How early childhood teachers build positive relationships with their students to support learning





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The purpose of this study was to better understand how early childhood teachers could build positive relationships with their students to support learning. The study explores why teacher-student relationships are important, the attributes that describe positive teacher-student relationships, how these relationships are connected to academic learning, and some approaches used to intentionally develop positive teacher-student relationships in early childhood classrooms. A key influence was the work of Pianta, La Paro, and Hamre (2008) and their development of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS), an observational framework measuring classroom interactions associated with high quality instruction. A strategy called 'contact talks', developed by Dan Gartrell, was introduced to teachers as one way of building relationships. The author concluded positive teacher-student relationships are a critical element of instructional support and best practice and therefore must be intentionally addressed in teacher reflection, education, and professional development.

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