Last Saturday, the Curry School of Education and the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) hosted 50 preschool teachers from across Virginia for a professional development workshop. Teachers learned how to foster emotionally supportive classrooms through engaging interactions with preschool children.
Leslie Booren, CASTL researcher, and Bridget Hatfield, postdoctoral research associate at CASTL, led the workshop, which featured multiple video examples from real classrooms and activities demonstrating the kinds of teacher-student interactions that create emotionally supportive classrooms. Teachers also learned how to recognize specific strategies relating to teacher sensitivity and regard for children’s perspectives, both vital characteristics of emotionally supportive interactions.
The content of the workshop was based on a research conducted at CASTL and was translated into more practitioner-based teaching strategies which can be used in early childhood classrooms. “When children experience preschool classrooms that are positive and sensitive and that allow for choice, they are more likely to explore their environment and be active learners,” Booren said. In turn, she added, children behave in a more social and cooperative manner and end up learning more.
This workshop reflects CASTL’s dedication to translating up-to-date research on effective teaching and learning into practical workshops for the early childhood education and care provider community, Booren added.