Teachers’ knowledge and approaches to supporting preterm children in the classroom
Elvert, Christina; Johnson, Samantha; Jaekel, Julia (2021-06-22)
Elvert, C., Johnson, S., & Jaekel, J. (2021). Teachers’ knowledge and approaches to supporting preterm children in the classroom. Early Human Development, 159, 105415. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2021.105415
© 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.
Background & aims: Teachers in the UK receive little training about the long-term consequences of preterm birth on children’s development. Our aim was to assess knowledge and elicit suggestions for improving educational practice in the US by means of a mixed-method study.
Methods: 246 US teachers (92.7% female) completed the validated Preterm Birth — Knowledge Scale (PB-KS). Of the participating teachers, 50.9% reported professional experience with preterm born children. A representative subsample of 35 teachers responded to a case vignette by describing how they would support the child in the classroom. Answers were coded using thematic content analysis.
Results: Overall, the mean PB-KS score was 15.21 (SD = 5.31). Participating teachers who had professional experience with a preterm child had higher mean PB-KS scores than teachers without (16.95 vs. 15.24, p = .012). Qualitative responses provided specific content for classroom intervention.
Conclusions: Our findings show that US teachers have limited knowledge of the long-term impact of preterm birth. They provided important indicators for the design of targeted classroom interventions to support the learning of preterm children.
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