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Teaching Practices

Effective, nurturing, and responsive teaching practices and interactions are key for all learning in early childhood settings. They foster trust and emotional security; are communication and language rich; and promote critical thinking and problem-solving. They also support social, emotional, behavioral, and language development; provide supportive feedback for learning; and motivate continued effort. Teaching practices and interactions are responsive to and build on each child’s pattern of development and learning. They can be measured by the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS®) and other adult-child interaction tools. These observations may then be used to support professional development. Teaching practices also include how schedules and routines are carried out, how settings are managed, and how children’s challenging behaviors are addressed.

Framework for Effective Practice

Discover how the House Framework represents essential elements of effective teaching practices, which support children's learning in all program options.

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Effective Practice Guide: Social and Emotional Development

This guide provides information about domain-specific teaching practices that support children’s development. The guide shows what these practices look like in early learning settings.

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Standards in Action: Teaching and the Learning Environment

This vignette looks at the Head Start Program Performance Standards on promoting learning through approaches to rest, meals, routines, and physical activity.

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Teaching Practices

Last Updated: October 22, 2018