Examination of teacher–child interactions in early childhood education programmes in the United Arab Emirates

Source of Publication

International Journal of Early Years Education


© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Teacher–child interactions provide an important context for children’s development and learning. The study explored how teacher- and classroom-level factors were associated with quality of teacher–child interactions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We also investigated associations between teacher–child interactions and child outcomes. Teacher–child interactions were observed in 60 kindergarten classrooms using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System, for the first time with this population. Pre-academic skills (letter and number knowledge), behavioural regulation (assessed with the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders task), and stress response physiology (assessed with salivary cortisol levels) were measured in a sample of 115 five-year-old children, recruited from 22 of the 60 classrooms. Results provided moderate evidence for a three-domain structure of teacher–child interactions. Some differences in the quality of teacher–child interactions were related to teachers’ years of experience. Correlational findings suggest links between quality of emotional support with children’s pre-academic skills and behavioural regulation. Results are also discussed in relation to similar international studies to highlight any unique findings to the UAE context.

Document Type


First Page


Last Page


Publication Date