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 Resource Type: Thesis or Dissertation
 Degree Discipline: Early Childhood Education
Do Re Mi? Yes! Using Music and Visual Arts to Promote Thai Children's English Vocabulary Development

Do Re Mi? Yes! Using Music and Visual Arts to Promote Thai Children's English Vocabulary Development

Date: May 2016
Creator: Mathayomchan, Somsuda
Description: This research examines the efficacy, if any, of the Music and Visual Arts (MVA) program in improving the English vocabulary development of first grade Thai students. The researcher developed the Vocabulary Recognition Assessment (VRA) as a measure of English vocabulary development. It employs the accuracy and rapidity method of word recognition as a measurement of English language development in Thai children. Forty first grade Thai students in a Bangkok elementary school participated in the study. Participants were divided equally between an experimental group and a control group. During a nine-week period, students in the experimental group were instructed with the MVA strategy, while students in the control group were taught with the Visual Arts (VA) strategy. Paired sample t-test, ANOVA, and ANCOVA were used to analyze data from the VRA, to compare the pre-test and the post-test in terms of accuracy scores and rapidity scores of the control group and the experimental group. Data revealed that students instructed with the MVA strategy improved their English vocabulary development in terms of accuracy of word recognition significantly more than students taught English using the VA strategy. No significant difference was found between the MVA strategy and the VA strategy in terms of ...
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Effects of Child Development Associate Credential System 20 on Candidate Success Rates

Effects of Child Development Associate Credential System 20 on Candidate Success Rates

Date: December 2015
Creator: Davis, Travis J.
Description: The purpose of this research was to identify the impact of process changes that have been made to the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, which is a beginning early childhood teacher credential that focuses on competency based standards widely seen as necessary for early childhood teachers to possess. The process in which early childhood teachers receive their credential changed in 2013 with the implementation of CDA credential 2.0. Changes included taking a computerized exam and the implementation of a professional development specialist conducting an on-site classroom observation. In order to determine the impact that CDA 2.0 had on teacher credentialing success rates, a mixed-method sequential design was employed. First, existing data sets of success rates from a national scholarship program were reviewed. Following, interviews with CDA credential seekers were conducted. Findings revealed that while candidate success rates increased for those receiving CDA credentials under the 2.0 system, the actual number of candidates receiving scholarships to pursue the CDA credential through the national scholarship program decreased. Qualitative analysis of the semi-structured interviews indicated that three areas that impacted CDA 2.0 candidate success rates were the professional education programs and instructors, the CDA Exam, and Professional Development Specialists. This is the first ...
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The (Mis)representation of the Middle East and Its People in K-8 Social Studies Textbooks: A Postcolonial Analysis

The (Mis)representation of the Middle East and Its People in K-8 Social Studies Textbooks: A Postcolonial Analysis

Date: May 2014
Creator: Salman, Rania Camille
Description: Critical examinations of cultural groups and the ways in which they are presented in schools are missing from current elementary and middle school curricula. Issues of this nature often fall under the umbrella of “multicultural education” or “cultural pedagogy,” but this rhetoric is dismissive in nature. Constructing the non-Western child as “culturally deprived,” “culturally disadvantaged,” or “at-risk” perpetuates an “us/colonizer” versus “them/colonized” mentality. The purpose of this study was to examine critically how the Middle East and its people are represented in U.S. social studies textbooks. Through the use of qualitative content analysis, 10 elementary and middle school social studies books from Florida, Texas, and Virginia were analyzed. Drawing largely from the postcolonial Orientalist work of Edward Said (1978/2003), this study unveiled the ways in which American public schools other children, specifically children of Middle Eastern or Arab descent. Othering occurs anytime an institution in power constructs a certain reality for a marginalized group of people.
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Uncovering Gendered Teaching Practices in the Early Childhood Classroom

Uncovering Gendered Teaching Practices in the Early Childhood Classroom

Date: August 2014
Creator: Larremore, April, 1972-
Description: For many early childhood teachers, interacting with children about issues concerning gender and sexuality is fraught with feelings of uneasiness and anxiety. For others, familiarity with research on these topics has resulted in rethinking their approaches to sex, gender, and sexuality in their early childhood classrooms. This inquiry examined the tensions associated with the researcher’s attempts to rethink gendered narratives and childhood sexuality in her own classroom. The study took place over the course of 4 months and involved a traditional public kindergarten classroom. Queer theory and feminist poststructuralism, along with a multi-voiced poststructural autoethnography were used to demonstrate the researcher’s shifting identities and the cultural context that shaped the researcher’s behaviors and perspective. Multivocal autoethnographic narratives were written to illustrate the researcher’s journey between trying on, being in, and becoming a feminist poststructural educator who uncovers and troubles gendered teaching practices in her own early childhood classroom. The following insights resulted from this study: young children actively and knowingly talk about gender and sexuality and do have a considerable amount of sexual knowledge; heterosexuality plays an integral part in children’s everyday experiences; and a lack of equity and inclusion associated with family diversity or queer identities exists in the ...
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A Comparison of the Expectations of Parents, Staffs, and Directors Concerning Children's Activities and Parent and Staff Roles in Three Day Care Centers

A Comparison of the Expectations of Parents, Staffs, and Directors Concerning Children's Activities and Parent and Staff Roles in Three Day Care Centers

Date: August 1976
Creator: Leslie, Candace D.
Description: Expectations in six areas of concern were explored by means of a questionnaire distributed to parents, staffs, and directors of three day care centers. These included physical setting, educational activities, social development, staff relationships with children, staff relationships with parents, and parent relationships with the center. Responses averaged over 50 per cent in each category of respondent. Analysis showed that although there were areas of almost total agreement, there were a number of statements that demonstrated a wide divergence in the expectations of the respondents. This study and the related literature indicate that there is cause for concern that children's needs for consistency in child-rearing practices are not always being met.
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The Effects of a Parent Program Focused Upon Enhancing Social-Emotional Development of Young Children Through Parent Instruction in Affective-Interpersonal Facilitation

The Effects of a Parent Program Focused Upon Enhancing Social-Emotional Development of Young Children Through Parent Instruction in Affective-Interpersonal Facilitation

Date: December 1974
Creator: Wawrykow, Lea Anna
Description: Twenty-seven parents with young children were randomly assigned to an experimental group which underwent an affective skill-building program, or one of two control groups. Pre and postassessments measured levels of communication, discrimination, and child vocalization for each parent. Multilinear regression analysis indicated that final communication skills among the three groups were significantly different. Final communication skills of the experimental group were significantly greater than those of the Hawthorne control group. Final discrimination skills for the three groups showed a trend toward being significantly different. Levels of child vocalization did not show significant changes. The experimental program was successful in improving accurate parent-child communication in the affective realm.
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A Comparison Between the Interactions of Multi-Age Constant Caregiver Groups and Same-Age Multiple Caregiver Groups in Day Care Centers

A Comparison Between the Interactions of Multi-Age Constant Caregiver Groups and Same-Age Multiple Caregiver Groups in Day Care Centers

Date: August 1979
Creator: McGauley, Diane P.
Description: Interactions of children and adults in two child care groups were observed and examined. Each group was observed as a same-age multiple caregiver group and eight months later as a multi-age constant caregiver group. Twenty indicators were used to evaluate positive interactions. Analysis showed positive interactions occur in multi-age constant caregiver groups. Multi-age constant caregiver groups enhance the interest of caregivers in children and promote development and interaction of language between caregivers and peers. This study indicates a multi-age constant caregiver group is an alternative to meet the needs of young children by increasing and enhancing positive interactions with caregivers and peers.
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An Evaluation of the Effect of a Specific Perceptual Training Program on Classroom Skills in Kindergarten

An Evaluation of the Effect of a Specific Perceptual Training Program on Classroom Skills in Kindergarten

Date: May 1977
Creator: Cook, Grace H.
Description: The purpose of the evaluation was to test effectiveness of a visual, visual-motor, and auditory perceptual skills training program devised by Dr. Jerome Rosner, and to confirm or deny application of this training to improved classroom skills. Subjects were 38 kindergarten children, 20 in the Contrast Group, and 18 in the Experimental Group. Both groups received the same training in the basic curriculum of readiness skills. The Experimental Group also received training in the Visual Analysis and Auditory Analysis Skills programs. Pretests and posttests were administered, tabulated, and analyzed. Differences in raw score means were sufficient to indicate more than a chance factor and all tests demonstrated a plus factor for children in the Experimental Group.
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Fantasy-Reality Distinctions of Four- and Five-Year-Old Middle-Income White Children in Relation to their Television Viewing Preferences and Habits

Fantasy-Reality Distinctions of Four- and Five-Year-Old Middle-Income White Children in Relation to their Television Viewing Preferences and Habits

Date: May 1977
Creator: Linn, Hilda
Description: Methods of study include two questionnaires and eight photographs of television characters used while interviewing sixty children, ages four and five. The data showed that the children actively selected the television programs they watched rather than watching at random. They watched television regularly and named the programs they watched. The children perceived a great amount of parental supervision in their viewing of television. Most children were able to understand the concepts of fantasy and reality, to distinguish between those concepts, and to apply them to specific television program characters and their actions. However, the five-year-olds showed a greater tendency to identify television program characters as make-believe.
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Sex Differences in Computer Usage by Preschool Children

Sex Differences in Computer Usage by Preschool Children

Date: May 1986
Creator: Henriott, Denise M. (Denise Marguerite)
Description: The purpose of this study was to determine whether sex differences could be observed in computer use among preschool disadvantaged children. Each of the twenty-two three- and four-year-old children were administered the Bardwell- Sietsema Sex Stereotype Scale to obtain a measure of sex role identification. Subject's choice of a pre-programming or academic-oriented software program as well as actual time at the computer were also carefully recorded over a five week period. Data supports the following: there does not appear to be a relationship between sex role stereotyping and computer use among three and four year old disadvantaged children, stereotypical sex role identification exists between three and four year old disadvantaged children, the amount of time spent at the computer during free choice periods does not differ between boys and girls, and there is no difference between boys and girls in terms of choice of academic or pre-programming software.
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Long-Term Effects of Quality Preschool for Disadvantaged Children

Long-Term Effects of Quality Preschool for Disadvantaged Children

Date: December 1987
Creator: Petrik, Rebecca D. (Rebecca Diane)
Description: The eleven studies which comprise the Consortium for Longitudinal Studies were described in order to determine long-term effects of preschool education on disadvantaged children. Research methods and results of the studies were evaluated and compared. An historical overview details the sociopolitical milieu from the time the eleven studies began in the 1960s to the present. Theories which impacted the preschool movement in the 1960s were also discussed, particularly those which concern the development of intelligence, the importance of early education and environmental impact on the development of intelligence. Demographic data were used to describe disadvantaged children's needs for quality early intervention programs. The results of the eleven Consortium studies indicate positive long-term effects for disadvantaged children enrolled in quality preschool programs.
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Preschool Teachers’ Constructions of Early Reading

Preschool Teachers’ Constructions of Early Reading

Date: May 2014
Creator: Walker, Karen Elledge
Description: Much of the current discourse surrounding the practice of early reading has emerged from policies that dictate the definition and means by which reading is taught and by which reading success is measured. Although this discourse directly influences the work of preschool teachers, little is known about what preschool teachers think about early reading and how they develop these understandings or constructions. Research concerning preschool teachers’ constructions is useful because of the potential influence on teachers' decisions and classroom behaviors. The purpose of this study is to better understand preschool teachers’ constructions concerning early reading and the process of learning to read. Six preschool teachers, with a variety of personal, educational, and professional experiences, from four diverse early childhood programs in the North Texas area were interviewed over a nine-month period during which each participant was interviewed for approximately three hours. Through systematic, inductive analysis, three themes were identified under an overarching theme of the interdependent and relational nature of early reading influences: out-of-school interactions, in-school interactions, and interactions with text. Without exception, these teachers referred to their life experiences as influencing their approach to teaching in general and to teaching reading in particular. The goals these preschool teachers had ...
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Preschool Teachers’ Knowledge of Children’s Mathematical Development and Beliefs About Teaching Mathematics

Preschool Teachers’ Knowledge of Children’s Mathematical Development and Beliefs About Teaching Mathematics

Date: December 2013
Creator: Kim, In Hong
Description: Early childhood education emphasizes the need of providing high quality early childhood mathematics programs for preschool children. However, there is little research that examines the importance of preschool children’s mathematical knowledge development and teachers’ beliefs about how to teach mathematics to young children. The purposes of this study were to investigate pre-service and in-service preschool teachers’ knowledge of children’s mathematical development and their beliefs about teaching mathematics in the preschool classroom and also to determine how experience differentiates the two groups. This research employed a non-experimental research design with convenient sampling. Ninety-eight pre-service teachers and seventy-seven in-service preschool teachers participated in the research. The Knowledge of Mathematical Development survey (KMD) and the Beliefs survey were used to investigate possible differences between pre-service and in-service preschool teachers’ knowledge of children’s mathematical development and between their beliefs about teaching mathematics. The findings of this study indicate a statistically significant difference between pre-service teachers and in-service preschool teachers in relation to their knowledge of mathematical development. This finding shows that pre-service teachers’ knowledge of children’s mathematical development is somewhat limited; most pre-service teachers have difficulty identifying the process of preschool children’s development of mathematics skills. A second finding reveals a statistically significant difference ...
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A Study of the Relationship between Field-Independent and Field-Dependent Cognitive Styles and Social Behaviors during Free-Play of Preschool Children

A Study of the Relationship between Field-Independent and Field-Dependent Cognitive Styles and Social Behaviors during Free-Play of Preschool Children

Date: August 1989
Creator: Jun, Ye-Hwa
Description: The problem of this study was to discover the relationship between field-independent and field-dependent cognitive styles and social behaviors during free-play of preschool children in a school setting. This study also compared the field-independent and field-dependent cognitive styles and social behaviors during free-play between age-groups and sex-groups. Thirty-six children from a university child development laboratory were subjects. They were selected from a 3-year-old classroom and a 4-year-old classroom. The research instrument, the Preschool Embedded Figures Test, was utilized to measure field-independent and field-dependent cognitive styles. The children's social behaviors were observed during free-play for four consecutive weeks. The nine categories of social behavior were solitary, parallel, and group play; .unoccupied, onlooker, transitional, and aggressive behaviors; and conversations with teachers and conversations with peers. Correlations between field-independent and field-dependent cognitive styles and social behaviors indicated that field-independence/field-dependence was related to social orientations in preschool children and also related to the choice of play activity. Field-dependent children tended to engage in conversations with teachers more often than field-independent children. Four-year-old children who were field-independent tended to spend more time in solitary play than 4-year-old children who were field-dependent. Four-year-old boys who were field-independent tended to play more often in the manipulative learning ...
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The Relationship of Parent Involvement in Head Start to Family Characteristics, Parent Behaviors and Attitudes, and Preschool Inventory Scores

The Relationship of Parent Involvement in Head Start to Family Characteristics, Parent Behaviors and Attitudes, and Preschool Inventory Scores

Date: May 1988
Creator: Pyle, Nancy Storey
Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between family characteristics and parent involvement in Head Start, and the differences between parents who participated in Head Start parent involvement activities and parents who did not participate, as to their behaviors and attitudes concerning education, their children, their communities, and their children's academic achievement. This study analyzed existing data collected for a national parent involvement study. The sample consisted of 2,051 parent-child pairs (1,443 Head Start and 606 non-Head Start). Findings indicated a significant relationship between numerous family characteristics and parent involvement in Head Start, with variables related to a higher level of education of the mother or primary caregiver being the most dominant. Significant differences were found between the parents who participated in Head Start activities and parents who did not participate. The involved parents felt more strongly about teachers needing knowledge of their children's families, parents having knowledge worthy of sharing with their children's teachers, and parents wanting advice or input from their children's teachers. They reported a higher frequency of behaviors such as talking, reading, and playing with their children, trying to teach their children basic concepts, and having materials available for their children's use. Involved ...
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An Analysis of the Peer Relationships of Gifted and Gifted-Creative Primary Students

An Analysis of the Peer Relationships of Gifted and Gifted-Creative Primary Students

Date: December 1987
Creator: Greene, Debra Blatt
Description: The purpose of this study was to compare the peer relationships of highly gifted and highly gifted-highly creative primary students in a gifted classroom of a public school. The study was conducted using thirty-one highly gifted first, second, and third graders who had scores of 140 or better on the WISC-R, WPPSI, or Otis-Lennon. At the beginning of the school year, the Creativity Assessment Packet was administered to the class. The top 20 percent scorers in the class (termed gifted-creative) and those who scored in the bottom 20 percent of the class (termed gifted) on the CAP were targeted for observation. In addition, a sociogram was administered to each student individually for the purpose of determining each child's social status. A bivariate correlation coefficient was employed to express the degree of any relationship between creativity scores and rankings on the class sociogram. Observational anecdotes were used in the discussion of the sociometric results. The following findings resulted from the study. The gifted-creative students, as a group, ranked higher on a class sociogram on measures of friendship and choice of academic work partners than did the gifted group. On sociometric measures of choice of creative work partners, there was no significant ...
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A Study of the Kodaly Approach to Music Teaching and an Investigation of Four Approaches to the Teaching of Selected Skills in First Grade Music Classes

A Study of the Kodaly Approach to Music Teaching and an Investigation of Four Approaches to the Teaching of Selected Skills in First Grade Music Classes

Date: May 1987
Creator: Hudgens, Cecilia Kay Knox
Description: This study examined the Kodaly approach to music teaching and investigated four different approaches to teaching first graders in elementary school to sing on pitch, echo (clap) rhythms, audiate tonal patterns, and audiate rhythm patterns. The approaches were the Kodaly approach, the traditional approach, and two eclectic approaches. One emphasized some of the techniques of the Kodaly approach, and the other emphasized some of the techniques of the Orff approach. The sample for this study consisted of one hundred twenty-one students in five classes from four different elementary schools. Two instruments were utilized: the standardized Primary Measures of Music Audiation (PMMA) by Gordon and the Individual Performance Test (IPT) designed by the investigator. The PMMA had two sections of forty examples each and measured the child's ability to audiate tonal and rhythmic patterns. This test was administered to the children as a group and they recorded their answers on an answer sheet. The IPT was tape recorded and administered individually by the investigator and assistants. It had two sections, rhythm and tonal. The children matched pitches and clapped the rhythms they heard. Responses were tape recorded and evaluated. Pretests were given shortly after the school year began and post-test were ...
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A Comparison of the Roles and Needs of Middle and Lower Class Thai Parents in Helping Their Children's Reading Development

A Comparison of the Roles and Needs of Middle and Lower Class Thai Parents in Helping Their Children's Reading Development

Date: May 1987
Creator: Nitaya Praphruitkit
Description: The problem of this study was a comparison of the roles and needs of middle and lower class Thai parents in helping their children's reading development. The sample was selected from the parents of the preprimary schools in Bangkok, Thailand, in the fall of 1986. A total of 366 parents, including 185 from middle class and 181 from lower class, participated in this study.
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A Study of the Relationship Between Selected Learning Styles and Achievement of Kindergarten Language Arts Objectives in a Local School District

A Study of the Relationship Between Selected Learning Styles and Achievement of Kindergarten Language Arts Objectives in a Local School District

Date: August 1990
Creator: Harp, Billie F.
Description: The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a relationship between the learning style of a kindergarten child and the level of achievement in language arts. The study was done at the request of the school district of a small community in north Texas, and it incorporated the total public school kindergarten population, 110 subjects. Instruments were the Learning Style Inventory: Primary by Perrin, the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and an achievement test developed by the regional education service center. The LSI:P was administered to all students by one person while the two achievement tests were administered by individual teachers to their own classes. The children were divided into groups according to their rating on the LSI:P, using the Prescription Circle by Dunn and Dunn as modifier. ANOVA and chi square analysis were utilized to compute frequencies and percentages at the .05 level to determine relationships between learning styles' group membership and attainment in language. A definite relationship was found between a child's learning style and achievement on the language arts objectives. Indications were that the elements of motivation, persistence and responsibility, and perceptual mode preferred by the learner had strong relationship to success in achievement. ...
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Childrearing Attitudes of Mexican-American Mothers Effects of Education of Mother

Childrearing Attitudes of Mexican-American Mothers Effects of Education of Mother

Date: December 1985
Creator: Allie, Elva Leticia Concha
Description: The purpose of this study was to identify childrearing attitudes of Mexican-American mothers with children ages three to five years of age. Specifically the first purpose of this study was to determine childrearing attitudes of Mexican-American mothers with ten years of education or fewer and Mexican-American mothers with eleven years of education or more as identified by the Parent As A Teacher Inventory (PAAT). The second purpose was to identify the relationship of the following demographic variables to childrearing attitudes: mother's age, mother's marital status, family income, sex of child, age of child, access to child, generational status, mother's language and mother's ethnicity. The PAAT and the Parent Information Questionnaire were administered to 112 Mexican-American mothers; 54 Mexican- American mothers with ten years of education or fewer and 58 Mexican-American mothers with eleven years of education or more. The population from which these subjects were drawn were mothers from Mexican-American communities in a North Texas county. Responses on the sample were analyzed using multivariate statistics. Based on the analysis of the data, the following conclusions seem tenable. 1. The Mexican-American mothers with eleven years of education or more have childrearing attitudes which are more positive than the Mexican-American mothers with ...
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A Comparative Study of Children's Intensity of Task-Involvement in a Selected Nursery School

A Comparative Study of Children's Intensity of Task-Involvement in a Selected Nursery School

Date: August 1987
Creator: Roan, Bi-Sho
Description: The problem of this study was a comparison of young children's intensity of task—involvement in child—selected activities. A group of 23 children, four to six years of age, was selected as the subjects from a university affiliated child development laboratory school. These children were observed during child-selected activities for five consecutive weeks. The instrument utilized to collect the data was the Intensity Of Involvement Scale, composed of seven categories of intensity from "Unoccupied" to "Complete." To obtain reliable data, two observers were involved in the observation and a carefully planned procedure of observation was followed accurately. The comparison of children's intensity of task-involvement among child-selected activities, using statistical methods of mean and standard deviation, yielded a similar result among various groups of children. The learning centers in which children were involved most intensely were water play, family living, manipulative, and art centers. The children, however, were involved in the reading, block, and writing centers less intensely. In comparing children's intensity of task-involvement between age-groups and sex-groups, the analyses of two-way t-test revealed that age-differences were significant (p<.05) but sex-differences were not significant in children's overall intensity of task-involvement. Also, the results showed that the significance of differences in children's intensity ...
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The Relationship Between One Aspect of Morality of Young Children and Parental Attitudes Toward Child-Rearing, Gender, Employment Status and Socio-Economic Status

The Relationship Between One Aspect of Morality of Young Children and Parental Attitudes Toward Child-Rearing, Gender, Employment Status and Socio-Economic Status

Date: December 1986
Creator: Carter, Catherine S. (Catherine Shriver)
Description: This study examined the relationship between the resistance to temptation of three-, four-, and five-year-old children and parental attitudes toward child-rearing. Other variables explored included gender of the children, employment status of mothers, and socio-economic status of families. Fifty-two three-, four-, and five-year-old children from two centers were tested to determine their levels of resistance to temptation as measured by Grinder's Bean Bag Instrument. Parental attitudes toward child-rearing were measured by Schaefer and Bell's Parental Attitude Research Instrument (PARI). To determine the difference between the resistance to temptation scores and socio-economic status, gender, and employment status of mothers, Jt tests were employed. No significant differences were found with regard to these variables. Factor analysis of the PARI resulted in three primary factors: Hostility-Rejection, Authoritarian- Control, and Democratic-Attitude. To determine the difference between the Hostility-Rejection scores, Authoritarian-Control scores, and Democratic-Attitude scores of the mothers and socio-economic status, _t tests were employed. There were no significant differences between mothers of a lower socio-economic level and their Hostility- Rejection and Democratic-Attitude scores. However, mothers of a lower/upper socio-economic level showed significantly higher levels of Authoritarian-Control than mothers of an upper socio-economic level. To determine the difference between the Hostility-Rejection scores, Authoritarian- Control scores, ...
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A Comparison of the Reading and Writing Performance of Children in a Whole Language Pre-First-Grade Class and a Modified Traditional First-Grade Class

A Comparison of the Reading and Writing Performance of Children in a Whole Language Pre-First-Grade Class and a Modified Traditional First-Grade Class

Date: December 1990
Creator: Davis, Ruth A. (Ruth Ann), 1946-
Description: This study examined differences in literacy development between five students attending whole language pre-first-grade classes and five students eligible for pre-first-grade classes but attending modified traditional first-grade classes. Differences between whole language pre-first-grade classes and modified traditional first-grade classes in use of literacy materials, teaching procedures, and amount of time spent on literacy were also examined. The procedures involved testing the subjects on reading and writing skills, observations of the pre-first-grade and first-grade classes, and analysis of subjects' writing samples.
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Young Children's Construction of Physical Knowledge on Swings in the Outdoor Play Environment

Young Children's Construction of Physical Knowledge on Swings in the Outdoor Play Environment

Date: December 1993
Creator: Fox, Jill Englebright
Description: This investigation examined the development of young children's behaviors on swings in the outdoor play environment and their emerging understanding of the physics principles associated with those behaviors. The children's language interactions were also examined in an effort to determine the relationship between language and cognitive development in their construction of physical knowledge. The procedures involved observing the children's behaviors and collecting samples of their spontaneous language interactions during their swinging activities. Informal interviews were also conducted with individual and groups of children. The findings indicate that young children's swinging behaviors develop in eight hierarchical stages. As these behaviors develop, children experiment with the physics principles of balance, gravity, force, resistance, and resonance. Children's swinging behaviors develop in a social context. Many early behaviors are acquired through observing and modeling other children. Language provides the medium for more-experienced peers to assist novice swingers through encouragement and direct instruction. The stage development of swinging behaviors is compared to Cratty's Theory of Perceptual-Motor Development and Harrow's Taxonomy of the Psychomotor Domain. Children's cognitive processing and language interactions are discussed in the context of Piagetian and Vygotskian theories of development. Implications for instruction and suggestions for further research are discussed.
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