The Temperment Trap: Recognizing and Accomodating Children’s Personalities

Early childhood professionals have individual preferences about how they like children to behave (Eddowes, Aldridge, & Culpepper, 1994). Early childhood professionals also play a critical role in helping children accept themselves as unique (Aldridge, 1993). While students preparing to work with young children learn about cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development, they often neglect to study personality development (Aldridge & Cowles, 1990). The study of personality is important because a child’s temperament influences the teacher more than the child’s intelligence (Lerner & Lerner, 1986). In fact, teachers often give grades and implement classroom management strategies based upon specific children’s temperaments (Pullis & Cadwell, 1982).

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