Preservice teachers’ beliefs about socioemotional skills and kindergarten readiness
Correale, Rachel Anne
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Social emotional skills are key skills children need to learn and develop and are important for kindergarten readiness. The purpose of this study was to examine preservice early childhood teachers’ beliefs about socioemotional skills (i.e., behavior management and learning environment) and what skills they believe are important for kindergarten. The sample included 39 participants from Texas Tech University who majored in early childhood education and human development and family studies. In this study, the participants received a questionnaire that included questions from the Kindergarten Readiness Scale (KRS; Abu Taleb, 2013) about the necessity of socioemotional skills, as well as the Teacher Beliefs Survey (TBS; Woolley et al., 2004), specifically items assessing beliefs about the importance of the learning environment and behavior management. We examined the relationship between the participants’ responses and their year in college. Preservice teachers’ year in college significantly predicted their beliefs about the learning environment, R2 = .23, F (1,24) = 6.91, p < .02, with preservice teachers earlier in college rating the learning environment as more important than those later in their college careers. A significant association between preservice teachers’ beliefs about the necessity of socioemotional skills for kindergarten and the importance of the learning environment was found (r =.49, p > .01). Results show that preservice teachers believe socioemotional skills are necessary for kindergarten readiness and they believe the classroom learning environment also is important, particularly for those students earlier in their teacher education programs.