Preschool Educators’ Readiness to Promote Children’s Emotional Competence

Tammy Somerwil, Helen Klieve, Beryl Exley
page. 135~158 / 2020 Vol.14 No.2


The development of children’s emotional competence (EC) throughout the preschool period is critical for supporting their future social competence, transition to school and long-term academic success. This paper reports on survey responses of 78 Australian preschool educators to the scale Preschool Educators’ Readiness for Promoting Children’s Emotional Competence modified from Bouillet, Ivanec & Miljević-Riđički (2014) and a short open response section. This scale sought the views of educators regarding aspects such as their competence, willingness to promote children’s emotional competence and the influence of institutional environment and conditions, with response variations explored across different locations, centre type and also respondent age. While responses indicated strong agreement regarding ability to successfully conduct activities to promote emotional competence and also respondent’s prioritization of activities for emotional competence before cognitive skills, there also were differences observed across respondents. For example, almost half responded that they were not adequately prepared by their undergraduate education to promote emotional competence. A small number of open responses were supplied (n=24). Given the small sample, these were used as additional evidence to support and explain the findings from the quantitative analysis. Overall findings highlight the need for strategies to support these educators. These include additional information and practical strategies within undergraduate training, thedevelopment of a shared language that defines these issues, ongoing professional development in their workplaces and a greater availability of practical strategies and programs to support them in delivering this important role.

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