Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Education Specialist


This study was conducted to determine Kentucky Head Start teachers' perceptions about fostering social competency in preschool children. In addition, current techniques that teachers use to enhance social competency in students were examined. Information was gathered through a survey mailed to Head Start teachers in Kentucky. Of the 208 surveys mailed, 59 were returned. The majority of the respondents had a Child Development Associate degree and had been teaching for an average of nine years. Results of this study indicated Head Start teachers strongly agreed to the importance of teaching social competency, and the teachers agreed it should be a primary goal of Head Start. Also, Head Start teachers indicated that the curriculum they use emphasizes social competency skills, and the teachers feel that they are the primary influence to the development of these skills. The respondents reported that their methods of teaching social competency are generally effective. Based on Head Start teachers' report, they devote, on the average, 14 days for teaching planned social competence activities per month. Head Start teachers often use several different methods to teach social competence skills and are using more informal methods over the more formal methods to determine progress. Finally, Head Start teachers reported that they had received a "fair" amount of training for most of the methods of teaching social competency. Teaching problem solving strategies was one area in which 64.4% of the teachers surveyed wanted more training.


Education | Psychology