Teachers’ ineffective approaches to guidance and fostering problem-solving skills may have a variety of lasting detrimental effects, such as a poor understanding of emotional self-regulation and the resulting inability to overcome interpersonal issues. The internalization of social norms and communication-related expectations of learners begins in early childhood, which requires ECE professionals to provide children with relevant opportunities for learning on a daily basis. By the age of five, children usually become able to demonstrate concern and a general understanding of emotional responses that their actions elicit in others (The U.S. Department of Education, n.d.). The failure to model appropriate relationship-building and empathy skills by commenting on inappropriate behaviors and implementing discipline strategies in the classroom may hinder the development of emotional intelligence and promote excessive egocentrism. It is the teacher’s role to support teamwork and communication abilities and help children that experience peer rejection for some reason, and the inability to achieve this goal may result in increases in such students’ social withdrawal and unsociability (Cranley, 2013). Thus, ineffective education in early childhood is fraught with children’s limited knowledge about socially appropriate emotions and the establishment of interpersonal relationships.
Inadequate and ineffective methods of teaching problem-solving skills in the classroom can also lead to the lack of independence as thinkers and decision-makers in developing learners. ECE professionals make extensive use of emotion-coaching and implement reading and discussion activities to expose children to the examples of successful approaches to solving everyday issues (Gartrell, 2014). If such techniques and stories are absent or inappropriate, it might prevent the child from developing a personal “knowledge base” and establishing clear links between real-life problems (conflicts with peers, poor achievement, misbehaviors, etc.) and the multitude of viable solutions.
Diminished trust in teachers or even all adults is another potential lasting consequence of ineffective guidance in early education settings. In the early stages of development, young learners often resort to crying as the only tool to demonstrate that something bothers them. Instead of viewing crying and other misbehaviors as a means of communication, decoding their root cause, and offering relevant guidance, some teachers may focus too much on stopping this behavior without analyzing its causes, thus making children feel misunderstood and unjustly punished (Early Childhood Videos, 2015). These feelings may give rise to children’s subsequent and even more aggressive attempts to express their unmet needs and concerns in an indirect way. The resulting punishments will only reduce the chances of establishing trust-based relationships, thus affecting children’s willingness to be open about their fears and issues with adults.
Carter, L. (2016). The reflection connection: Teachers in touch with families. Exchange, 52-55.
Cranley, K. (2013). Guiding children’s friendship development. Young Children, 68(5), 26-32.
Early Childhood Videos. (2015). Understanding challenging behavior in young children. YouTube. Web.
Gartrell, D. (2014). A guidance approach for the encouraging classroom (6th ed.). Cengage Learning.
The U.S. Department of Education. (n.d.). Milestones: Understanding your child’s social and emotional development from birth to age 5. Web.