Promoting Positive Behavior: Guidance Strategies for Early Childhood Settings

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9780131408098: Promoting Positive Behavior: Guidance Strategies for Early Childhood Settings

Written in an informal, accessible style, this practical book equips future teaching professionals to effectively support emotional well-being, reduce problem behavior, and enhance social competence in toddlers, pre-schoolers, and primary-grade children. Based on the ECE-CARES Project, housed at the University of Colorado at Denver, text-advocated strategies are focused on five fundamental constructions: caring and cooperative early childhood settings, assertiveness through self-esteem and mastery, relationship skills, emotional regulation and reactivity, and self-control. The authors make use of numerous real-life examples to show how these strategies result in high rates of prosocial skills, positive peer interactions, and use of peaceful conflict resolution techniques. Chapter topics include complex influences on children's lives, class meetings and family involvement, creating a caring emotional environment, identifying and expressing emotions, peaceful problem solving, anger management and calming down, stress reduction, emotionally-responsive curriculum planning, and intervention for children with behavior challenges. For pre-K, primary grade, and special education teachers; and for elementary school administrative personnel, and other individuals involved in early childhood management.

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About the Author:

Suzanne Adams, Ph.D., is an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Colorado at Denver, where she is also the Early Childhood Program Coordinator. In addition, Dr. Adams is the Director of the ECE-CARES Project, a unique training and mentoring program for early childhood teachers and related service professionals. The focus of this program is to help early childhood personnel respond constructively to the complex influences on young children's lives, promote children's emotional well-being, reduce disruptive classroom behavior, and enhance children's social competence.

Dr. Adams has coordinated several teacher training grants funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Colorado Department of Education, the State of Colorado Youth Crime Prevention and Intervention Initiatives, and Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities. She has served in a variety of service capacities through professional organizations and currently sits on the governor-appointed Colorado Interagency Coordinating Council.

Dr. Adams has presented many workshops on a variety of topics, including promoting social competence in young children, developmentally appropriate practice, intervention strategies, behavioral challenges, family-centered approach, and teacher mentoring. She has published in the areas of conflict mediation with young children, social competence, early literacy development, and is the co-producer of the video, "The CARES Model: Building Social Skills and Reducing Problem Behaviors in Early Childhood Classrooms."

Joan Baronberg, M.A., has worked in the field of early childhood education for over 25 years. She assisted in the development and evaluation of urban education demonstration projects for the U.S. Office of Education and in the early development of Project Head Start for the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity in Washington, D.C. Before joining the ECE-CARES Project, Ms. Baronberg worked in the field of child abuse prevention and developed programs and curricula for use by children and families. Ms. Baronberg has taught children and teachers, led workshops throughout the state of Colorado, and mentored early childhood providers. She is the co-producer of the video, "The CARES Model: Building Social Skills and Reducing Problem Behaviors in Early Childhood Classrooms."

Ms. Baronberg received her Master's Degree from Bank St. College of Education in New York City. Her Master's thesis, "Black Representation in Children's Books," was published by the ERIC Information Retrieval Center. She later authored "The Eight Week Nurturing Program for Children" published by Family Focus, Inc., a child abuse prevention agency in Colorado.

Ms. Baronberg sat on the development board for the newest Denver Public Schools elementary school, is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and is the founder and coordinator of a 250 member Internet genealogy group.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Promoting Positive Behavior: Guidance Strategies for Early Childhood Settings is designed as a text for college courses at the two- and four-year levels to prepare teachers and other professionals to work with young children and their families in early care and education settings of all kinds. This book can also serve as a resource for practicing early childhood teachers, caregivers, and administrators. The primary goal of this text is to articulate a variety of guidance strategies designed to promote the emotional well-being of young children, reduce problem behaviors, and enhance children's social competence.

The concepts and guidance strategies presented in Promoting Positive Behavior are based on current research, evidence-based practice, and the authors' experience with the ECECARES Project, a teacher-training program for early childhood educators housed at the University of Colorado at Denver. Five constructs synthesized from research on young children's social/emotional development form the core of CARES Strategies:

  • Caring and cooperative early childhood settings
  • Assertiveness (self-esteem and mastery)
  • Relationship skills
  • Emotional regulation and reactivity
  • Self-control

Since its inception in 1994, the ECE-CARES Project has trained over 2,000 early childhood educators and implemented CARES Strategies in early care and education settings serving over 20,000 children and their families. In a series of research studies, children in settings practicing CARES Strategies demonstrated significantly higher rates of prosocial skills than children in control classrooms, showing more positive peer interactions, improvements in emotional regulation, and use of peaceful conflict resolution.

Promoting Positive Behavior presents real-life examples specific to the needs of adults working with toddlers, preschoolers, and primary-grade children. The vignettes, insights, and strategies described in this book represent a collection of knowledge and experiences gathered from hundreds of care and education professionals with whom we have worked. The guidance strategies presented are designed to be woven into the fabric of typical routines and learning activities of any care and education setting.

Text chapters include research and practical skills designed to give care and education providers a factual knowledge base and an integrated set of guidance strategies for use in professional practice. In general, chapters follow this sequence:

  • Opening vignette presents a real-life scenario focusing on the content in the chapter
  • Presentation of concepts, research, and strategies to enable early care and education providers to guide young children and promote positive behavior
  • Ideas for involving families either interspersed throughout or in a separate section at the end of the chapter
  • Key terms and concepts to define important terminology used in the chapter
  • Learning in action provides small-group activities and field assignments that allow students in college courses to observe, practice, and apply concepts and strategies; designed to be carried out independently or under the direction of the instructor
  • Children's books that relate to the chapter theme
  • Suggested reading and resources to provide additional sources of information and assistance
  • References that direct readers to sources of information cited in the text

We have tried to adopt an informal, comfortable writing style to make the book easy to read and follow. To avoid the awkwardness of "he or she," we have called a child he in the odd-numbered chapters and she in the even-numbered chapters. The choice of masculine or feminine pronoun does not imply an exclusive reference to the particular gender indicated.

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Adams, Suzanne K., Baronberg, Joan
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