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A Study of Korean Kindergarten Teachers' Concerns

Description: The problem of this study was to identify some concerns of Korean kindergarten teachers at different points in their careers, based on the conceptual framework of Katz's (1972, 1977, 1985) theory of preschool teacher development. This study also described the variations in these concerns on the basis of some teacher characteristics including teaching experience, certification, educational background, inservice training, and teaching assignment. The subjects for this study were 174 volunteers who were Korean kindergarten teachers in Seoul, Korea. The concerns of the teachers were expressed through the Kindergarten Teacher Concerns Questionnaire, consisting of two parts: (a) background information, and (b) the Kindergarten Teacher Concern Rating Scale (KTCRS), consisting of a list of 54 items developed by Tsai (1990), reflecting the four areas of concerns—Survival, Consolidation, Renewal, and Maturity—formulated by Katz. A Likert type 5-point scale indicating the degree of concerns was used in the questionnaire as the scoring system. The following conclusions were drawn from this study: 1. The concerns of the Korean kindergarten teachers were developmental in nature in terms of preoccupation with a specific area of concerns at different points in the teachers' careers. This result tended to follow a sequence of stages as posited by Katz (1972, 1977, 1985). 2. The sample characteristics of this study strengthened the belief that the qualifications for Korean kindergarten teachers need to be raised for the sake of development of early childhood education in Korea. 3. Certification and inservice training might enhance the teachers' job awareness and expectation level of job performance. The findings implied that preservice and inservice education need to be based on teacher concerns. The recommendations for future research included (a) replicating this study with a nationwide sample for a broader generalization, and (b) tracing the processes of change in Korean kindergarten teacher concerns through qualitative research such ...
Date: December 1992
Creator: Park, Guen K.

Young Children's Communicative Strategies During Pretend Play in the Context of the Block Center

Description: In this study, various communicative strategies that young children employed to create and develop pretend play with peers in the block center were examined. Two preschools, one in Korea and the other in the United States, were selected. Subjects were children in the 4-year-old classroom in each school. The average age of the children at the time of the investigation was 59 months. For data collection, videotaping, audiotaping, field-note taking, interviews with teachers, and school enrollment records were used. During pretend block play, children created talk and actions in order to deal with challenges related to various aspects of play (e.g., accessory play materials, construction, plot, and enactment). Accordingly, children's communicative strategies were categorized as follows: (a) material communication, (b) construction communication, (c) plot communication, and (d) enactment. Also, subcategories under each category were developed. It was found that, in different phases of play in which they faced different types of challenges, children used certain strategies more often (communication about material selection and construction definition were most frequently used in the initiation phase of play). In terms of cultural aspects of the pretend play, in the Korean setting, the following were noticed: (a) a rigidly formed participant structure in which several positions were available, (b) the use of various comparison strategies, and (c) an overwhelmingly prevalent play theme: "The good guys winning over the bad guys." In the American setting, the following aspects were common: (a) frequent calling for the teachers when conflicts involving the ownership issue arose, (b) negotiable play atmosphere, and (c) consequent ample negotiation. Implications for educators as to how to encourage children to participate more in pretend play with peers in the block center were provided. Recommendations for further research pertained to the following: (a) methodological progress in studying children's play, (b) use of categories developed ...
Date: May 1996
Creator: Lee, Myungsook