generally the








attitudes and values held by teachers appear to be related to effective practice in early

childhood classrooms (Feeny & Chun, 1985). Based on social cognitive attribution

theory, one can expect teachers' actual classroom behavior toward children to reflect the

belief systems and expectations they hold (Eiser, 1983; Harvey & Weary, 1985; Rogers,

1982).

Teacher Beliefs and Self-Efficacy

Also, little attention has been directed to teachers' beliefs about their own ability,

or efficacy, to influence particular aspects of children's social development (Kemple et

al., 1996). Self-efficacy is a belief in one's capability to execute the actions necessary to

achieve a certain level of performance. It is an important influence on behavior and

affect, relating to an individual's goal setting, effort expenditure, and level of persistence

(Bandura, 1977, 1989, 1993). When efficacy is applied to teachers, the self-efficacy

construct is associated with teachers' instructional practices and attitudes towards

students (Ashton, Webb, & Doda, 1983; Gibson & Dembo, 1984; Midgley, Anderman, &

Hicks, 1995). Although teacher efficacy appears to be related to instructional

effectiveness, findings are difficult to interpret because of incongruities in construct

definition and measurement (Deemer & Minke, 1999).

The earliest studies of teacher efficacy were conducted by Rand Corporation

researchers who defined efficacy as "the extent to which the teacher believes he or she

has the capacity to alter student performance" (McLaughlin & Marsh, 1978, p. 84).

Gibson and Dembo (1984) were the first, however, to develop a more expanded measure

of the teacher efficacy construct. Although other definitions and measures exist, the

majority of studies investigating teacher efficacy used Gibson and Dembo's (1984)








conceptualization and scale. They defined teacher efficacy as a multidimensional

construct composed of two relatively independent dimensions: personal teaching efficacy

and general teaching efficacy (Deemer & Minke, 1999).

Personal teaching efficacy involves teachers' evaluations of their own capabilities

to bring about student learning (e.g., "When a student does better than usual, many times

it is because I exerted a little extra effort"). The other dimension, general teaching

efficacy, reflects the degree to which teachers believe other teachers can control the

learning environment despite influences such as family background, IQ, and school

environment (e.g., "A teacher is very limited in what he/she can achieve because a

student's home environment is a large influence on his/her achievement") (Gibson &

Dembo, 1984).

Gibson and Dembo argued that the two dimensions of teacher efficacy correspond

to outcome and efficacy expectations as described by Bandura (1977) in his social

learning theory of self-efficacy. According to Bandura (1977, 1989, 1993), outcome

expectations involve a person's estimate that a given behavior will lead to a particular

outcome, whereas efficacy expectations involve an evaluation of one's own ability to

successfully execute the behavior to produce the outcome. Therefore, if teachers

completing the scale do not distinguish between themselves (i.e., items worded in the first

person) and teachers in general (i.e., items worded in the third person), most Teacher

Efficacy Scale items would likely reflect efficacy rather than outcome expectations

(Deemer & Minke, 1999).

An attributional analysis of teaching yields several interesting hypotheses about

teachers' reactions to young children's social competence. First, attributions for child








behavior should depend on the developmental age of the child (Dix & Grusec, 1983,

1985). A behavior should be seen as increasingly intentional and dispositional with age if

the knowledge and ability necessary to produce that behavior intentionally are thought to

develop with age. For some behavior, such as following a simple command, necessary

knowledge and skill will be fully developed quite early, whereas, for other behavior, such

as showing sensitivity for the rights of others, necessary knowledge and skill will emerge

much later (Langer, 1978; Dix & Grusec, 1985). Additionally, teachers and children

engage in reciprocal influence. Changes in children alter inferences about their

knowledge, ability, and skill, which, in turn, affect teachers' expectations and responses.

If teachers infer that children increasingly understand, intend, and control social

interactions with age, and if these inferences promote negative affect, then teachers may

become increasingly impatient with specific behaviors as children develop. Different

attributions dictate different teacher responses to children's behaviors (Dix & Grusec,

1985). Because teachers are often trying to eliminate or promote particular behaviors,

their responses to children may actually be directed toward factors that they believe

control those behaviors. In addition, the teacher's effectiveness at promoting or

eliminating a particular child behavior may depend on the teacher's ability to assess

accurately the causes of the behavior (Dix & Grusec, 1985). Teachers' attributions for

children's behavior are, of course, not the sole determinants of teacher-child interactions.

Specific attributions will not invariably result in particular responses (Dix & Grusec,

1985; Harvey, Town, & Yarkin, 1981). It is doubtful that teacher-child interchanges will

be understood without a thorough knowledge of how teachers understand children's









developing social competence and how they translate their understanding into teaching

practices.

Teacher Preparation and Beliefs

It appears that teachers' belief systems are a function of professional preparation

and practical as well as personal knowledge (Thomas, Barksdale-Ladd, & Jones, 1997).

By exploring the implicit theories that teachers use to make classroom decisions, Spodek

(1988) argued that as teachers construct their own understanding of development,

curriculum, and method, they interpret practical and theoretical knowledge to integrate

such constructions into classroom practice. Teachers possess personal theoretical

orientations about teaching that have the effect of organizing and prompting their

teaching behaviors (Richardson, 1996). For this reason, there is a growing trend in

research to learn not only what teacher's believe but also what teachers know and how

they use that knowledge in their classrooms.

Clandinin and Connelly (1987) described three general components of how

teachers apply personal knowledge in the classroom: (a) practical actions, (b)

biographical history, and (c) thoughts in isolation from action and biological history.

Additionally, researchers have demonstrated that biographical history-beliefs held over

long periods of time-are very difficult to change (Abelson, 1979; Clark, 1988; Pajares,

1992; Rokeach, 1968). Such resistance to changes in beliefs explains why teachers'

beliefs often persist despite contradictory information or recognition of incomplete

knowledge (Abelson, 1979; Buchman, 1984; Clark, 1988; Lortie, 1975; Malouf&

Schiller, 1995; Pajares, 1992, Richardson, 1996; Van Fleet, 1979).








Teachers' Beliefs About Social Competence

The field of early childhood education has traditionally claimed to concern itself

with social and emotional competence; therefore it is essential that systematic

examination of the relationships between teachers' beliefs, knowledge, and decision-

making behavior in the classroom be undertaken (Kemple et al., 1996). Research on

teachers' beliefs about young children's social competence is scarce and generally

embedded in more general inquiries into appropriate educational practices.

In a study of beliefs about kindergarten practices, Knudsen-Lindauer and Harris

(1989) found that teachers ranked children's social skills third in order of importance out

of 10 developmental domains. Listening skills and self-confidence were indicated by the

teachers as the most important kindergarten skills. Kahlich and Dorminey (1993) studied

teachers' perceptions about their roles as teachers and found that the roles teachers most

frequently mentioned were social and affective in nature. It was concluded, however, that

although these were perceived as the most important roles, there was actually less

emphasis on the social/affective role in teachers' classroom practice.

In a study of inclusive early childhood programs, File (1993) asked teachers to

rank order four influences (child's inherent nature or capabilities, teachers, parents, and

peers and/or siblings) on individual children's capability regarding a variety of peer

competencies. For both children with and without disabilities, teachers attributed by far

the greatest influence to the child's inherent nature or capabilities (File, 1993).

Very little is actually known about how beliefs affect teachers' practices in

implementing behaviors that increase the development of social competence in the early

childhood classroom. There has been no investigation of how teachers' beliefs about the








importance of social competence may influence their own inclination to promote social

competence in the classroom as part of their job or whether a teacher's beliefs about the

strength of other influences (such as inherent nature or abilities, parenting, or peers and

siblings) may be related to personal beliefs about the degree of influence he or she may

have on his or her ability to promote social competency in the classroom. It follows

logically that if teachers have inaccurate perceptions concerning when it is possible for

children to begin forming friendships or if they believe that the causes of maladaptive

social behaviors derive from biological or dispositional factors, then such beliefs may

have some influence on the ways in which they respond to their students' behaviors and,

in turn, on the quality of the relationship that develops between them. These effects then

have some impact on the student's social development (Rubin et al., 1989).

Research on Teachers' Beliefs

In the past, research on teachers' beliefs has relied upon a variety of measures

(Charlesworth et al., 1991; Erwin & Kontos, 1998; File, 1994; Kemple et al., 1996;

Kagen & Smith, 1988; Smith, 1992; Spodek, 1988; Wing, 1989). Interviews and

observations are currently two of the most frequently employed measures (Richardson,

1996). Additionally, many of the research studies on early childhood teachers' beliefs

utilized questionnaires and rating scales (see Charlesworth et al., 1991; Erwin & Kontos,

1998; File, 1994; Kagen & Smith, 1988; Kemple et al., 1996; Smith, 1992). All of these

research approaches are appropriate and promising (Pajares, 1992).

Measuring and assessing teachers' beliefs is critical to understanding them and is

important to the process of developing appropriate preservice training programs. If

teachers' belief systems are, indeed, both a function of professional preparation and








practical as well as personal knowledge, teacher educators can tailor their programs and

practical experiences to be more effective. While much remains to be studied about

teachers' beliefs and practices, this study will augment the knowledge base and assist

others in developing approaches to teacher preparation that are based on actual data and

sound theory. The purpose of this study was to evaluate preservice teachers' beliefs about

social competence in early childhood.

By studying preservice teachers' beliefs about the importance of developing

social competence in young children, the influences on social development, and their

perceived role in that development, we can understand the influence that teacher training

programs can have in preparing students to understand and develop classrooms that

positively impact children's social competence. By understanding how beliefs lead to

practices, preservice teachers may begin to examine which practices are effective for

promoting positive peer relationships and become empowered to make changes that lead

to positive social development in their classrooms.

Conclusion

The study of preservice early childhood teachers' beliefs about the development

social competence in young children should help researchers to explore possible areas for

preservice teacher program improvement and to understand and identify differences in

perspective that individuals bring to teacher training programs. In regards to the

importance of the teacher efficacy construct, Smylie (1990) observed, "Something is

going on here; it is difficult to tell what that something is" (p. 64). So, while much

remains to be studied about preservice teachers' beliefs and efficacy, this study will

augment the knowledge base and assist others in developing approaches to assessing








preservice teachers' beliefs about influencing important components of social

competence. Ultimately, an accumulation of information about preservice teachers'

beliefs about this component of early childhood teaching may aid in the process of

preparing teachers.

The purpose of this descriptive study was to describe early childhood preservice

teachers' beliefs about the importance of social competence in early childhood, their

beliefs about their own role in promoting peer social competence, and their beliefs about

the relative influence of various agents and factors (parents, siblings, peers, teachers,

child's inherent temperament and abilities) on children's developing social competence.

Specifically, the study was designed to investigate preservice teachers' beliefs about four

areas of social competence which have been supported by research and theory as

important in the preschool years: making friends with peers, resolving conflicts with

peers, sharing with peers, and initiating interaction with peers (Rubin, Bukowski, &

Parker, 1998).

In addition, the study was designed to examine the relationship between

preservice teachers' sense of efficacy and their beliefs about their role in promoting peer

social competence. The study also examined the relationship of preservice teachers'

attributions about the relative importance of various influences on peer competence to

their beliefs about their own role in promoting peer competence in the preschool years.














CHAPTER 3
METHODS AND PROCEDURES

The purpose of this study was to describe early childhood preservice teachers'

beliefs about the importance of social competence in early childhood, their beliefs about

their own role in promoting peer social competence, and their beliefs about the relative

influence of various agents and factors (parents, siblings, peers, teachers, child's inherent

temperament and abilities) on children's developing social competence. Specifically, the

study was designed to investigate preservice teachers' beliefs about four areas of social

competence which have been supported by research and theory as important in the

preschool years: establishing friendships with peers, resolving conflicts with peers,

sharing with peers, and initiating play activities with peers (Rubin, et al., 1998). In

addition, the study examined, in a preliminary way, the relationship between preservice

teachers' sense of efficacy and their beliefs about their role in promoting peer social

competence.

Data Collection

Participants

The participants in this study were 168 preservice early childhood teachers

enrolled in education programs offering courses in early childhood education in six

universities located in the south and midwest. Because exposure to education was

requisite to the assessment of classroom social development, participants were selected

from education courses designed for early childhood or elementary teacher education.








Almost all (97%) of the participants were enrolled in their junior or senior year in their

program of study and had not yet completed a full-time internship in the classroom.

Participation was representative of the preservice teacher population and voluntary.

Individual consent forms were signed at the time of the survey, following IRB approval

by the University of Florida and the university of the participants.

Participants ranged in age from 19 to 44 years (85% were 22 years of age or

younger), and 97% were female. Of the total participants, 86.5% described themselves as

White, 6.5% as Hispanic, 3.7% as Black, and 3% were not reported. Most (67%) of the

participants were juniors; 30% were seniors; and 3% described themselves as other.

Seventy-four percent of the students were early childhood majors, Other (or unified)

majors comprised 17.5% of the participants; 7.5% were early childhood special education

majors, and 1% identified themselves as elementary majors. Ninety-eight percent

reported that they had completed a course in social competence; however, course

descriptions were varied or not reported. Ninety-three percent of the participants had not

participated in a fulltime internship prior to this semester. A summary of the participants'

demographics as well as previous coursework in social competence is included in Table

1. Additionally, information pertaining to previous experience with young children and

plans for future teaching was collected.

Sampling Procedures and Setting

Most research on preservice teacher beliefs involves direct input from the

preservice teachers themselves. The common way to obtain direct information on

preservice teacher beliefs is through surveying preservice teachers (Charlesworth, et. al.,

1991). One advantage of this approach is that it allows individuals to respond openly to








Table 1

Participants' Demographics. Major, and Current Year of Study

GENDER
Female 159 (97%)
Male 5 (3%)

REPORTED ETHNICITY
White 141 (86.5%)
Black 6 ( 3.7%)
Hispanic 11 ( 6.7%)
Other 5 (3%)

YEAR IN PROGRAM
Senior 49 (30%)
Junior 108 (67%)
Other 5 (3%)

SOCIAL COMPETENCE CLASS
Yes 98 (61.3%)
No 62 (38.8%)

MAJOR
Early Childhood Education 119 (74%)
Early Childhood Special Education 12 (7.5%)
Elementary 2 (1.2%)
Other (Unified) 28 (17.4%)


questions and think about their responses. Additionally, survey design was chosen based

on the economy of the design, the rapid turnaround in data collection, the ability to

identify attributes of a population from a small group of individuals (Fowler, 1988), and

the ability to research specific questions with specific items (File, 1994: Kemple,

Hysmith, & David, 1996). Universities with early childhood education courses were

identified and contacted for participation in the study. A point of contact in the university

administered the surveys during a single time period to students enrolled in early

childhood courses during Fall 2001 classes. Surveys were distributed and collected when








they were complete. Coding marks on the surveys identified the location and participant

by number only. No attempt was made by the principal investigator to follow or extend

the information obtained from this specific group of individuals. The principal

investigator was responsible for providing an adequate number of surveys and procedures

and postage for return mail.

Instrumentation

Peer Relations Scale

Preservice teachers' beliefs about social competence in young children are

important to study because they provide a broad framework within which to understand

teacher behaviors. To the extent that we can understand the underlying reasons that

teachers behave the way they do, we can increase the probability of predicting how they

will behave in different contexts and across situations (Booth, 1999). Also, teacher

beliefs are important to study because they may impact aspects of the environment that

directly affect children, but are not directly expressed in observable teacher-child

interaction. For example, teachers' beliefs about how children develop social competence

may cause them to provide particular opportunities for learning skills and forming

relationships.

This survey was developed to assess the importance that preservice teachers'

assign to four components of children's social competence, the origin of attributes that

contribute to the development of the four competencies, and the relationship between

preservice teachers' personal and general efficacy and their beliefs about their ability to

influence children's developing social competence (Appendix A). While some have

extrapolated from the descriptive literature in child development and parent-child








interaction, in combination with knowledge from peer social development research (Katz

& McClellan, 1991; Kemple et al., 1996), few empirical studies of children's social

competence have actually measured and analyzed such variables as teacher beliefs and

efficacy. In order to address these variables specifically, this survey was developed by the

principal investigator (PI) from three sections of Booth's (1999) study on Beliefs about

Social Skills Among Mothers of Preschoolers with Special Needs. Research questions

and survey questions are almost identical in format and are derived from three sections of

Booth's study; "making friends, sharing, and getting accepted: importance, difficulty

teaching, and causal attributions" (p. 462). The PRS developed by the PI was designed to

assess beliefs in reference to general education children. Items 1 to 5 of the PRS are rated

items asking participants to assess how important, how much influence, how much

confidence, and how much work they feel it will take for them to affect children's

developing social competence. Possible scores range from 1 to 5 (very little to a lot). Item

number 6 ranks the importance that preservice teachers gave to various factors that

influence children's ability to develop the four components of social competence. One

limitation noted in the study is the lack of reliability and validity information for this self-

developed survey.

Three inductive questions (PRS numbers 7 to 9) involving the participants'

opinions on the factors or reasons why a child may be "good at" or "having difficulty"

with social skills and factors that "limit the amount of influence EC teachers may have"

were included in order to identify patterns or concepts that recur that describe how the

participant came to the analyses of questions 1 to 5. Items 7, 8, and 9 of the PRS were








analyzed qualitatively, using similar analysis as the one advanced in Goals for Young

Children seeking descriptive or repetitive patterns in responses.

An additional descriptive question, asking participants to identify (in their

opinion) the age that children should be able to develop each of the four social

competence skills is included on the cover sheet.

Teacher Efficacy Scale

Self-efficacy is defined as a belief in one's capability to execute the actions

necessary to achieve a certain level of performance (Bandura, 1977, 1989, 1993). When

applied to teachers, the self-efficacy (or teacher efficacy) construct has been associated

with teachers' instructional practices and attitudes towards students (Ashton, Webb, &

Doda, 1983; Gibson & Dembo, 1984). The effects of positive feelings of efficacy have

been studied with preservice, novice, and inservice teachers at various school levels and

in various contexts. Although teacher efficacy appears to be related to instructional

effectiveness, findings are difficult to interpret because of incongruities in construct

definition and measurement.

Gibson and Dembo (1984) were the first to develop an instrument designed

specifically to measure the teacher efficacy construct. Although other definitions and

measures exist, the majority of studies investigating teacher efficacy continue to use

Gibson and Dembo's (1984) conceptualization and scale of teacher efficacy (Brownell &

Pajares, 1999). Researchers define teachers' efficacy as a multidimensional construct

composed of two relatively independent dimensions: personal teaching efficacy and

general teaching efficacy (Deemer & Minke, 1999). Personal teaching efficacy involves

teachers' evaluations of their own capabilities to bring about students learning, as in the








following sentence: "When a student does better than usual, many times it is because I

exerted a little extra effort." General teaching efficacy reflects the degree to which

teachers believe other educators can control the learning environment despite influences

such as family background, intelligence, and school conditions. That dimension is

measured by items such as "A teacher is very limited in what he/she can achieve because

a student's home environment is a large influence on his/her achievement."

The Teacher Efficacy Scale (TEF) (Gibson & Dembo, 1984) includes 30 rating

scale items having response options ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly

agree) (Appendix B). Following an administration of these items to 196 elementary

teachers, the researchers limited the scale to 16 items, with factor loadings greater than or

equal to .45. These 16 selected items accounted for 29% of the total variance in the scale

(Gibson & Dembo, 1984). Adequate reliability coefficients were documented for scores

on the nine items comprising personal teaching efficacy (r =.78) and the seven items

comprising general teaching efficacy (r = .75). As anticipated by Gibson and Dembo, the

factors were not significantly correlated (r = -.19), suggesting that the constructs were

independent.

Researchers found that individuals' personal and general teaching efficacy

perceptions do not necessarily co-vary (Hoy & Woolfolk, 1993; Minke, Bear, Deemer, &

Griffin, 1996). In addition, these studies showed that the two dimensions of efficacy often

relate to predictors and outcomes in different ways. According to Bandura (1977, 1989,

1993), general teaching efficacy involves expectations that a given behavior will lead to a

particular outcome, whereas personal efficacy expectations involve an evaluation of

one's own ability to execute successfully the behavior to produce the outcome. Most of








the items (18/30) loaded on the TES involve self-appraisals and therefore are reflective of

efficacy expectations. However, if preservice teachers completing the scale did not

distinguish between themselves (i.e., items worded in the first person) and teachers in

general (i.e., items worded in the third person), most TES items would likely reflect

efficacy rather than outcome expectations.

Although all 30 items of the TES were administered, for the purposes of this

study, only scores for items 1 through 17, the subscales (Deemer & Minke, 1999),

differentiating personal and general efficacy question items were used. Personal teaching

efficacy was addressed with the following item numbers: (1) When a student does better

than usual, many times it is because I exerted a little extra effort. (5) When a student is

having difficulty with an assignment, I often have trouble adjusting it to his/her level. (6)

When I really try, I can get through to most students. (8) When a student gets a better

grade than he/she usually gets, it is usually not because I found better ways of teaching

that student. (9) If a student masters a new concept quickly, this might be because I knew

the necessary steps in teaching that concept. (11) If a student did not remember the

information I gave in a previous lesson, I would not know how to increase his/her

retention in the next lesson. (13) If one of my students could not do a class assignment, I

would not be able to accurately assess whether the assignment was at the correct level of

difficulty. (15) If a student in my class becomes disruptive and noisy, I feel assured that I

know the techniques to redirect him/her quickly. (16) When the grades of my students

improve, it is usually because I found more effective teaching approaches.

General teaching efficacy questions were addressed through the following items:

(2) The time spent in my class has little influence on students compared to the influence








of their home environment. (3) The amount that a student can learn is not related

primarily to family background. (4) If students have little discipline at home, they are

unlikely to accept any discipline. (7) Even though a student's home environment is a

large influence on his/her achievement, I am not limited in what I can achieve with

him/her. (10) If parents would do more with their children, I could do more. (12) The

influences of a student's home experiences cannot be overcome by my teaching. (14)

Even a teacher with good teaching abilities may not reach many students. (17) I am a

very powerful influence on student achievement when all factors are considered.

Although the developers of the Teacher Efficacy Scale and many subsequent

researchers (e.g., Brownell & Pajares, 1999; Deemer & Minke, 1999) calculated

reliability estimates for the TES based on the application of the scale to varied

populations, the principal investigator conducted a Cronbach's alpha to determine the

reliability of the TES based on the responses of the participants in this study (a = .43)

Goals for Young Children

Goals for Young Children (adapted from Kemple, Hysmith, & David, 1996) was

designed to allow participants to describe, in their own words, the most important goals

that they define for their future classrooms (Appendix C). Teachers of young children

often have many goals or outcomes they hope to achieve with the children in their class.

These goals may include learn to read, learn to recognize colors, develop positive

attitudes toward school, learn to count to 20, learn to share, gain self-confidence, learn to

follow directions, learn to wait for a turn, become more independent, etc. These are only

a few possibilities among the many goals that early childhood teachers may have for

children. Instructions to the participants indicate that their goals may be similar to some








of these, or they may be very different and ask them to state their five most important

goals for young children, in order of importance.

While the Peer Relations Scale assesses preservice teachers' ratings of four

important areas of peer competence, the Goals for Young Children may reveal whether

other social goals are important to teachers, whether the four components of the Peer

Relations Scale are among their top goals, and whether social goals are more often seen

as more important than other kinds of goals (academic, intellectual, physical motor, etc.).

The Goals for Young Children survey was developed primarily as a descriptive,

qualitative instrument designed to enhance the data from additional social skills

instruments. Using the Goals for Young Children, a score was computed based on

weighting the importance a teacher places on social interaction goals. Each goal

generated by the preservice teachers was analyzed inductively into categories using

content analysis in a manner consistent with that described by Johnson and

LaMontagne (1993). Goals generated by the participants were used to triangulate

responses to question (1) of the PRS, and the ranking scores in the cover box of the

PRS.

Reliability was assessed through multiple coder agreement in classifying the data

into categories, calculated as a percentage of agreements over agreements plus

disagreements. In order to investigate a relationship between the scores for the ranking

questions from the Goals for Young Children and the rating scores from the Peer

Relations Scale, a Gamma was conducted.









Statistical Analysis

The purpose of this study was to investigate preservice teachers' beliefs about the

importance of social competence in young children and their beliefs about their role in

influencing the development of social competence in the classroom. This study was also

designed to explore predictive relationships between teaching efficacy and preservice

teachers' beliefs about influencing social competence in young children. Because the

investigations are largely exploratory in nature, the majority of the analysis is descriptive.

Each of the seven research questions were addressed as follows:

Ql: When preservice teachers are asked to develop their top five goals for
preschool children, are social competence goals among them? Are there
statistically significant and noteworthy relationships between the categories
of goals listed by the participants?

In the Goals for Young Children (adapted from Kemple et al., 1996), participants

were asked to list their five most important goals for young children. Each goal generated

by the participants was transcribed onto separate index cards, one goal per card. The PI

read through the entire set of goals to become familiar with the overall nature of the

recorded goals. The PI and two additional scorers independently classified one-third of

the cards (randomly selected) into five categories, producing close agreement on at least

four of the categories. Through discussion, categories were refined to accommodate all of

the goals. Using this category system, the three sorters independently coded the entire set

of goals. Reliability was calculated as a percentage of agreements over agreements plus

disagreements. Possible coding categories were represented quantitatively using a system

that represents a participants' number one goal as 1, then goal 1=1. A participant's

number two goal was represented by goal 2=2, and continuing through goal 5. Goal 1

through goal 5 were summed to create a score indicating the importance of social









interaction goals among teachers' five most important goals for young children. A

descriptive analysis of the frequency of the participants' responses is displayed in Table

2.

Q2: Are there differences in preservice teachers' beliefs about the importance of
individual components of social competence (initiating play activities,
sharing, resolving conflicts, and establishing friendships)?

On the cover of the Peer Relations Scale, participants were asked to rank order

the importance of four components of social competence. The mean of the score for each

component was computed, as well as the standard deviation to establish a ranking and the

frequency of the individual scores for each component was computed. The participants

additionally responded to the importance of each component (on a scale of 1, very

unimportant, to 5, very important). Responses to question number 1 on each of the 4

pages of the survey were computed to determine the mean and standard deviation, as well

as the frequency of the participants responses to each component. To establish a

relationship between participants' responses to ranking and rating the same social

components, a Gamma was also conducted (Table 7).

Q3: How much influence do preservice teachers believe that early childhood
teachers have on a child's ability to develop each component of social
competence? Are preservice teachers' beliefs about general teaching
efficacy related to how much influence teachers can have on the
development of each component of children's social skills?

Question #2 on each page of the PRS was designed to address teachers' general

teaching efficacy. The mean of the individual scores of each component was computed

and the mean for items 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, and 14 on the Teacher Efficacy Scale (Gibson &

Dembo, 1984), designed to address general teaching efficacy was computed. In order to

investigate a relationship between preservice teachers' beliefs about the ability of








teachers to influence children's developing social competence and the general efficacy

rating scores on the TES, a Pearson Product Correlation was conducted.

Q4: How confident are preservice teachers that, when they are teachers, they
will be able to influence the development of each component of children's
social competence? Are preservice teachers' beliefs about their personal
teaching efficacy related to how confident they feel about their own ability
to influence the development of each component of children's social
competence?

Question #3 on each page of the PRS was designed to address preservice

teachers' personal teaching efficacy. The mean of the individual scores of each

component was computed and the mean for items 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, and 17 on

the Teacher Efficacy Scale (Gibson & Dembo, 1984), designed to address personal

teaching efficacy was computed. In order to investigate a relationship between preservice

teachers' beliefs about their personal ability to influence children's developing social

competence and the personal efficacy rating scores on the TES, a Pearson Product

Correlation was conducted.

Q5: How much work do preservice teachers' believe it takes for teachers' to help
preschool children who are having difficulty to develop each component of
social competence?

Question #4 of the PRS asked participants to rank order the amount of work that it

will take teachers to help a child having difficulty developing each factor of the

individual component of social competence. The mean of the scores for each component

was computed, as well as the standard deviation. The relative frequency of the

distribution between the scores for each component was also computed.

Q6: How much work do preservice teachers believe it will take for them, when
they are teachers, to help preschool children who are having difficulty to
develop each component of social competence?








Question #5 of the PRS asked participants to rank order the amount of work it

will take for them, personally, to help children who are having difficulty developing each

component of social competence. The mean of the scores for each component was

computed, as well as the standard deviation. The relative frequency of the distribution

between the scores for each component was also computed.

Q7: How do preservice teachers rank the influence of four factors (temperament,
parents, teachers, peers / siblings) on children's developing social competence?
Are there differences in preservice teachers' beliefs about the importance of
individual components of social competence (initiating play activities, sharing,
resolving conflicts, and establishing friendships)?

Question #6 of the PRS asked participants to rank order the influence of each

factor on the individual component of the child's developing social competence. The

mean of the scores for each component was computed, as well as the standard deviation.

The relative frequency of the distribution between the scores for each component was

also computed, and the scores were summed. For this measure, higher scores indicate

lesser importance, with a possible score range of 4 (most important) to 16 (least

important). Results for all three analyses are displayed in table form.

Results

For each survey, responses were reported in relation to the specific question posed

by the principal investigator. The Peer Relations Scale responded to the questions

developed from the following: "Are there differences in preservice teachers' beliefs about

the importance of individual components of social competence (initiating play activities,

sharing, resolving conflicts, and establishing friendships); how much influence do

preservice teachers believe they have on a child's ability to develop each component of









social competence; and how much work do preservice teachers believe it takes for

teachers to help children develop each component of social competence?"

The Peer Relations Scale and the Teacher Efficacy Scale responded to the

questions associated with what preservice early childhood teachers believe to be the

relative influence of various agents and factors on the development of children's social

competence in peer relationships. The Teacher Efficacy Scale may offer insight into

preservice teachers' beliefs about their teaching preparation, their personal teaching

efficacy, and their ability to influence children's learning. The Goals for Young Children

identified several personal goals that preservice teachers have for their future classrooms.














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The results of the investigation of preservice teachers' beliefs about social

competence was conducted for the following purposes: (a) to examine the importance of

social competence in young children, (b) to examine the importance of four components

(initiating play activities, sharing, resolving conflicts, and establishing friendships) in the

development of social competence in young children, (c) to assess the importance of four

factors (temperament, parents, teachers, peers / siblings) on the development of each

component of social competence, and (d) to examine whether a relationship exists

between preservice teacher efficacy and preservice teachers' beliefs about their ability to

influence the development of social competence in young children.

Data pertaining to participants' responses to three surveys was evaluated. In the

following paragraphs, the research questions posed in Chapter 1 were addressed in the

corresponding order. The data was evaluated using multi-method quantitative and

qualitative analyses and displayed in tables.

Research Question Number One

When preservice teachers are asked to develop their top five goals for preschool

children, are social competence goals among them? Are there statistically significant and

noteworthy relationships between the categories of goals listed by the participants? Using

the Goals for Young Children survey, preservice teachers were asked to develop their top

five goals for preschool children. Participants' responses were recorded and coded as








described in Chapter 3. Five categories were established by three independent scorers as

follows: Social Skills, Academics, Values, Attitude, and Behavior. Social Skills included

responses similar to the four social competence skills identified in this study, for

example, sharing, waiting your turn, and getting along with others. Academics were

typically identified by subject area: math, writing, reading, and Attitude goals typically

pertained to positive association with school. Goals pertaining to Values were generally

related to personal characteristics, such as self-confidence, independence, and

persistence. Behavior most often addressed skills needed to succeed in school, such as

listening or following directions. Ninety-nine percent agreement among scorers was

obtained for coding categories. Three responses were discarded due to agreement that the

responses could not fit any of the established categories. Goals coded as "values" were

the most frequently reported (243), followed by "academic" goals (212), and "social

skills" (209). "Attitude" (103) toward school goals was the fourth most frequently

reported goal, and "behavior" goals (67) were the least reported goal. See Table 2 for the

sums of the goals and Table 3 for the frequencies of types of goals identified by

participants.

Research Question Number Two

Are there differences in preservice teachers' beliefs about the importance of

individual components of social competence? To investigate the relative importance that

participants gave to individual social skills, participants were asked (on the cover of the

Peer Relations Scale) to rank order the importance of four components of social

competence: make friends with peers, resolve conflicts with peers, share with peers, and

initiate play activities with peers. As reported in Table 4, making friends with peers was









reported most frequently as the most important goal (45%), followed by sharing with

peers (20.4%), initiating play (18%) and resolving conflict (17%), respectively. Means

and standard deviations for the rankings of each of the four goals (Table 5), confirm that

making friends ranked the highest (M=1.88, SD=.98), sharing was second (M=2.61,

SD=1.05), and resolving conflict and initiating play were ranked third and fourth

(M=2.68, SD= 1.06; M=2.81, SD=1.1, respectively).


Table 2

Sums for Goals for Young Children Survey


Values 243

Academics 212

Social Skills 209

Attitudes 103

Behavior 67


Table 3

Frequency Table for Goals for Young Children Survey

1 2 3 4 5

Values 30% 22.6% 15.6% 14.4% 17.7%

Academics 16.5% 17% 19% 21.7% 26%

Social Skills 14.4% 20% 24% 24% 17.2%

Attitudes 27.2% 21.4% 20.4% 17.5% 13.6%

Behavior 7.5% 19.4% 24% 25.4% 24%








Table 4

Frequency Table for Peer Relations Scale Ranking Question


1 2 3 4

Initiate Play 18% 22% 20.5% 39.5%

Share 20.4% 20.4% 36.4% 22.8%

Resolve Conflict 17% 27% 28% 28%

Make Friends 45% 30% 15.5% 9.5%


Table 5

Mean and Standard Deviations for Peer Relations Scale Ranking Question

Mean Standard Deviation n

Initiate Play 2.81 1.1 162

Share 2.61 1.05 162

Resolve Conflict 2.68 1.06 162

Make Friends 1.88 .98 162


In order to investigate the relationship between the ranking and rating of the same

components, that is, do they agree, a multi-method analysis was used. Because of the

anticipated large number of zero frequencies for the joint distribution of rating and

ranking scores, a Chi-square could not be effectively used. Instead, the ranking scores for

the four goals (cover PRS) (Table 5) were compared with the rating scores from the Peer

Relations Scale, question number 1 (Table 6), using a Gamma coefficient (Agresti, 1990).

Table 7 displays the value of Gamma for each component. Investigation of the results

indicates that Sharing, Resolving Conflict, and Establishing Friendships showed fairly









high negative correlations (Gamma=-.317; -.359; -.489, respectively). Initiating Play

activities with Peers (-.160) showed the least relationship. Because Gamma is known to

be asymptotically normally distributed, the ratio of gamma over its standard error

(displayed in Table 7) provides a useful test statistic. In general, values of Z greater than

2.0 in absolute values indicates a significant association using o=.05.


Table 6

Mean and Standard Deviations for Peer Relations Scale Item 1

Mean Standard Deviation n

Initiate Play 4.06 .81 167

Share 4.4 .85 164

Resolve Conflict 4.3 .84 163

Make Friends 4.5 .75 162


Table 7

Comparison Table for Ranking and Rating Scores for Peer Relations Scale


Gamma Coefficient Standard Error

Initiate Play -.160 .101

Share -.317 .103

Resolve Conflict -.359 .096

Make Friends -.489 .095









Research Question Number Three

In response to the first part of research question #3; How much influence do

preservice teachers believe that early childhood teachers can have on a child's ability to

develop each component of children's social competence, participants' responded to PRS

item #2. The mean rating of influence was highest (a lot) for Resolving Conflict

(M-=4.17, SD=.82). Initiating Play (M=4.13, SD=.85) and Establishing Friendships were

also rated high (M=4.2, SD=.81) (Table 8). However, when the frequency for each

component was computed, Sharing and Resolving Conflict were rated high (a lot) most

often (41.5% and 40%, respectively) (Table 9).


Table 8

Mean and Standard Deviations for Peer Relations Scale Item 2

Mean Standard Deviation n

Initiate Play 4.13 .85 167

Share 4 .86 164

Resolve Conflict 4.17 .82 163

Make Friends 4.2 .81 162


Table 9

Frequency Table for Peer Relations Scale Item 2

1 2

Initiate Play 1.2% 1.8%

Share .6% 1.8%

Resolve Conflict .6% 1.8%

Make Friends .6% 1.8%


3 4 5

18% 40.7% 38.3%

15.2% 41% 41.5%

17.2% 40.5% 40%

18% 40.7% 38.3%








The second part of research question number three; "Are preservice teachers'

beliefs about general teaching efficacy related to how much influence teachers can have

on the development of each component of children's social skills?" was assessed by

calculating the mean of the scores for the general efficacy subscale (items 2, 3, 4, 7, 10,

12, 14, 17) of the Teacher Efficacy Scale, reported in Table 10. In order to establish a

relationship between the participants' scores on the Peer Relations Scale item 2 and the

general efficacy subscale, a Pearson Product Correlation was conducted. Results of the

correlations for the mean scores of the four components are presented in Table 11.

Variability in participants' scores about teachers' influence on children's developing

social competence was too small to suggest a relationship to general teaching efficacy.

Reliability on the Teacher Efficacy Scale was low (cx=.43) and may also account for the

lack of relationship. However, these results are consistent with self-efficacy theory

(Bandura, 1986), which suggests that an individual's performance influences a person's

efficacy beliefs. As preservice teachers advance in their education, and eventually in their


Table 10

Mean and Standard Deviations for Teacher Efficacy Scale (General Efficacy Items)

Mean Standard Deviation n
T2 2.5 1.2 152
T3 4.0 1.2 152
T4 2.3 1.3 152
T7 2.6 1.2 152
T10 3.0 1.2 152
T12 4.4 1.0 152
T14 4.0 1.0 152
T17 1.7 .9 152








Table 11

Correlation between General and Personal Efficacy and Preservice Teacher Beliefs

General Teaching Efficacy Personal Teaching Efficacy

Initiate Play -.055 .040

Share -.003 .020

Resolve Conflict .005 -.054

Make Friends .091 -.082


experience in their own classrooms, their perceptions should increase that they,

personally, can make a difference. Generalized beliefs in whether teaching itself can

make a difference are probably associated with much broader perceptions of society and

the role of schooling; thus, such beliefs should be relatively resistant to change as one

enters the profession (Gorrell & Hwang, 1995).

Research Question Number Four

How confident are preservice teachers that, when they are teachers, they will be

able to influence the development of each component of children's social competence?

The mean and standard deviation of the scores for PRS item #3, asking preservice

teachers to rate their own ability to influence the development of children's social

competence (Table 12), indicated that they feel most confident helping children learn to

share (X=4.08, SD=.71). However, scores indicated that participants rated themselves

high in their ability to influence all four components of social competence (Initiating

Play: X=3.97, SD=.75; Resolving Conflict: X=3.96, SD=.85; Making Friends: X=3.92,

SD=.75).









The second part of research question four, "Do preservice teachers' beliefs about

their personal teaching efficacy relate to how confident they feel about their own ability

to influence the development of each component of children's social competence?" was

assessed by calculating the mean and standard deviation for the personal efficacy

subscales (items 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16) of the Teacher Efficacy Scale (Table 13).


Table 12

Mean and Standard Deviation for Peer Relations Scale Item 3

Mean Standard Deviation n

Initiate Play 3.97 .74 166

Share 4.08 .71 164

Resolve Conflict 3.96 .85 163

Make Friends 3.92 .75 162


Table 13

Mean and Standard Deviation for Teacher Efficacy Scale (Personal Efficacy Items)

Mean Standard Deviation n
Tl 3.85 1.13 143
T5 4.39 1.07 143
T6 3.51 1.39 143
T8 4.22 1.21 143
T9 3.83 1.07 143
T11 3.73 1.25 143
T13 2.30 1.16 143
T15 4.58 .93 143
T16 3.12 1.21 143








A Pearson Product Correlation was also performed comparing the scores from the Peer

Relations Scale item #3 and the personal efficacy subscale of the Teacher Efficacy Scale.

Results of the correlations for the mean scores of the four components are presented in

Table 11. Again, variability in participants' scores about preservice teachers' personal

influence on children's developing social competence was too small to suggest a

relationship to personal teaching efficacy. Reliability on the Teacher Efficacy Scale was

low (a=.43) and may again contribute to the lack of relationship.

Research Question Number Five

Preservice teachers' responses to PRS item #4 addressed research question

number five, "How much work do you think it will take for preschool teachers to help a

preschool child who is having difficulty (initiating play, sharing, resolving conflicts,

establishing friendships) with peers?"-and indicated that they believe it takes work for

teachers to help children develop social skills (Table 14). Resolving conflict will take the

most work (mean=4.03, SD=.93), followed by sharing (mean=3.84, SD=.90) and

initiating play activities (mean=3.82, SD=.90), although establishing friendships also

rated very high (mean=3.72, SD=.98). As indicated in Frequency Table 15, participants

indicated it would take "a lot" of work for teachers to help children who are having

difficulty with social skills.

Research Question Number Six

When preservice teachers were asked to relate the question to themselves, PRS

item #5, "How much work do you think it will be for you, when you are a teacher, to help

a preschool child who is having trouble," all four competencies were scored more equally









(means= 3.65, 3.76, 3.89, 3.78, respectively) and responses were most frequently

distributed around the 3 to 5 (some to a lot) range, as indicated in Table 16 and Table 17.


Table 14

Mean and Standard Deviation for Peer Relations Scale Item 4

Mean Standard Deviation n

Initiate Play 3.82 .90 167

Share 3.84 .90 163

Resolve Conflict 4.03 .93 163

Make Friends 3.72 .98 162

Table 15

Frequency Table for Peer Relations Scale Item 4

1 2 3 4 5

Initiate Play .6% 6.6% 27.5% 40% 25%

Share .6% 6% 28.2% 38.7% 26.4%

Resolve Conflict 1.2% 5% 20.2% 36.8% 36.8%

Make Friends 2% 8% 31% 34.6% 24.7%

Table 16

Mean and Standard Deviation for Peer Relations Scale Item 5

Mean Standard Deviation n

Initiate Play 3.65 .98 167

Share 3.76 .87 162

Resolve Conflict 3.89 .97 162

Make Friends 3.78 .89 158









Table 17

Frequency Table for Peer Relations Scale Item 5

1 2 3 4 5

Initiate Play 3% 7.2% 31.7% 37.7% 20.4%

Share .6% 6.2% 30.2% 42% 21%

Resolve Conflict 1.9% 6.8% 21.6% 39.5% 30.2%

Make Friends 1.9% 5% 26.6% 45.6% 20%


Research Question Number Seven

How do preservice teachers rank the influence of four factors (temperament,

parents, teachers, peers / siblings) on children's developing social competence? Are there

differences in preservice teachers' beliefs about the importance of individual components

of social competence (initiating play activities, sharing, resolving conflicts, and

establishing friendships)? The means and standard deviations were calculated (Tables 18)

for the importance rankings on the Peer Relations Scale that preservice teachers gave to

various influences on the four components of children's developing social skills

(temperament, parents, teachers, and peers). Participants viewed teachers as the least

important influence in all four areas of social competence. The preservice teachers in this

study identified temperament as the most important influence on learning to initiate play

activities (X=1.93, SD=1.19) and establishing friendship (X=1.99, SD=1.22) and parents

as the most important influence on learning to resolve conflicts (X=2.03, SD=.98) and

learning to share (X=2.03, SD=.98). As shown in Table 19, temperament was rated most

frequently, overall, in influencing children's developing social skills. Parents were rated

second most often and teachers were consistently listed as the least influential.









Table 18

Mean and Standard Deviation for Four Factors: Peer Relations Scale Item 6

Mean Standard Deviation n

PLAY
Temperament 1.93 1.19 160
Parents 2.21 .97 160
Teachers 3.35 .80 160
Siblings/Peers 2.52 .94 161

SHARING
Temperament 2.46 1.31 156
Parents 2.03 .98 156
Teachers 3.16 .85 156
Siblings/Peers 2.41 1.03 158

RESOLVING CONFLICT
Temperament 2.27 1.25 157
Parents 2.03 .98 156
Teachers 2.95 1.01 156
Siblings/Peers 2.77 .97 158

ESTABLISHING FRIENDSHIP
Temperament 1.99 1.22 154
Parents 2.42 .95 154
Teachers 3.31 .86 154
Siblings/Peers 2.26 .92 154









Table 19

Frequency Tables for Influence of Four Factors: Peer Relations Scale Item 6

Temperament Parents Teachers Siblings/Peers


PLAY
1
2
3
4


55.6%
14.4%
11.3%
18.8%


SHARING
1
2
3
4


37.2%
14.7%
12.8%
34.6%


26.9%
36.9%
24.4%
11.9%




37.2%
31.4%
23.1%
7.7%


1.3%
16.9%
27.5%
54.4%




3.8%
17.9%
36.5%
41.7%


16.1%
31.1%
36.6%
16.1%




21.5%
34.2%
27.2%
15.8%


RESOLVING CONFLICT


42%
15.3%
15.9%
26.8%


37.2%
31.4%
21.8%
9.6%


9%
26.3%
25%
39.7%


10.8%
27.2%
36.7%
24%


ESTABLISHING FRIENDSHIP


52.6%
18.2%
6.5%
22.7%


20.8%
28.6%
38.3%
12.3%


4.5%
13%
28.6%
54%


22.1%
40.3%
26.6%
11%








In an effort to inform the researchers about participants reasoning in their

responses to the influence of factors on preschool children's social development, three

inductive questions (PRS items 7-9) were analyzed qualitatively, using similar analyses

as the one advanced in Goals for Young Children. The PI and two additional scorers

independently categorized the participants' responses about the "two most important

reasons a child might" be good at or having difficulty initiating play activities, sharing,

resolving conflicts, or making friends. Although the response rate was poor for these

questions, answers tended to reinforce the beliefs expressed in item #6 about the origins

of children's ability to develop the four areas of social competence.

Most (293) participants attributed both success and failure to develop social skills

with children's associations with siblings and peers. If siblings were cited as a reason

why a child was good at sharing, lack of peer interaction or being an only child were

cited as the reasons for failure in that area. Parents emerged as the second strongest

influence on social skills (218), and temperament was listed third (176). Home

environment and parental support, or lack thereof, having an outgoing, or easy-going

personality, and good problem solving skills were frequently listed. Teachers (64) were

often listed as role models for good and bad conflict resolution skills (Tables 20 and 21).

Language skills and values were also listed several times.

Important factors that could limit the amount of influence that early childhood

teachers have on children's developing social skills were also fairly repetitive and

reflected the inverse of positive influences. The effect of home environment, parents, and

the student's personality or behavior were cited most often, followed by the teacher's

lack of time and teaching experience. Class size was offered as a contributor to the









teacher's lack of one-on-one time with students. Having special needs children in the

class was also noted as a barrier to influencing social skills. The final question asking

participant's to identify the age that children should be able to develop each of the four

social competence skills ranged from a few months to preteen. No pattern was

detectable.


Table 20

Sums for Two Most Important Reasons (Good) PRS Item 7

Temperament Parents

Play 76 47

Share 32 68

Resolve Conflict 40 70

Make Friends 68 33


Teachers

8
16


25

5


Siblings/Peers

100

78

54

61


Table 21

Sums for Two Most Important Reasons (Have difficulty) PRS Item 8

Temperament Parents Teachers Siblings/Peers

Play 76 34 4 61

Share 28 61 14 74

Resolve Conflict 33 65 12 48

Make Friends 67 27 3 52


Summary

An analysis of the data gathered from each of the surveys led to general findings

about preservice teachers' beliefs about the importance of social competence in young


v








children, the development of four components of social competence, and four of the

factors which influence the development of social competence. Specifically, in response

to research question number one, "when preservice teachers are asked to develop their

top five goals for young children, are social competence goals among them? Using the

Goals for Young Children survey, the study found preservice teachers independently

identify social skills as one of the important goals for their classrooms. Five categories

were established by three independent scorers as follows: Social Skills, Academics,

Values, Attitude, and Behavior. Ninety-nine percent agreement among scorers was

obtained for coding categories. Goals coded as "values" were most frequently reported,

followed by "academic" goals, and "social skills." "Attitude" toward school goals was

the fourth most frequently reported, and "behavior" goals were the least reported.

Are there differences in preservice teachers' beliefs about the importance of

individual components of social competence? Preservice teachers in this study were

consistent in ranking establishing friendships as the most important component of social

skills. Sharing, initiating play activities with peers, and resolving conflicts were ranked in

that order. Rating and ranking scores were negatively correlated, as expected. If a goal

was ranked number one, it was rated higher on the Likert scale.

When asked to respond to questions about the amount of influence teachers can

have on children's developing social competence (research question three), participants

also believe that, generally, teachers have the most influence on the development of

conflict resolution and initiating play activities, followed by making friends, and sharing.

Preservice teachers' beliefs about general teaching efficacy was evaluated using the

general efficacy subscale items from the Teacher Efficacy Scale. In order to establish a








relationship between preservice teachers' beliefs about teachers' ability to influence

children and their beliefs about general teaching efficacy, a Pearson Product correlation

was conducted. Variability in participants' scores was too small to suggest a relationship

between beliefs in teachers' ability to influence children and general teaching efficacy.

Personal teaching efficacy (research question four) was addressed by comparing

participants' responses to PRS item #3, about how much influence they will have, when

they are teachers, on children's developing social competence. Responses indicate that

they believe that they will have the most influence on children's ability to learn to share.

However, scores indicated that participants rated themselves high in their ability to

influence all four components of social competence. The second part of the research

question, "Do preservice teachers' beliefs about their personal teaching efficacy predict

how confident they feel about their own ability to influence the development of social

competence in children?" was addressed by the personal efficacy subscale of the Teacher

Efficacy Scale. A Pearson Product correlation was also performed comparing the scores

from the PRS #3 and the subscale scores, and, again, variability in participants' scores

was too small to suggest a relationship to personal teaching efficacy. Reliability on the

Teacher Efficacy Scale was low (a-=.43), and may account for the lack of statistically

significant and noteworthy relationships between preservice teachers' beliefs about

general and personal influence on children's social competence and general and personal

efficacy.

Preservice teachers believe it will take the most work for teachers, in general, to

influence conflict resolution in young children (research question five). However,

sharing, initiating play activities, and establishing friendships will take almost as much








work according to participants' responses. They also believe they will work the hardest,

personally, to help children learn to resolve conflicts (research question number six). All

four competencies scored closely in difficulty ratings.

Finally, in response to research question seven, preservice teachers believe that

the most influential attribute factor on the development of social competence in young

children is their inborn temperament. Teachers were consistently rated as the least

influential factor on social competence following parents and peers. In an effort to inform

the researcher about the participants' reasoning in their responses to the influence of

factors on preschool children's social development, three inductive questions were

analyzed qualitatively, using similar analyses as the one advanced for Goals for Young

Children. However, participant response was so low, no conclusions could be confidently

drawn.














CHAPTER 5
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

A review of the study is presented in this chapter. First, a review of the purpose,

literature, and methods are presented. A summary of the results related to the research

questions is included and the limitations of the present study are presented. Implications

for teacher education are discussed and finally, suggestions for future research conclude

this chapter.

Review of Purpose, Literature, and Methods

Review of Purpose

The purpose of this primarily descriptive study was to examine early childhood

preservice teachers' beliefs about the importance of social competence in early

childhood, their beliefs about their own role in promoting peer social competence, and

their beliefs about the relative influence of various agents and factors (parents, siblings,

peers, teachers, child's inherent temperament and abilities) on children's developing

social competence. Specifically, the study was designed to investigate preservice

teachers' beliefs about four areas of social competence which are supported by research

and theory as important in the preschool years: establishing friendships with peers,

resolving conflicts with peers, sharing with peers, and initiating play activities with peers

(Rubin, Bukowski, & Parker, 1998). In addition, the study examined, in a preliminary

way, the relationship between preservice teachers' sense of efficacy and their beliefs

about their role in promoting peer social competence.








Review of Literature

Through social interactions, children learn about human relationships, develop

interpersonal skills, and discover the rules and values of the culture in which they live.

Almost from the moment they are born, they begin to form relationships through

interdependence and active engagement with the people around them (Rubin & Rose-

Krasnor, 1992). In the United States, children are viewed as more socially competent

when they are responsible, independent, friendly, cooperative, purposeful, and self-

controlled (Baumrind, 1995). Specific behaviors associated with social competence

include giving and receiving emotional support, possessing social awareness, processing

information accurately, communicating, problem solving, and self-monitoring (Goleman,

1995). Socially competent young children are those who engage in satisfying interactions

and activities with adults and peers and through such interactions further improve their

own competence.

Communication is generally accepted as the foundation of social interaction, the

essential means through which people initiate and maintain social relationships (Hazen &

Black, 1989). Various communication skills were found to predict social acceptance in

young children, such as establishing friendships, sharing, resolving conflicts, and

initiating play activities with peers (Hartup & Moore, 1990). Research in social

competence suggests that child-child relations serve as the context for acquisition of these

social skills, as cognitive and emotional resources, and as models to be used in forming

other relationships.

Children develop and learn within many contexts, usually beginning with the

family and extending into the community. These contexts are embedded within society at








large, and are all interrelated and interdependent (Bronfenbrenner, 1989, 1993). Although

no two children are exactly alike, certain abilities emerge in most children at fairly

predictable times, allowing developmental principles to guide recognition of

commonalities among children and characteristics typical within age ranges. Because no

one aspect of development occurs independently of the others or independently of the

societal context of the family, all of the threads of development interweave and exist

simultaneously (Hartup & Lieshup, 1995; Ladd, 1999).

In the 1990s, research on affective and physiological correlates of children's peer

competence and relationships was primarily guided by frameworks that focused on the

interplay of emotional dispositions or temperament, the role of the family, and the role of

peer relationships (Eisenberg & Fabes, 1992; Eisenberg et al., 1993, 1996; Hartup &

Lieshup, 1995; Ladd, 1999; Ladd & Coleman, 1993). Given that social competence does

not happen suddenly or automatically, is acquired over time, and is affected by

development and experience, it is difficult to separate the impact that each of these roles

plays in the success of a child's interactions.

The study of peer relations on social development has focused considerable

attention on the emergence, maintenance, and changes in peer acceptance and social

status. Specifically, four components of peer relationships were examined in this study:

establishing friendships, sharing, resolving conflicts, and initiating play activities with

peers. It is possible for a child to be accepted by peers without developing the reciprocal

acceptance that characterizes friendship. A child can be popular without developing any

actual friendships, and, conversely, a child may be unpopular among his peer group and

maintain one or more friendships (Parker & Asher, 1993). The ability to develop








friendships is interwoven with the skills involved in successful sharing, conflict

resolution, and playing (Katz & McClellan, 1997; Kostelnik et al., 1998). The purpose of

friendship in the early childhood years is essentially the development of communication

and conflict resolution and takes place mostly through play.

Many children need the knowledgeable encouragement and support of the early

childhood teacher to begin to initiate successful social interactions during opportunities

for play (Hazen et al., 1984). Given that participation in positive interactions with

socially competent peers is the most natural mode through which children acquire social

skills (Odom, McConnell, & McEnvoy, 1999), the most useful social intervention for

children having difficulty interacting with peers may be spontaneous coaching and

modeling in the immediate context by the teacher (Ramsey, 1991). Helping children to

express strong emotions constructively, control aggression, and experience prosocial acts

such as sharing is a significant role for early childhood teachers.

Because teachers can play a significant role in supporting social growth and

development in young children, studies of teachers' interactions with children and their

underlying beliefs are important to study. Limited available evidence suggests that

teachers rarely intervene in young children's peer play for the purpose of promoting peer

competence (File, 1993; Kemple, David, & Hysmith, 1997). Teachers may implicitly

expect children to pick up social competence skills on their own. However, when they

view themselves as active agents in facilitating children's social development, teachers

can increasingly define themselves as thoughtful, active, deliberate decision makers,

attempting to tailor teaching strategies to develop young children's social competence.








Teachers' beliefs largely influence how they perceive, process, and act in their

classroom (Bloom, 1992; Charlesworth et al., 1997; Isenberg, 1997). Therefore, as an

element of the causes of teacher classroom practice and behavior, it is important to

understand teachers' beliefs (Richardson, 1996). The difficulty in understanding teachers'

beliefs generally lies in how they are defined, how they are studied, and how they relate

to other constructs and phenomena, many of which are themselves difficult to study or

quantify. Based on social cognitive attribution theory, one can expect teachers' actual

classroom behavior toward children to reflect the belief systems and expectations that the

teacher holds (Eiser, 1983; Harvey & Weary, 1985; Rogers, 1982).

Efficacy is defined as "the extent to which the teacher believes he or she has the

capacity to alter student performance" (McLaughlin & Marsh, 1978, p. 84). When

efficacy is applied to teachers, the self-efficacy construct is associated with teachers'

instructional practices and attitudes towards students (Ashton et al., 1983; Gibson &

Dembo, 1984). There has been little attention to teachers' beliefs about their own ability,

or efficacy to influence particular aspects of children's social development (Kemple et

al., 1996). Teachers' effectiveness at promoting or eliminating a particular child behavior

may depend on the teacher's ability to assess accurately the causes of the behavior as

well as the level of influence that they may effectively exert to change or reinforce the

behavior (Dix & Grusec, 1985). In this regard, it appears that teachers' belief systems are

both a function of professional preparation and practical as well as personal knowledge

(Thomas & Barksdale-Ladd, 1997). For this reason, it is important to learn what teachers

believe, what they are learning in professional preparation programs, and what they

already know (Clandinin & Connelly, 1987).








Measuring and assessing teachers' beliefs is critical to understanding them and is

important to the process of developing appropriate preservice training programs. By

studying preservice teachers' beliefs about the importance of developing social

competence in young children, the influences on social development, and the teachers'

perceived role in that development, we can understand the influence that teacher training

programs can have in preparing students to understand and develop classrooms that

positively impact children's social competence. By understanding how beliefs lead to

practices, preservice teachers may begin to examine which practices are effective for

promoting positive peer relationships and become empowered to make changes that lead

to positive social development in their classrooms.

Review of Methods

To investigate preservice teachers' beliefs about the importance of social

competence in early childhood, their beliefs about the role of teachers and their own role

in promoting social competence, and their beliefs about the influences of various factors

on the development of social competence preschool children, three surveys were

administered to 168 education majors in six universities in the southeast and midwest.

The Goals for Young Children was designed to allow participants to describe, in their

own words, the most important goals for their future classrooms. Responses to this

survey were classified into five categories assessed by multiple coder agreement. The

Peer Relations Scale also explored preservice teachers' beliefs about the importance of

social competence, teachers' ability to influence the development of four components of

social competence, and preservice teachers' beliefs about the origins of children's ability

to develop social competence. In order to investigate a relationship between the








participant responses for the Goals for Young Children and the responses to the Peer

Relations Scale, items from each survey were cross-analyzed. For the purposes of this

study, the subscales of the Teacher Efficacy Scale, which differentiate between personal

and general efficacy, were used. The relationship between teacher beliefs about efficacy

and teacher's roles in promoting social competence in young children was explored.

Discussion of Results

An analysis of the data gathered from each of the surveys led to general findings

about preservice teachers' beliefs about the importance of social competence in young

children. This study found that preservice teachers independently identify social skills as

one of the important goals for their classrooms, listing it as the third most important goal

following values and academic goals. These results are similar to those of a study by

Kemple et al. (1996) that surveyed 22 preschool and kindergarten classroom teachers

about their beliefs about social competence. Kemple et al., found that on the Goals for

Young Children interview question, all of the teachers listed at least one social interaction

goal among their 5 goals, with goals coded as academic being the most frequently

reported, followed by social goals, and emotional goals. Goals directly related to attitudes

towards school were the least frequently reported. It is interesting to note that, although

the study differs in that it addressed teachers already in the classroom, the goals that the

teachers generated were very similar to the goals developed by the preservice teachers in

the current study.

Participants in this study were consistent in ranking establishing friendships and

sharing as the two most important skills. They also believed that, generally, teachers have

the most influence on the development of conflict resolution and initiating play activities,








and, personally, they have the most influence on children's ability to learn to share.

Because data collection had methodological weaknesses, there was very little variability

in responses, making it difficult to differentiate participants' beliefs regarding the four

components of social competence. The Peer Relations Scale, as written, does not

effectively include any forced choice. As a result, participants were free to evaluate all of

the components as important and did not discriminate among the items. Possible

solutions might include a wider scale, which labels the middle points more specifically,

or, adding into the survey "distracter" items that prevent a response set from forming.

Similarly, no statistically significant and noteworthy relationships between

preservice teachers' beliefs about general and personal influence on children's social

competence and general and personal efficacy were identified, possibly reflecting the

same methodological flaws. When efficacy is applied to teachers, the self-efficacy

construct is usually associated with teachers' instructional practices and attitudes towards

students (Ashton, et al., 1983). Because this sample represented university students who

are not currently teaching, the efficacy scale was not reliable, which raises interesting

questions about the construct of efficacy for preservice teachers. Bandura (1986) and

Pajares (1996) warned that, because self-efficacy beliefs are contextual judgments of

capability to perform a given task, the beliefs assessed should always be in concert with

the actual performance of the task. Consequently, in this context, assessment of teacher

efficacy beliefs should deal with preservice teachers' perceived judgments of their

capability to instruct and manage preschool students. Several participants eliminated

certain answers on the survey, citing in the margin the fact that they are not 'yet'

teachers, and do not have students or classrooms. Perhaps this inability to actually see








themselves as teachers did not allow them to make a judgement about their own efficacy.

By comparing efficacy scores of preservice teachers in the first and fourth year of their

studies, Gorrell and Hwang (1995) confirmed that teacher preparation coursework raises

personal efficacy but not necessarily teaching efficacy.

Preservice teachers in this study believe it will take the most work for teachers, in

general, to influence conflict resolution in young children, and logically, they also believe

they will work the hardest, personally, to help children learn to resolve conflicts. It is

difficult without adding an interview component to the questionnaires, to identify

whether participants would describe sharing and conflict resolution as similar learning

experiences occurring in the same activity. Additionally, they may have perceived

establishing friendships and initiating activities with peers as similar preschool social

skills.

Finally, the participating preservice teachers believe that the most influential

attribute factor on the development of social competence in young children is their inborn

temperament. Teachers were consistently rated as the least influential factor on social

competence following parents and peers. Results from this portion of the study may

reflect the true influence that teachers exert on children, simply because they spend less

time in one-to-one situations with individual children than parents and peers. Kemple et

al., (1996) also found that temperament and parents were perceived by teachers as the

most important influences on children's cooperation, comfort in a group, and exhibiting

kindness to peers. Numerous scholars have noted a gap between what is recommended in

the literature as accepted practice for facilitating children's social competence and a

prevalent "hands-off" approach in practice, to peer interactions (Hazen, et al., 1984;








Kostenik, et al., 1988; File, 1993). It appears that preschool teachers may implicitly

expect children to "pick up" social skills on their own. Additionally, participants were

asked to rank four influences on social development that were identified by the researcher

as important. It may be interesting to note whether preservice teachers may continue to

rank themselves as high as fourth if the list were extended or they were asked to generate

their own responses to the question. Because they viewed teachers as having less

influence than parents, peers, or temperament, does not necessarily imply that they see

teachers as having no influence on children's developing social skills.

The placement of the qualitative questions at the end of the Peer Relations Scale

may have contributed to the low response rate on those items. In addition, the placement

of the questions following the item defining four influences on social skills allowed

participants to rely heavily on the preceding question to generate their responses. Again,

an interview component added to the surveys may contribute more reliable descriptive

explanations for participant responses.

Limitations in the Present Study

Participants in this study were preservice teachers who were currently enrolled in

education courses and had not completed their coursework or participated in a full-time

internship in a classroom. The study was limited in geographical scope and only included

university students enrolled in certification programs, therefore this sample represented

only preservice teachers seeking college degrees, rather than all preschool teachers-in-

training. Many preschool teachers do not obtain four year degrees or teacher certification.

Additionally, program quality and requirements were not critically examined and

analyzed; therefore, no clear conclusions can be drawn about the curriculum content of








the early childhood programs that the students received and how their beliefs about social

competence were influenced. Participants may, or may not, have received instruction in

social competence and participants may be at different levels in their educational

programs. Responses to the demographic question regarding participation in a social

competence class varied from course number to simple course descriptions which did not

define the type of information students were receiving.

Several methodological flaws that exist in this study are addressed in some detail

in the above section. The Peer Relations Rating Scale and the Goals for Young Children

are relatively untested instruments. Because measures of teachers' beliefs about social

competence are scarce, this study relied on modified measures for which reliability and

validity information is limited or not available. The Teacher Efficacy Scale has almost

exclusively been utilized to assess classroom teachers' beliefs, as opposed to preservice

teachers' beliefs, and in relation to multiple constructs. The reliability and validity

assessments vary as a result. For the purpose of this study, the principle investigator

performed a Cronbach's alpha to determine specific reliability and it was low (oc-=.43). In

addition, the response rate to the qualitative questions, which were designed to obtain

descriptive information about teacher beliefs about influences on peer competence, was

very poor and did not provide valid explanations because participants tended to respond

to the questions using the answers provided by the survey questions in the preceding

section.

Discussion and Implications for Teacher Education

The results of this investigation of the beliefs of preservice teachers have

implications for the future of teacher education. If preservice teachers see themselves as








having the least amount of influence on children's developing social skills, as compared

to temperament, parents, and peers, does that imply that they, in fact, have little

influence, or do they underestimate the impact that they can have? If teachers believed

that they had obtained the knowledge and the skills to positively impact the development

of social competence during their teaching preparation, would they approach teaching

social skills more aggressively in the classroom?

The preservice teachers in this study see themselves as having more influence on

conflict resolution and sharing than on making friends and initiating play activities (both

of which were seen as highly temperament related). Perhaps this is because making

friends is a much more complex "megacompetency" than the other three and because

initiating interactions is probably tied at least as closely to confidence as it is to social

skill. Because teachers can play a significant role in supporting social growth and

development in young children (File, 1993; Kemple, et al., 1997), a good place to begin

educating teachers about their role in supporting children's peer competence may be in

the area where they already feel the most powerful, conflict resolution. Conflict behavior

is easily recognizable and much research is available about effective resolution strategies.

As teachers become more confident in teaching children to avert and resolve conflicts in

the classroom, they may also begin to see making friends and initiating play activities as

related skills that can be encouraged. Teacher education programs may be able to train

teachers to look beyond the impact of external influences on children and focus on

personal classroom behaviors that promote the development of peer social competence.

The ability to improve and positively impact the development of social

competence in young children has many long-term positive implications for preservice








teachers moving into educational settings. It is common sense to believe that children

who see themselves as cooperative, contributing members of a group, perform more

effectively in the classroom and grow up to be more confident, contributing members of

society.

Future Research

In future research, the sources of differences in teachers' beliefs about peer

competence might be explored. One plausible source of differences in beliefs could be

differences in teacher education programs. An examination of the specific content and

methods of teacher preparation programs may reveal interesting results with practical

value. For instance, do programs that provide strong emphasis in course work on child

behavior and classroom management better prepare teachers for their role in promoting

children's peer competence? What is the role of the practicum in providing opportunities

to experience effective practices that promote social competence? What is the origin of

teachers' beliefs about the role of attributes in children's developing social competence?

Finally, how do beliefs about the teachers' role change when students graduate and

undertake to create classrooms of their own that promote social competence in young

children?

Another possible direction for research would be the comparison of preservice

teachers' beliefs and the beliefs of teachers in the classroom. One aspect of efficacy that

was not explored in this study is the confidence gained by actually performing a task.

Classroom teachers who are not projecting whether they can influence children's

developing social skills but practicing classroom management skills daily, may have

more powerful statements of personal as well as general teaching efficacy. Examining the








general content and methods of teacher preparation received by classroom teachers with

high efficacy scores may reveal interesting results with practical value.

A more valid measure of teacher efficacy would be useful in surveying preservice

teachers. Better methods for obtaining this information might include restructured or re-

ordered questions or in-depth interviews. Future research questions may examine why

preservice teachers see themselves as having different amounts of influence on different

competencies, and why they see themselves as having the least influence, compared to

temperament, parents, and peers. Another line of questioning may reveal other factors

that preservice teachers rank as important influences. In an interview format, personal

theories about the development of social competence might be explored.














APPENDIX A
PEER RELATIONS SCALE


1. In general, at about what age are children first able to initiate play activities with
peers? ____

2. In general, at about what age are children first able to share with peers?


3. In general, at about what age are children first able to resolve conflicts with
peers?_______

4. In general, at about what age are children first able to establish friendships with
peers? ____


How important is it for a preschool child to be able to do the following things?
(please rank in order, with 1 =most important and 4=least important)


_____ Make friends with peers

_____ Resolve conflicts with peers

_____Share with peers

_____ Initiate play activities with peers










Initiating Play Activities


1. How important is it for preschool children to develop the ability to initiate play activities with peers?
1 ....................... ........ 2 ..................... .............. 3 .... ................. ..... ....4 .. .................. .. 5
Very Unimportant Very Important


2. How much influence can early childhood teachers have on the development of preschool children's
ability to initiate play activities with peers?
1 .............. ...... .............................. 2 .............. .. .. ............... .... .... .. .. .................. ........... 5
Very Little A Lot


3. How much confidence do you have that, when you are a teacher, you will be able to influence the
development of preschool children's ability to initiate play activities with peers?
1 ................ .... ........................ 2 .................... ... 3............... ... 4 .......... ................ 5
Very Little A Lot



4. How much work do you think it takes for a teacher to help a child who is having difficulty initiating
play activities with peers?

1 .............. ... ......... 2 ..... ......................... 3 .. ..................... ........ 4 ................................5
Very Little A Lot



5. How much work do you think it will be for you, when you are a teacher, to help a preschool child who
is having difficulty initiating play activities with peers?
1 ......................... 2 ..... ...... ... ................ 3 ........... ................... 4 ................................ 5
Very Little A Lot


6. A child's progress in initiating play activities with peers is due to the following factors (please rank in
order of importance, by assigning a number between 1 and 4 to each, such that 1 = most important and
4 = least important. Each number between 1 and 4 should be used once and only once).
_______ The child's inborn abilities or temperament
_______ The child's parents)
______ The child's teachers)
_______ The child's peers and / or siblings


7. What are the two most important reasons why a child might be good at initiating play activities with

peers?
1.
2.










8. What are the two most important reasons why a child might have difficulty initiating play activities

with peers?
1.

2.


9. List 2 important factors that could limit the amount of influence EC teachers have on children's ability

to initiate play activities with peers.

1.
2.


Sharing


1. How important is it for preschool children to develop the ability to share with peers?
1 ........................... 2... ................................3.. ...4.................. 4 ...... ....... ........ 5
Very Unimportant Very Important



2. How much influence can early childhood teachers have on the development of preschool children's

ability to share with peers?
1 .......................... .......................... ............. .... .. ............ ................... .. .... ....... ..........- 5
Very Little A Lot


3. How much confidence do you have that, when you are a teacher, you will be able to influence the

development of preschool children's ability to share with peers?
1 ...................... 2.. ..... ......................... 3.. .... ....... ..................... 4 ........ ...................5
Very Little A Lot



4. How much work do you think it takes for a teacher to help a child who is having difficulty sharing with
peers?

1 .................. .......... 2 ................................. 3 ................................. ........ ..4 ........... .. ............ .. 5
Very Little A Lot



5. How much work do you think it will be for you, when you are a teacher, to help a preschool child who
is having difficulty sharing with peers?
I ......................... ..2 .......... ................... .. ................ ... ... ... ........... .... 4 .....4................... 5
Very Little A Lot










6. A child's progress in sharing with peers is due to the following factors (please rank in order of
importance, by assigning a number between 1 and 4 to each, such that 1 = most important and 4 = least
important. Each number between 1 and 4 should be used once and only once).
_______ The child's inborn abilities or temperament
______ The child's parents)
______ The child's teachers)
______ The child's peers and / or siblings


7. What are the two most important reasons why a child might be good at sharing with peers?
1.

2.


8. What are the two most important reasons why a child might have difficulty sharing with peers?
1.

2.


9. List 2 important factors that could limit the amount of influence EC teachers have on children's ability

to share with peers.
1.
2.


Resolving Conflicts


1. How important is it for preschool children to develop the ability to resolve conflicts with peers?
1 ............................. ............ .. 3 .. ........................ ....... .. 4 .................. .............5
Very Unimportant Very Important


2. How much influence can early childhood teachers have on the development of preschool children's
ability to resolve conflicts with peers?
1 ..................... 2 ... ..... ..... ....................3.......... ....................... 4 ................................ 5
Very Little A Lot


3. How much confidence do you have that, when you are a teacher, you will be able to influence the
development of preschool children's ability to resolve conflicts with peers?
1 ................... .. .... 2..... ... ... .....................3......... .......... 4... ...................... 5
Very Little A Lot






89


4. How much work do you think it takes for a teacher to help a child who is having difficulty resolving
conflicts with peers?
1I ................ ......................... .. ... 3 ... ............... ........ ....... 4 .... ....... ......... ........... 5
Very Little A Lot


5. How much work do you think it will be for you, when you are a teacher, to help a preschool child who
is having difficulty resolving conflicts with peers?
1 ......... ............. 2 ..... .. .... .................. .. 3...... ........ ................... 4 ................................ 5
Very Little A Lot


6. A child's progress in resolving conflicts with peers is due to the following factors (please rank in order
of importance, by assigning a number between 1 and 4 to each, such that 1 = most important and 4 =
least important. Each number between 1 and 4 should be used once and only once).
_______ The child's inborn abilities or temperament
_______ The child's parents)
_______ The child's teachers)
_______ The child's peers and / or siblings


7. What are the two most important reasons why a child might be good at resolving conflicts with peers?
1.
2.


8. What are the two most important reasons why a child might have difficulty resolving conflicts with
peers?
1.
2.


9. List 2 important factors that could limit the amount of influence EC teachers have on children's ability
to resolve conflicts with peers.
1.
2.







90


Establishing Friendships


1. How important is it for preschool children to develop the ability to establish friendships with peers?
1 .......................... ........................ .............. ......... ..3 ......... ................ 4 .............. ............ 5
Very Unimportant Very Important



2. How much influence can early childhood teachers have on the development of preschool children's

ability to establish friendships with peers?
I .............................. 2 ............... ... ....... ................... 3 ....................... 4 .. .......... ........ ..5
Very Little A Lot


3. How much confidence do you have that, when you are a teacher, you will be able to influence the
development of preschool children's ability to establish friendships with peers?
1 ................... ...... 2 ................................. 3..... ................. ..... 4 ................ ..... ....... 5
Very Little A Lot



4. How much work do you think it takes for a teacher to help a child who is having difficulty establishing

friendships with peers?
I ................... .......... 2............ ........ .. ...... .... ........... ... ............ .... ..... ............. .. 5
Very Little A Lot


5. How much work do you think it will be for you, when you are a teacher, to help a preschool child who
is having difficulty establishing friendships with peers?
I ......................... 2 ................... .................... .......... .... .. ... ..4.... .... ................... 5
Very Little A Lot


6. A child's progress in establishing friendships with peers is due to the following factors (please rank in
order of importance, by assigning a number between 1 and 4 to each, such that I = most important and
4 = least important. Each number between 1 and 4 should be used once and only once).
_______ The child's inborn abilities or temperament
_______ The child's parents)
______ The child's teachers)
_______ The child's peers and / or siblings


7. What are the two most important reasons why a child might be good at establishing friendships with
peers?
1.
2.






91


8. What are the two most important reasons why a child might have difficulty establishing friendships
with peers?
1.
2.


9. List two important factors that could limit the amount of influence EC teachers have on children's
ability to establish friendships with peers.
1.
2.
















APPENDIX B
TEACHER EFFICACY SCALE

Please indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree with each statement below by circling the
appropriate numeral to the right of each statement.


1
Strongly
disagree


Moderately Disagree slightly Agree slightly
disagree more than agree more than disagree


5
Moderately
agree


6
Strongly
agree


1. When a student does better than usual, many times it is
because I exerted a little extra effort.

2. The hours in my class have little influence on students compared to the
influence of their home environments.

3. If parents comment to me that their child behaves much better at school
than he/she does at home, it would probably be because I have some
specific techniques of managing his/her behavior which they may lack.

4. The amount that a student can learn is primarily related to family
background.

5. If a teacher has adequate skills and motivation, she/he can get through
to the most difficult students.

6. If students aren't disciplined at home, they aren't likely to accept
any discipline.

7. 1 have enough training to deal with almost any learning problem.

8. My teacher training program and/or experience has given me the
necessary skills to be an effective teacher.

9. Many teachers are stymied in their attempts to help students by lack of
support from the community.

10. Some students need to be placed in slower groups so they are not
subjected to unrealistic expectations.

11. Individual differences among teachers account for the wide variations
in student achievement.

12. When a student is having difficulty with an assignment, I am usually
able to adjust it to his/her level.

13. If one of my students cannot remain on task for a particular assignment,
there is little I could do to increase his/her attention until he/she is ready.


1 2 3 4 5 6


1 2 3 4 5 6


1 2 3 4 5 6



1 2 3 4 5 6


1 2 3 4 5 6


1 2 3 4 5 6


1 2 3 4 5 6

1 2 3 4 5 6


1 2 3 4 5 6


1 2 3 4 5 6


1 2 3 4 5 6


1 2 3 4 5 6


1 2 3 4 5 6