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Da Investigação às Práticas

On-line version ISSN 2182-1372


BARROSO, Isabel et al. Research about the differences in interaction and communication from female educators and mothers with children in preschool age. Invest. Práticas [online]. 2017, vol.7, n.1, pp.41-62. ISSN 2182-1372.

The educators, in the absence of parents, provide and ensure the welfare of the child as well as their education and development. Educators are children significant emotional figures but parents are attachment figures. The study of behavioral differences and similarities between educators and mothers can contribute to our knowledge about these two types of relationships and to observe how the educators training can contribute for their interaction with the children. In this study, mothers and educators are observed independently in the same semi experimental situation with the child, as partners in a playful activity of construction, and the interactive and communicative quality of dyads is analyzed. For this purpose, 19 dyads mother - child and 22 teacher - child dyads were asked to make in 20 minutes a product of their choice with the materials and tools available. The children were between 3 and 5 years old without developing problems. The aims of this study was to: 1) describe and compare the products made by the mother and educator dyads’, as well as their choice of materials; 2 ) compare the quality of mothers and educators’ interaction as well as their empathy, attention, reciprocity, cooperation, development/fantasy and proposed challenge; and 3) the quality of communication as well as suggestions, questions, directions and positive or negative feedback. Our findings indicate that the educators allow and support the child's actions while mothers were more focused on compliance with the time and product improvement. Mothers used the verbal reinforcement to organize the activity, to set limits/rules and to motivate the child while the educators relied on verbal communication to introduce contents and organize the activity.

Keywords : adult-child interaction; affection; verbal communication; parenthood; childhood education.

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