Social and emotional foundations for early learning: A conceptual model for intervention

Mary Louise Hemmeter, Michaelene Ostrosky, Lise Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the last several years, there has been an increased focus on school readiness and supporting children during the preschool years to learn the skills they need to be successful in elementary school and beyond (Bowman, Donovan, Burns, et al., 2000; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000). The capacity to develop positive social relationships, to concentrate and persist on challenging tasks, to effectively communicate emotions, and to problem solve are just a few of the competencies young children need to be successful as they transition to school. In this article, we describe the Teaching Pyramid (Fox, Dunlap, Hemmeter, Joseph, & Strain, 2003), a model for promoting young children's social-emotional development and addressing children's challenging behavior and its link to critical outcomes for children, families, and early childhood programs. The Pyramid includes four components: building positive relationships with children, families, and colleagues; designing supportive and engaging environments; teaching social and emotional skills; and developing individualized interventions for children with the most challenging behavior. Given the unique characteristics of early childhood settings, implementation issues and implications of the model are a primary focus of the discussion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-601
Number of pages19
JournalSchool Psychology Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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