Kindergarten Teachers' Beliefs and Responses to Hypothetical Prosocial, Asocial, and Antisocial Children
The goal of this study was to explore kindergarten teachers' attitudes and beliefs toward hypothetical children who frequently displayed certain types of behaviors with peers in the classroom. Participants were 202 kindergarten teachers from 4 provinces in Canada. Teachers responded to hypothetical vignettes describing children exhibiting shy, unsociable, aggressive, and prosocial behaviors. Beliefs assessed included teachers' tolerances of the behaviors, their behavioral attributions, the estimated academic and social costs to the child as a result of these behaviors, and teachers' responses to each hypothetical child. Teachers reported unique patterns of beliefs and responses toward each of the different types of children described. Not surprisingly, results indicated that teachers had the harshest beliefs toward the aggressive children. However, teachers also clearly distinguished between hypothetical children who were shy versus unsociable, whereas previous research has confounded these behaviors. Results are discussed in terms of the links between teacher beliefs/responses and child socioemotional adjustment at school.