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Elvert, C., Johnson, S., & Jaekel, J. (2021). Teachers’ knowledge and approaches to supporting preterm children in the classroom. Early Human Development, 159, 105415.

Teachers’ knowledge and approaches to supporting preterm children in the classroom

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Author: Elvert, Christina1; Johnson, Samantha2; Jaekel, Julia3,4
Organizations: 1Department of Psychology, University of Muenster, Fliednerstrasse 21, 48149 Muenster, Germany
2Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, Centre for Medicine, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
3Psychology, University of Oulu, Finland
4Department of Child and Family Studies | Psychology, University of Tennessee Knoxville, 1215 W. Cumberland Ave., Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-06-22


Background & aims: Teachers in the UK receive little training about the long-term consequences of preterm birth on children’s development. Our aim was to assess knowledge and elicit suggestions for improving educational practice in the US by means of a mixed-method study.

Methods: 246 US teachers (92.7% female) completed the validated Preterm Birth — Knowledge Scale (PB-KS). Of the participating teachers, 50.9% reported professional experience with preterm born children. A representative subsample of 35 teachers responded to a case vignette by describing how they would support the child in the classroom. Answers were coded using thematic content analysis.

Results: Overall, the mean PB-KS score was 15.21 (SD = 5.31). Participating teachers who had professional experience with a preterm child had higher mean PB-KS scores than teachers without (16.95 vs. 15.24, p = .012). Qualitative responses provided specific content for classroom intervention.

Conclusions: Our findings show that US teachers have limited knowledge of the long-term impact of preterm birth. They provided important indicators for the design of targeted classroom interventions to support the learning of preterm children.

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Series: Early human development
ISSN: 0378-3782
ISSN-E: 1872-6232
ISSN-L: 0378-3782
Volume: 159
Article number: 105415
DOI: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2021.105415
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 515 Psychology
516 Educational sciences
Copyright information: © 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license