Elementary School Teachers’ Reflections on Shy Children in the Classroom

Authors

  • Sandra Leanne Bosacki Brock University
  • Robert J. Coplan Carleton University
  • Linda Rose-Krasnor Brock University
  • Kathleen Hughes Carleton University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.11575/ajer.v57i3.55496

Keywords:

Teachers’ perceptions, shyness, children, elementary school

Abstract

This study explored teachers’ perceptions of shy children in the classroom during the elementary school grades. Seven teachers (1 male, 6 female) from elementary schools located in geographically diverse areas of Canada participated in semistructured telephone interviews that explored their perceptions of and experiences with shy children in the classroom. Transcripts were analyzed for emerging themes about teachers’ conceptions of shy children and teacher-shy child interactions. Findings suggest that shyness and social communication may influence elementary schoolteachers’ classroom practices and the teacher-child relationship. Teachers’ roles in shy children’s socio-emotional functioning and academic success are discussed.

Cette recherche a étudié les perceptions qu’ont les enseignants au primaire des enfants qui sont gênés. Sept enseignants (1 homme, 6 femmes) d’écoles primaires situées dans des zones géographiquement diverses au Canada ont participé à des entrevues téléphoniques semi-structurées portant sur leurs perceptions des enfants gênés et leurs expériences avec eux en salle de classe. Nous avons analysé les transcriptions pour en dégager des thèmes sur les conceptions qu’ont les enseignants d’enfants gênés et les interactions entre les enseignants et les enfants gênés. Les résultats indiquent que la gêne et la communication sociale pourraient influencer les pratiques des enseignants au primaire et leur rapport avec leurs élèves. Nous discutons des rôles des enseignants dans le fonctionnement socio-émotionnel des enfants et dans la réussite académique.

Author Biographies

Sandra Leanne Bosacki, Brock University

Sandra Bosacki is an associate professor in the Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education at Brock Education. Her teaching and research interests focus on the development of social cognition and emotion in children in diverse educational contexts. She is the author of The Culture of Classroom Silence (2005, Peter Lang) and Children’s Emotional Lives: Sensitive Shadows in the Classroom (2008, Peter Lang).

Robert J. Coplan, Carleton University

Robert Coplan is a professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Pickering Centre for Research in Human Development at Carleton University in Ottawa. He is co-author of The Development of Shyness Social Withdrawal (2010, Guilford) and Social Development in Childhood and Adolescence: A Contemporary Reader (2011, Wiley-Blackwell).

Linda Rose-Krasnor, Brock University

Linda Rose-Krasnor is a professor of psychology at Brock University. Her research interests focus on the development of social competence, social withdrawal and shyness, and youth engagement.

Kathleen Hughes, Carleton University

Kathleen Hughes is a doctoral candidate in developmental psychology at Carleton University. She specializes in the area of social and scholastic development in elementary schoolchildren.

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