Preschoolers' Difficult Questions and Their Teachers' Responses

Sak R.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION JOURNAL, vol.48, no.1, pp.59-70, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10643-019-00977-x
  • Page Numbers: pp.59-70


This qualitative study examined preschoolers' difficult questions and their teachers' responses to them. Data were gathered via interviews with 324 preschool teachers, who were asked two questions: "Could you please share the questions you have been asked by preschoolers in your classroom that were difficult for you to answer?" and "How did you answer these questions?" Data were analyzed via the cutting-and-sorting technique. This yielded four main themes among the questions-science and nature, religion, sex and fertility, and daily life-and five main themes among the responses: realistic answers, insufficient answers, wrong explanations, leaving the question unanswered, and irrelevant answers. Only a quarter of the responses were realistic, meaning that most were inappropriate to supporting preschoolers' learning.