Teacher-child relatedness in the forefront: Mia Mia

Year: 2002

Author: Talay-Ongan, Ayshe, McNaught, Margaret

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Traditional measures of quality in early childhood settings have focused on structural attributes such as group size, educational preparedness, skills of caregivers and child-to-staff ratios. More recent reports, however, acknowledge the quality of teacher-child relationship, which may be indicated by the security of teacher-child relationships, as being uniquely significant in children's development. The aim of this project is an investigation of the nature consequences of teacher-child relationships in an early childhood setting: Mia-Mia Child and Family Study Centre at Macquarie University, Sydney. The investigation was conducted as a series of videotaped conferences with Mia-Mia staff, focussing on teacher-child interrelatedness narratives. Teachers explained in depth, their understandings of relatedness and connectedness with children, and elaborated on the daily applications of this construct which they felt was the essence of their work. Qualitative analyses of the transcripts and descriptions of child-teacher relatedness vignettes are presented. The overall outcomes of the project yield support to the emerging evidence that underlines the significance of the quality of the teacher-child relationship as a determinant of quality of a child's experiences in childcare.