South Korean and U.S. Early Childhood Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices Supporting Children’s Social Competence

  • Hae Kyoung KimEmail author
  • Sophia Han


A total of 186 early childhood teachers from South Korea and U.S. participated in this cross-cultural comparison study examining their beliefs and practices to support children’s social competence. Participants completed an instrument specifically designed to measure early childhood teachers’ beliefs and practices of using environmental, natural activity, and intensive instructional strategies to support children’s social competence. Results found some similarities among South Korean and U.S. teachers that they both believe in and practice environmental, natural activity, and intensive strategies in the respective order from the most to the least. Results, however, also found some culture-specific differences that U.S. teachers rated all the strategies higher than South Korean teachers, and that stronger relationship between beliefs and practices were found among South Korean teachers. Sociocultural factors related to early childhood teachers’ beliefs and practices about supporting children’s social competence are discussed.


Cross-cultural study Instructional strategies Social competence Teacher beliefs 



This work was supported by a basic research grant from Seoul Women’s University(2017).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Child StudiesSeoul Women’s UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Teaching and LearningUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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