An exploratory study of preschool teachers' behaviors during children's outdoor play
Wagner, Kelly Maureen
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The purpose of this study was to describe the behaviors of preschool teachers during children’s outdoor play and investigate possible relations between those behaviors and teachers’ physical activity and nutrition practices. Participants were 42 lead and assistant teachers from Georgia child care centers. Data were collected using measures designed for the Evaluating the Effectiveness of UGA Early Childhood Curriculum Materials in Georgia Child Care Centers (Bales, Coleman, & Wallinga, 2008). Data analysis consisted of bivariate correlations and t-tests. Teachers spent 33% of outdoor observations in sedentary activity and 35% facilitating children’s play. Analyses revealed trends toward decreased sedentary behavior and increased facilitation of play in teachers with more education. Trends toward decreased sedentary activity were also noted in teachers with healthy nutrition practices and limited time spent in screen-related activities. Implications related to preschoolers’ physical activity were discussed.