A Test of a Measure for Assessing Teachers' Judgments about Social Interaction Practices in the Preschool Years

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The primary purpose of this article is to describe the development and utility of the Social Interaction Practices for the Preschool Years (SIPPY) questionnaire. The SIPPY is a tool designed to assess teachers’ judgments of the acceptability and feasibility, as well as their current use, of literature-supported strategies for promoting the development of young children's social competence in early childhood classrooms. The questionnaire was administered to 57 female preschool teachers, the majority of whom held either a national or Florida Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential, but very few of whom held a bachelor’s degree or beyond. Participants had an average of 5 years’ experience as teachers of young children. Results support the internal consistency of the tool and suggest that it is a useful assessment tool for research on teachers’ knowledge and beliefs about supporting social competence, as well as a tool for creation of individually appropriate professional development activities for teachers. Analyses suggest that, in general, teachers in this sample viewed literature-supported strategies as acceptable and feasible. They were more likely, however, to judge strategies as acceptable and feasible than was reflected in their current use of those strategies. These teachers also viewed more intensive strategies as less acceptable and less feasible than environmental and natural activity strategies. Suggestions are made for further research to replicate and explain these findings.

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Early Childhood Research and Practice, v. 10, issue 2

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