University of Zaragoza (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 8139-8145
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
The child can establish a bond with one or more attachment figures in the family and in a school context. When the child feels threatened or scared, he searches for his attachment figures to obtain contact, emotional support, protection, and physical or/and emotional care. Usually for the child, in the family context the most important attachment figure is his mother, and his teacher at school. The purpose of early childhood education is an integral development of children. Therefore, teacher’s social and emotional skills are particularly relevant in their daily work.

Previous studies indicate that sensitive teachers (i.e. teachers that adequately perceive and interpret the infant signals, select the appropriate responses and execute effectively the requirements) are a secure base for the development of their students enhancing cognitive, social and emotional and infant development. Sensitive teachers’ abilities seem to be influenced by their own attachment style. Secure attachment is the main predictor of learning and school adjustment and it is crucial to a child’s development.

This study was aimed to learn the sensitive abilities of 80 future kindergarten teachers and determine their attachment style. Adult Attachment Questionnaire (Melero and Cantero, 2008) were administered.

The results indicate that participants are mainly characterized by: moderate levels of self-esteem, need for approval and fear rejection (38.75% of all the participants); moderate/high emotional self-sufficiency and discomfort with intimacy (37.5% of participants); moderate levels in the use of hostile strategies for conflict resolution, anger and possessiveness (31.25% of the participants) and low/moderate emotional expressiveness and comfort with relationships (31.25% of the participants).

In the scale 3 highlights low/moderate score: "Emotional expressiveness and comfort with relationships". This scale refers to the fluidity in a good interpersonal functioning. In this regard, participants demonstrated shortcomings.

Moreover, in a cluster analysis, the results show that only 2.5% of participants fit into any of the four attachment styles specified in the questionnaire. This 2.5% of participants demonstrates a fearful-hostile attachment. This attachment style is characterized by low self-esteem, fear of rejection, dependence, behavioral problems and emotional inhibition, tendency to anger, resentment, hostility and possessiveness, poor socialization and difficulty to express feelings, increased need for individuality, priority autonomy in bonding establishment and avoidance of emotional commitment. None of the participants demonstrated a secure attachment.

A teachers´ secure attachment is a strengthening factor in a successful student´s development and the attachment style is modifiable. Therefore we recommend an intervention to enhance this set of abilities in future teachers.
Attachment styles, early childhood development, sensitive teachers.