This Master thesis demonstrates the way preschool teachers and professionals identify challenging behaviour and how they respond to such behavior.
The theoretical part consists of the introduction with emotional and behavioral problems of children, challenging behaviour of preschool children and presentation of possible responses and interventions in case of such behaviour. The most evident problems in behaviour and emotion are – according to the article of Additionals for working with children with emotional or behavioral disorder – physical problems and disorders (eating, secretion and sleeping disorders, breathing problems, allergies and body pains), habits (finger suction, biting nails, hair wrapping, bruxism or motoric habits – rhythmical movements such as rocking, masturbation, beating with hands, beating with head, etc.), emotional and behavioural signs of unsuitable adjustment (excessive or passive stubbornness, rage outbreaks, irritable or aggressive children, sometimes whimpering, over shy, expressing fears, jealousy, their behaviour can be unpredictable, etc.), problems and disorders with relationships (solitary, avoiding peers, not integrating in play, poor communication, fear of adults, shy with peers, promiscuous attitude, or they can never abide rules, agreements, warnings, they are teasing peers, provoking, biting, etc.) (Navodila h kurikulu za vrtce v programih s prilagojenim izvajanjem in dodatno strokovno pomočjo, 2003). Misunderstanding this sorts of problems and possible causes for their origins is a common phenomenon among preschool teachers. It still often happens that relations to challenging behaviours are more negative, which gives children additional bad experience with adults surrounding them. Incorrect or lack of response to such behaviour can deepen children’s problems.
The theoretical part of the following thesis presents protective and threatening factors for challenging behaviour to occur and what needs to be considered in case of this happens. It is also pointed out which challenging behaviours we need to deal with special care and what are some possible responses to such behaviour.
The empirical part consists of research on how preschool teachers and professionals understand emotional and behavioural problems, what kind of behaviour they acknowledge as challenging, how they respond to it, what they would need help or support with and how does the kindergarten atmosphere influence on their relation to this issue. The research is further supported by six interviews with three preschool teachers and three professionals. Results acquired by analysis and encryption of interviews will help formatting guidelines for preschool teachers and professionals who confront challenging behaviour of children in kindergarten.