Promotion of preschool children's social and emotional development in a Head Start program: A case study
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The purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which a Head Start program used personnel, standards, and curriculum to promote social and emotional development in preschool children. The study included examining three research questions: 1) In what ways do staff and teachers use Head Start standards and state curriculum guidelines designed to promote the social and emotional development of young children?; 2) How do teachers implement the program’s adopted curricula designed to promote the social and emotional development of their children?; and 3) What are teachers’ perceptions regarding the benefits and challenges of implementing the curricula designed to support children’s social and emotional development? The study used six forms of data collection, including a demographic questionnaire, focus groups, interviews, photography, documents review, and observations. Six themes emerged from the data analyzed. The standards, curricula, and assessments outlined the importance of young children understanding their abilities and individual limitations as well as understanding how to respect and empathize with the feelings and rights of others. The teachers and staff shared that they received valuable feedback from each other that helped in developing classroom and family goals. The teachers additionally shared how the curricula and assessments supported the social and emotional development of young children, but expressed technological concerns about on-line applications.