Scaffolding social and emotional learning in preschool children from low-income backgrounds: a study of teacher strategies during COVID-19

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This study investigated the pedagogical strategies implemented by preschool teachers to scaffold social and emotional learning (SEL) in socioeconomically disadvantaged children (ages 3-4) during the 2020–2021 school year amidst COVID-19 in the United States. The participants consisted of eight teachers (representing four teaching teams of one lead teacher and one teacher assistant) from four classrooms in one preschool. The teachers (ages 26–49 years, M = 39 years) had 1–20 years (M = 10 years) of teaching experience. Each teacher was interviewed individually for an average of 40 min virtually via Zoom. A thematic analysis of the data revealed that the four most prevalent strategies applied by the teachers to scaffold the children’s SEL were: (1) conducting daily feelings check-ins, (2) modeling social and emotional skills, (3) engaging children in book reading and discussion, and (4) involving children in developmentally appropriate physical activities. These teachers also reported that some children missed out on critical SEL due to their absenteeism.

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Education 3-13



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