This paper describes a cross-cultural study of the emotion of fear. Caregivers from an independent preschool, a preschool attached to a public school, an extended hours care facility for children from birth to school age, and an indigenous community preschool were invited to participate. In total, 20 caregivers in Canada and 21 in Australia participated. They were asked to name fears that preschool-aged children experience, to describe how children show fear, and to further describe how they respond to children's fears. Findings suggest that caregivers can miss or misinterpret fear and fear displays and that they could, in many cases, respond to fear more effectively. By expanding their understanding of what young children fear, the variety of ways that children express fear, and how to help children to understand fear, early childhood educators in both countries can more effectively respond to fear and other emotions in young children. It is hoped that insights provided through this cross-cultural study will assist early childhood educators to achieve this.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/reesasorin/4/