Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Kay A. Keiser


There is a strong body of research that suggests teacher-child interactions have a positive impact on child outcomes. Quality preschool programs include a focus on intentional positive interaction between teachers and children. To support positive developmental gains in young children, early childhood settings must include responsive and cognitively stimulating daily interactions between adults and children (Hamre, 2014). Children with more responsive teachers show improved outcomes across social, behavioral and cognitive domains (Hamre, Hatfield, Pianta, & Jamil, 2014). The purpose of this correlation study was to determine the effect of teacher-child interactions on child outcomes. This focus of the study was to measure child outcomes with an authentic measure, Teaching Strategies GOLD Assessment System. Teacher-child interactions were measured with the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). This quantitative study also compared teachers’ years of experience and teacher certification to child outcomes. Spearman rank order coefficient analysis indicated there was not a significant relationship between teacher-child interactions and child outcomes nor teacher-child interactions and teacher experience. Furthermore there was not a statistically significant difference in teacher-child interactions between teachers based on the type of teacher certification. Implications from the research worth further examination: teachers need ongoing support and coaching to ensure they are implementing the assessment tool with fidelity, and studies that includes both an authentic assessment and an authentic measure paired with standardized measures to assess child outcomes.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College at the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2015 Jean R. Ubbelohde.

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