The Influence of Professional Development on Educators' Instructional Conversations in Preschool Classrooms

May. 01, 2013

Source: Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, Volume 34, Issue 2, 2013, pages 140-153.

This research investigated the influence of professional development on 20 preschool teachers' use of instructional conversations in classrooms for 2- to 5-year-old children.

Instructional conversation is a small group discussion that builds on children's prior knowledge to assess and assist conceptual understanding.
Over a 3-year period, the educators participated in professional development designed to increase their use of the strategy in their classrooms.
Each teacher was video-recorded six times annually while teaching.

Results indicated that regardless of their prior teaching experience, all of the teachers increased their use of instructional conversation throughout their participation in the professional development program.
These increases were along the same trajectory for all teachers, suggesting that the professional development was effective for both new and veteran teachers.

Results suggest that those who taught older children tended to use instructional conversation to a greater degree, indicating that the strategy may be easier to implement with older preschoolers.

Updated: Nov. 24, 2014