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Journal of Human Growth and Development

Print version ISSN 0104-1282On-line version ISSN 2175-3598


BRESSANI, Maria Cristina L; BOSA, Cleonice A  and  LOPES, Rita Sobreira. The teacher-baby responsiveness in a nursery school. Rev. bras. crescimento desenvolv. hum. [online]. 2007, vol.17, n.3, pp.21-36. ISSN 0104-1282.

This study aimed to investigate the characteristics of teacher-baby communication in a nursery school. By doing this, our goal was to identify whether the teacher's interactional style shows indicators of responsiveness that, according to the literature on communication, are related to both social and language development. Four babies between 5 and 14 months old and their teacher participated in the study. An observational study was conducted with both the children and the teacher being filmed in a situation of group interaction. The videos were coded by two independent coders based on the child's and teacher's behaviours. Three main child's categories were generated: crying, exploration/play and conflict/struggle for attention. The teacher's verbal categories were: questions, commentaries, commands and other verbal behaviours. The nonverbal behaviours were: physical contact, relations with objects and absence of interaction. The results showed indicators of teacher's responsiveness to the child's bids for attention and suggest that the quality of social interaction seems to be dependent on the adult/baby ratio in the classroom.

Keywords : Psychology; Education; Child development; Infant; Children day-care centers; Nonverbal communication.

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