Do Teachers Observe the Same Social-Emotional Exchanges in the Classroom as Researchers?

Kristina Herndon Liverette

Advisor: Susanne A Denham, PhD, Department of Psychology

Committee Members: Hideko Bassett, Timothy Curby

David J. King Hall, #1024A
April 21, 2016, 10:00 AM to 07:00 AM


There is growing interest from researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers in children’s social-emotional competence and how to assess those competencies, because social-emotional competence is predictive of academic competence. Preschool-aged children are able to learn about social-emotional competence and classroom norms while attending childcare. The classroom environment is new to many preschoolers and thus, they might behave differently in the classroom than at home.  Additionally, teachers are likely to know their students fairly well as they spend a lot of time with them.  Therefore, teachers may be good at assessing and reporting a child’s social-emotional competence in the classroom. The purpose of the present study is to examine whether teachers reported social-emotional competencies similarly to objective researchers. A secondary purpose is to assess whether or not children’s social-emotional competencies are interrelated.  If findings are significant for the present study, researchers and practitioners can use the findings to assist teachers in promoting children’s social-emotional competence, through teacher education and professional developmental, and implementation of social-emotional programming in the classroom.