Besnard T, Letarte MJ. (2017). Effect of male and female early childhood education teacher’s educational practices on children’s social adaptation. Journal of Research in Childhood Education. 31(3): 453-464.
It is believed children stand to benefit from a greater male teacher presence in early childhood education (ECE) where, internationally, the vast majority of ECE teachers are female. This study (N = 180) examines the relationship between children’s social adaptation and the educational practices of 53 ECE teachers, 23 (44%) of which were male. Third-party observers assessed practices using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) in the natural classroom setting. Parents evaluated social adaptation using the Social Competence and Behavior Evaluation. Observational data reveal no intersex differences in educational practices. Multilevel model analyses show that children in ECE centers with male and female teachers exhibit less internalized behavior compared with those in centers with female teachers only. A relationship is observed between good classroom organization and instructional support, respectively, and improved children’s social adaptation, regardless of teacher gender. The authors discuss the potential impact of the results on future educational interventions.