This qualitative study explored preschool teacher beliefs and practices in relationship to observed classroom quality and student outcomes. A phenomenological approach framed the design of the research collected from seven preschool teachers in a large urban school district in Western NY. Teachers were asked two questions about student learning and excellence in teaching. Findings suggest that high performing preschool teachers believe it is important to establish nurturing relationships with their students, foster positive relationships with the families of the children they work with in the classroom, and nurture the social-emotional development of their children in the classroom. Pedagogically, differentiated instruction emerged as a theme in which teachers’ described their teaching practice to meet the needs of all their students. Future research should be focused on the impact professional development has on the quality of instruction provided in preschool classrooms.
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Charles J. Infurna
Children's Institute - University of Rochester
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