Learning and Teaching Positive Guidance Skills: Lessons from early Childhood Practicum Students

Laura Piazza, Rachel Saunders, Sydnye Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
497 Downloads (Pure)


Empirical studies of early childhood educators' experiences with learning and implementing positive guidance skills are absent from the extant literature. This study explored this topic with participants involved in concurrent instructional lecture and practicum experiences. Sixty-three junior and senior level university students participated in the study. Participants defined 'positive guidance' diversely with definitions ranging from accurate to inaccurate. Most participants held inaccurate or somewhat inaccurate definitions both before and after class. Participants considered several positive guidance skills difficult to master; conflict resolution, positive language usage, setting and following through with limits, and offering choices most frequently selected as arduous skills to master. Participants also rated positive language usage and conflict resolution as two of the four most improved skills. Addressing children's individual needs and confidence were the two additional most improved positive guidance skills after the course ended. The majority of participants cited the hands-on aspects of class and lab as being important in contributing to positive attitudes about positive guidance. Findings of the current study contribute to knowledge about how to better prepare early childhood educators by assessing preliminary perceptions and skills and elucidating which aspects of the learning process are generally challenging.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-221
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Teacher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


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