This semester, because of the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, I am pleased to be working on a project in which I have the opportunity to observe emotion-related interactions between preschoolers and their teachers. As a psychology major, and hopefully a future school psychologist, the interactions between teachers and their students is highly relevant and enlightening. I became interested in conducting this project over my time as a research assistant to Dr. Pamela Garner. Through my assistantship, over the past 3 years, I have had an opportunity to observe children, code data, input data, and even contribute to an academic paper. The opportunity to conduct my own research, observe in the classroom, and the support from my mentor have motivated me to take on this project. After I receive my bachelors, I plan to attend graduate school for School Psychology; this involves assessment, consultation, and intervention in the schools. This project relates to my postgraduate education and eventually to my future career.
Over the last few weeks on this project, I have read a considerable amount of literature concerning classroom interactions, have created a means for recording in-class observations, and began observing in the classroom. This week, through the literature, I discovered the emotional and educational impact of scaffolding versus didactic teaching styles on elementary school students. This information is extremely relevant to my project and may influence my research questions. Overall, this project will prepare me for graduate school and provide me with insight into teacher-child relationships and how these relationships foster a child’s learning in the classroom and beyond.