Gender differences in children's classroom behaviour and teacher-child relationships in early childhood: An Australian Study

Walker, Sue & Berthelsen, Donna C. (2009) Gender differences in children's classroom behaviour and teacher-child relationships in early childhood: An Australian Study. In 14th European Conference for Developmental Psychology, 18/8/09 - 22/8/09, Vilnius, Lithuania. (Unpublished)

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Background: In the early school years, children need positive attitudes to school and experiences that promote academic and social competence. Positive relationships between children and teachers make a significant contribution to school achievement and social competence. Girls are more likely to display positive classroom behaviours and positive approaches to learning than boys. Gender differences have also been noted in teacher-child relationships. This study investigated the relationship between gender differences in classroom behaviour and gender differences in teacher-child relationships in the early years.
Method: Data were drawn from The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). LSAC is a cross-sequential cohort study funded by the Australian Government. In these analyses, Wave 1 (2004) and Wave 2 (2006) data for 4464 children in the Kindergarten Cohort were used. Children, at Wave 2, were in the early years of formal school. They had a mean age of 6.8 years (SD= 0.24). Measures included a 6-item measure of Approaches to Learning (task persistence, independence) and teacher ratings on the SDQ. Teachers rated their relationships with children on the short form of the STRS. Results: Girls were found to have more positive relationships with their teachers and to display more positive classroom behaviours than boys. Teachers described their relationships with boys as less close than their relationships with girls and rated girls as displaying more positive approaches to learning and fewer problem behaviours than boys. Positive teacher – child relationships were significantly related to more positive classroom behaviours. The quality of the teacher-child relationship at time 1 (Wave 1) was the best predictor of the quality of the teacher-child relationship at time 2 (Wave 2). Conclusions: Findings highlight the importance of developing positive learning related classroom behaviours in understanding successful school transition and the key role played by early positive teacher-child relationships in promoting school adjustment.

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ID Code: 27510
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Early childhood, Classroom behaviour, Teacher-child relationship, LSAC
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Early Childhood Education (excl. Maori) (130102)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 23 Sep 2009 02:57
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2015 02:27

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