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“Good-Fit” Teacher-Child Play Interactions and the Subsequent Autonomous Play of Preschool Children


Principal Investigator: Dr. Jeffrey Trawick-Smith
Student Researcher:
Traci Dziurgot

The researchers completed a six-month study of the ways preschool teachers interact with young children during classroom play activities. Using the Center’s elaborate recording, archiving, and editing technology, they captured and studied over 1500 separate video clips of teachers responding to children’s play needs. They found that when the play support provided by teachers matched the amount and type of support that children needed, on-going play became more complex and autonomous. When there was a mismatch between what children needed and how teachers responded, children were less likely to continue playing independently.


See more previous studies


  • Trawick-Smith, J., & Dziurgot, T. (2011). ‘Good-fit’teacher–child play interactions and the subsequent autonomous play of preschool children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26(1), 110-123.