Three and four-year-olds need the chance to talk about what really matters to them and to feel that what they say matters to adults, Margaret Bryson of Aberdeen's education faculty says after studying the interactions of 180 first-year students in pre-five centres.
But all too often the students dominate the questioning and only make contact with the most articulate children.
Ms Bryson states: "Student teachers, like nursery staff, need to ensure that the kind of strategies they use in their interactions with young children are supportive, are collaborative and that the overuse of questioning is avoided."
Her report on the research adds: "Interactions of quality began with a focus on the child, on their goals and purposes, rather than those of the student teachers. They were achieved through the close relationships which were being established and through students' knowledge of the children and their development and learning."