Talking at school: Teacher expectations in preschool and kindergarten

Pamela A. Hadley, Kim A. Wilcox, Mabel L. Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Children's abilities to adjust to new teacher expectations for behavior is one factor influencing their transitions from preschool to kindergarten. This study compared preschool and kindergarten teachers' expectations for verbal interaction. A survey of 140 preschool and kindergarten teachers revealed general differences. Preschool teachers reported that they encouraged more talking than kindergarten teachers, specifically during teacher-directed activities. In addition, the individual variability among teachers was much greater in these activities than in child-directed activities. Finally, teachers who reported they encouraged children's verbal participation during teacher-directed activities were also more tolerant of verbal infractions (e.g., interrupting the teacher, talking out of turn) than teachers who reported they did not allow talking during these activities. To facilitate children's accommodation to the new setting, ways in which teachers can make their expectations more explicit are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-129
Number of pages19
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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