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To Include or not to Include: Early Childhood Preservice Educators' Beliefs, Attitudes, and Knowledge about Students with Disabilities
The first purpose of this study was to develop and validate the Inventory of Opinions About Persons with Disabilities (IOPD). The IOPD was developed to collect preservice early childhood educators’self-report data related to inclusion. A total of 332 participants enrolled in graduate programs in a college of education served as the validation sample. After validation and revision of the IOPD, the researcher used the instrument to investigate preservice early childhood educators’ beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge about students with disabilities and their inclusion in general education classrooms. Data were collected from 172 participants from 10 universities in Texas during their student teaching/final intern semesters. This research demonstrated that an instrument, the IOPD, could be developed to effectively measure preservice early childhood educators’ beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge about the inclusion of children with disabilities in their classrooms. The participants reported positive self-perceptions (mean = 2.0388) about their beliefs and attitudes toward inclusion. However, the participants reported less positive attitudes about training (mean = -.09884). Discriminant function analyses indicated a negligible statistical effect for type of program (professional development school or traditional) and a statistically significant effect for preferred classroom setting (non-inclusive, special education, inclusive). Further research with the same participants or similar cohorts at one and three years of inservice teaching could broaden the scope of knowledge regarding early childhood teachers’ opinions about inclusion and students with disabilities. In addition, including procedures for gathering qualitative data with the Inventory of Opinions About Persons With Disabilities might provide more specific information about individual beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge about inclusion.
Childrearing Attitudes of Mexican-American Mothers Effects of Education of Mother
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 ten years of education or fewer. 2. Control and teaching-learning are related to the mother's educational level, income, generational status and language. The mothers with more education and a higher income, who are third generation and who prefer English usage, tend to allow their children more independence. 3. Agreement may be expected between the childrearing attitudes of the Mexican-American mothers with ten years of education or fewer and Mexican-American mothers with eleven years of education or more toward creativity, frustration, and play.
The Effects of a Computer-mediated Intervention on "At-risk" Preschool Students' Receptive Vocabulary and Computer Literacy Skills.
This study examined the effects of a computer-mediated intervention on "at-risk" preschool students' receptive vocabulary development, computer-literacy skills, and enthusiasm for leaning. Twenty-two preschool-aged children attending an urban primary public school and participating in government subsidized school lunch program participated in the study. A pretest/posttest control-group design and case-study participant observations were used for data collection. Students were assigned to one of two treatment groups. Eleven preschool students with pretest School Readiness Composite (SRC) standard scores of 80, or below, on the Bracken Basic Concept Scale-Revised (BBCS-R), were assigned to the intervention group. Eleven pre-school students matched by age level and teacher comprised the comparison group. The intervention group received computer-mediated instruction while the comparison group received classroom teacher instruction. The first research question examined the effect of the intervention on students' receptive vocabulary analyzing groups' pretest and posttest BBCS-R School Readiness Composite mean scores. Combined analysis of a Two-Factor Repeated Measures and a Posttest only ANCOVA revealed that computer-mediated instruction was as effective as classroom teacher instruction in helping "at-risk" students acquire readiness receptive vocabulary. The second research question examined the effect of the intervention on "at-risk" student's computer-literacy skills analyzing participants pretest and posttest mean scores on the Computer Input Observation Rubric (CIOR), a rubric developed by the researcher. Analysis of One-Factor ANOVA and of Two-Factor Repeated Measures indicated that computer intervention significantly increased students' computer literacy skills. The third research question examined the impact of computer-mediated intervention on preschool students' enthusiasm for learning and followed descriptive case study methodology. Students' level of task involvement and positive-self statements confirmed enthusiasm for learning with technology.
African-American Parents' Nutritional Habits: Implications for the Prevention of Early Childhood Obesity.
This research study addressed the nutritional beliefs and habits of African-American parents of children aged 3 to 6 years old. Both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods were employed. Quantitative data was collected via the Comprehensive Feeding Practices Questionnaire as well as a demographic questionnaire. Qualitative data was collected from oral interviews conducted by the researcher. Seventy-five parents or guardians participated in the study. Findings for the research questions revealed the participants' beliefs about nutrition directly correlated with food they provided for their children and most believed nutrition rather than genetics played a role in their child(ren)'s weight. Furthermore, parents from lower income families consumed more home cooked meals per week and those with higher incomes did not consume more fast food per week. Food intake restriction and control in feeding was similar among all participants, regardless of restriction and control in feeding was similar among all participants, regardless of education or income level. Suggestions for future research were included.
The Developmental Appropriateness of the English Language Arts Essential Elements for Kindergarten
The developmental appropriateness of the English language arts essential elements for kindergarten children in the State of Texas was evaluated by surveying the opinions of thirty-six kindergarten teachers in one school district. A questionnaire was developed using the essential elements so that respondents could record a yes or no opinion and supply additional comments on each essential element. Ninety-seven percent of the teachers responded. The results indicated rates of agreement for developmental appropriateness by the teachers surveyed to be 100% for language, 95% for listening, 94% for speaking and reading and 81% for writing.
The Disney Influence on Kindergarten Girls' Body Image
Media is now a part of the early childhood world. In many countries, including industrialized and developing countries, children spend more time consuming various kinds of media. The impact of media on children's perception of their body images has been and continues to be a concern of parents and early childhood professionals. This research examined the influence of Disney movies on Thai kindergarten girls' body images and self-esteem. Thai kindergarten girls completed three measures of body self-image: the Body Figure Preference Scale, the Body Esteem Scale, and the Self-Esteem Scale. The girl participants were randomly assigned to two groups: focused on a female theme (FFT) and focused on a non-human theme (FNT). The experimental group viewed "female" Disney movie themes, while the control group viewed "animal" Disney movie themes. Girls in the experimental group expressed greater body image dissatisfaction scores after watching Disney movies, which was an expected finding. Results from the present study suggest that girls in both groups become concerned about their body esteem after video exposure. However, there was no significant difference in self-esteem between girls in FFT and FNT. In summary, the findings of this study support the belief that Disney movies influence young girls' perceptions of their body image, and they have an awareness of their body size. It can be concluded that Disney movies have an influence on Thai girls' body image dissatisfaction and body esteem. The results also indicated that Thai girls are not totally aware of the influence of Disney media on their self-esteem. Understanding how Disney movies, in particular, and other media, in general, influence young children, especially girls, can encourage parents and educators to identify risk factors associated with children's body image dissatisfaction and low self-esteem.
A Study of the Attitudes of Parents, Teachers and Principals Toward Parental Involvement in School Activities
The problem with which this investigation was concerned was that of surveying the attitudes of parents, teachers, and principals toward parental involvement in school activities. The study had a threefold purpose. The first was to determine the attitudes of parents toward involvement in school activities. The second was to determine the attitudes of teachers and principals toward parental involvement in schools. The third was to identify attitudes of parents, teachers, and principals toward various methods of involvement.
Teachers' Use of Children's Literature, Mathematics Manipulatives, and Scaffolding to Improve Preschool Mathematics Achievement: Does It Work?
The primary purpose of this study was to determine if the implementation of an intervention involving teachers' use of children's literature, related storybook manipulatives, and a scaffolding (LMS) approach to learning would improve preschool children's mathematics test scores. Additionally, the LMS approach was examined to determine whether teachers' perceptions of their effectiveness in mathematics instruction changed from the beginning to the end of the study. The subjects of the study included 60 preschool-aged children and six teachers from two child care centers. The preschool teachers participated in either a control or experimental condition (the LMS approach) in their daily mathematics instruction with their preschool children. The researcher tested the children using the Test of Early Mathematics Ability and an abbreviated version of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. The study was based on two main research questions. The first question asked if there was a difference in the Test of Early Mathematics Ability total posttest scores between children in the literature-manipulatives-scaffolding intervention group and children in the control group after assuring equivalency of the two groups. The second question addressed if preschool teachers believed they were more effective in their mathematics instruction after implementing the LMS approach with young children. The answer to the first research question was that there was no statistically significant difference in the Test of Early Mathematics Ability total posttest scores between children in the literature-manipulatives-scaffolding group and children in the control group. However, the answer to the second question was that preschool teachers believed they were more effective in their mathematics instruction after implementing the LMS approach with young children. Recommendations for future research on early childhood mathematics include the investigation of preschool children's ability, achievement, and interest in mathematics; teachers' use of mathematics scaffolding techniques; and longitudinal mathematics interventions beginning during the preschool years.
An Investigation into the Effects of Long-term Staff Development on Teacher Perceptions and Reading Achievement on Young Children
The effectiveness of long-term staff development (Reading Academy Project-RAP) on students' reading scores on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) test was examined to determine if teachers transferred newly learned teaching strategies into practice and changed their beliefs about reading instruction. In a four-year cohort longitudinal study in an East Texas rural community, the effects of long-term staff development on third grade students' TAAS test reading scores, teacher practices, and teacher beliefs were explored. Populations included a teacher group (N = 17), an experimental (N = 419), and a control (N = 419) group of students. Children's groups were matched pairs based on five demographic characteristics and membership or non-membership in one or more of six categories. An application survey and four end-of-the-year surveys provided teacher data regarding classroom practices. One interview question provided information about teacher beliefs. Results indicate students who had a RAP teacher for at least one year scored significantly higher on the TAAS reading test in the third grade than those without a RAP teacher. Examination of students having more than one year with an academy teacher failed to produce statistically significant differences in TAAS test reading scores; however, an upward trend was noted. Statistically significant differences were found in 6 of the 20 items on the survey investigating classroom practices. All teachers reported the RAP affected them positively, and 82% confirmed that changes took place in their classroom practices, student behaviors, and teacher responsibilities. Validation of or strengthening existing beliefs accounted for 76% of the teacher responses. Recommendations include adding a population of kindergarten through third graders and following them through high school to determine ultimate reading success, continue surveying teachers to see if effective strategies persist, add a parental involvement component, and replicate this investigation in suburban and metropolitan areas.
Children of Teenage Mothers: School Readiness Outcomes and Predictors of School Success.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of teenage motherhood on the school readiness, literacy skills, and parental involvement of children participating in the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) early intervention program, as well as make recommendations for optimal outcomes. Study children were participants in HIPPY at five diverse, urban school districts. Using a mixed method design, this study examined the results of quantitative measures of children's school readiness, literacy skills, and parent involvement along with qualitative data collected through mothers' responses to two, open-ended questions related to their satisfaction with HIPPY. According to results of independent samples t-test, mean scores on school readiness and parent involvement measures were not statistically significantly different for the children of teenage mothers and the children of traditional age mothers. However, there were moderate effect sizes for parent involvement and physical development indicating some practical significance. Chi-square results of literacy skills indicated that the children of teenage mothers were almost twice as likely [c2 (1, N = 36) = 4.21, p < .05] to have literacy skills that were "not on grade level" according to scores on the TPRI/Tejas. Descriptive discriminant analysis (DDA) indicated that the multivariate relationship of the four parent involvement variables statistically significantly contributed to whether children born to teenage mothers had literacy skills on grade-level, but it was not significant for the children of traditional-age mothers. DDA analysis conducted on the school readiness variables did not yield any significant results. In addition, odds ratios conducted between literacy level and each of the parent involvement and school readiness variables indicated an increased probability of a child's literacy skills being on grade level when scores were high, but these increases were not statistically significant. While there were differences in literacy skills, teen mothers indicated, through their ...
Speaking up-speaking out: What does it take to prepare early childhood professionals to advocate for children and families?
The early childhood profession regards advocacy as a professional and ethical responsibility yet little is known about advocacy instructional practices in teacher education programs. This study surveyed selected early childhood teacher educators who currently prepare undergraduate preservice professionals in two- and four-year institutions throughout the United States to identify and evaluate the existing advocacy training practices in preservice education. The study was designed to: (a) determine what leaders in the field of early childhood believe constitutes appropriate advocacy training for preprofessionals, (b) describe the advocacy activities of teacher educators, (c) determine if there is a difference in the advocacy instructional practices of two- and four-year institutions, and (d) recommend a model for advocacy in preprofessional programs. The participants included 607 teacher educators who responded to a mailed questionnaire and 14 leaders of early childhood professional organizations who participated in telephone interviews. Participants represented 48 states and all geographic regions of the United States. Results indicate that teacher educators and leaders believe advocacy instruction is important in preparation programs. The most frequently included advocacy activities are professionalism and understanding the professional role. Advocacy skills and strategies focused on public policy were included the least. Findings show that teacher educators participate in a variety of advocacy activities although few participate in public policy activities. No statistically significant differences were found between two- and four-year institutions in advocacy instructional practices. Based on study data, the researcher developed the Brunson Model for Advocacy Instruction in order to provide the profession with a consistent and sequenced approach to advocacy instruction. Recommendations for future research include: investigation of effective strategies for teaching advocacy; a study of the developmental nature of advocacy; and a study of the Brunson Model for Advocacy Instruction to determine the model's effectiveness in preparing professionals who will have the ability to speak ...
The Relationship Between One Aspect of Morality of Young Children and Parental Attitudes Toward Child-Rearing, Gender, Employment Status and Socio-Economic Status
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, and Democratic-Attitude scores of the mothers and employment status of the mothers, t_ tests were employed. No significant differences were found regarding these variables. To determine the relationship between the Hostility-Rejection scores, Authoritarian-Control scores, and Democratic-Attitude scores of the mothers and resistance to temptation scores of the children, a Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient was employed. Results indicated that there was no significant relationship between the Hostility-Rejection scores and the Authoritarian-Control scores of the mothers and the resistance to temptation score of the children. A significant relationship was found between the Democratic-Attitude scores of the mothers and the resistance to ...
Development of Place-Value Numeration Concepts in Chinese Children: Ages 3 through 9
This investigation examined Chinese children's development of place-value numeration concepts from ages 3 through 9, compared the development of place-value understanding of these Chinese children with that of American and Genevan children whose performances had been described in the literature, and examined the influence of adult assistance during Chinese children's performances on some of the place-value tasks.
Mothers' and Fathers' Parenting Characteristics in Relation to Family Earner Status and Self-perceived Interpersonal Competence
With an increasing number of married mothers who participated in paid work roles, fathers with full-time employed spouses now are expected to assume the role of caregiver and have higher frequency of engagement in parenting practices. This study of 235 university students from dual-earner and single-earner families investigated their retrospective perceptions of both mothers' and fathers' frequency of engagement in overall and specific parenting behaviors. These perceptions were measured by the Parent Behavior Frequency Questionnaire-Revised Scale, which includes seven parenting characteristics and related behaviors. Paired samples t-tests suggested that married mothers, whether fully employed outside the home or not, engaged more frequently, than their full-time employed spouses, in parenting characteristics related to bonding, education, general welfare and protection, responsivity, and sensitivity. However, mothers' employment status had little influence upon the frequency at which either parent engaged in any of the seven parenting characteristics and related behaviors. University students who perceived that both parents were more frequently engaged in specific parenting behaviors related to education, responsivity and sensitivity rated themselves higher on interpersonal competence, as measured by the Interpersonal Competence Questionnaire-Revised Scale. Students who perceived that both parents were less frequently engaged in negative parenting behaviors rated themselves higher on competence in conflict management. In addition, family earner status had no significant impact on university students' levels of interpersonal competence. Although there was no significant gender difference in the levels of total interpersonal competence, male students reported higher levels of interpersonal competence in the domains of asserting influence and conflict management than their female counterparts. These findings revealed that like parents from single-earner families, parents from dual-earner families also demonstrated a significant discrepancy in the frequency of engagement in parenting practices. Mothers still invested considerably more time with their children than do fathers. Therefore, there may be a need to develop ...
Comparison of Childrearing Attitudes Between Church-Related Korean American Immigrant Parents and Korean Parents
The purposes of this study were to compare the childrearing attitudes of church-related Korean American immigrant parents and Korean parents as measured by the Parent As A Teacher Inventory (PAAT), and to identify relationships between the PAAT childrearing subsets and demographic variables including sex of child, sex of parent, education of parent, family income level, maternal employment, accessibility to the child, language of parent, and length of residence in America.
Multiple Measures of the Effectiveness of Public School Montessori Education in the Third Grade
The problem of this study was to measure the effectiveness of a public school Montessori program. The purpose of this study was to measure and compare student academic achievement and self-concept, attendance and promotion rates, and level of parental involvement in the schools of students enrolled in public school Montessori and traditional programs. The 95 subjects in this study were third-grade subjects selected from the student populations in Montessori and traditional school sites. The Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) was used as the pre-test scores, and the Norm-referenced Assessment Program for Texas (NAPT) was used as the post-test scores to compare academic achievement in reading and mathematics. Multiple regression was used to compare the levels of academic achievement and self-concept. Multiple regression was also used to test for possible relationship between the Montessori and traditional programs and gender and ethnicity.
Patterns of verbal communication in children with special needs.
The social interactions between children with special needs, learning disabilities and/or attention deficit disorder (ADHD), were investigated. The children were observed in groups of three/four while creating a cooperative art project. During this activity, their interactions were recorded and coded for patterns of verbal communication. Verbal communication was evaluated through statements reflecting requests for information and materials; helping/cooperation/giving; consideration/positive reinforcement; competitiveness; intrusiveness; rejection; self-image; neutral statements; and persuasiveness. Results indicated that children with special needs tended to engage in a greater frequency of helping/cooperative/giving statements as opposed to any other verbal statements. Specifically, positive statements as opposed to negative statements classified their verbal interactions. These children also appeared to demonstrate more internalizing behaviors than externalizing behaviors. The influence of children's behaviors on children's verbal statements was examined. Results indicated that children who evidenced a disability in reading or language appeared to engage in a greater frequency of cooperative or helping statements than their non-disabled peers. Intrusive tendencies may be associated with the following: presence of a reading disability, absence of ADHD, and absence of a disability in written expression. Additionally, the conversations of children with a disability in mixed receptive language tended to evidence a greater frequency of neutral statements when compared to their peers without a disability. Externalizing behaviors also appeared to be associated with increased use of considerate and encouraging statements. Findings also suggested that intellectual ability may be related to children's verbalizations, but unrelated to children's behaviors. Intellectual functioning appeared to be directly related to children's use of rejecting statements. Upon comparing these findings to previous literature on the social communication between children with and without special needs, it is unclear whether children with special needs evidence a shared communicative culture or ability to interpret communication patterns, which results in more positive communicative interactions. This study has ...
An Evaluation of the Effect of a Specific Perceptual Training Program on Classroom Skills in Kindergarten
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.
Effects of Background Music on Preschoolers' Attention.
Background music is often used in preschool classrooms with the belief that music makes children smarter and increases attention. The purpose of this study was to determine if background music increased children's focused attention during play activities. Focused attention occurs when children maintain attention to a task regardless of distractions. This quasiexperimental study investigated background music and play in a laboratory setting. I videotaped individual children during play with math manipulatives in a pretest-posttest research design with background music used as the treatment. Forty-three 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds played for 15 minutes. The first 5 minutes of play had no music (pretest), the second 5-minute play episode had background music (treatment), and the final 5-minute play episode had no background music (posttest). Data were analyzed using one-way repeated measures analysis of variance. Findings revealed that the subjects paid less attention to the play task with background music than they did during the pretest, with no music. Another key finding was that children with more musical experiences at home, as reported by the Child's Home Musical Experience Survey (CHIMES), exhibited longer periods of focused attention with background music. This study confirmed previous research that 3-year-old children have shorter focused attention than 4- and 5-year-old children with and without background music. These findings have implications for teachers and parents that background music, instead of increasing attention in children, might indeed decrease children's focused attention during play activities.
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
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.
Effects of Child Development Associate Credential System 2.0 on Candidate Success Rates
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 research study to examine the CDA credential process. The findings demonstrate that the 2.0 system provides candidates with necessary supports to be successful. A significant question arising out of the data is how a determination is made to issue a credential. Before QRIS and public policy initiatives employ more efforts to professionalize the field of early childhood – primarily through the CDA credential – the process by which one obtains a credential should be more thoroughly examined.
Early Childhood Educators' Beliefs and Practices about Assessment
Standardized tests are being administered to young children in greater numbers in recent years than ever before. Many more important educational decisions about children are being based on the results of these tests. This practice continues to escalate despite early childhood professional organizations' calls for a ban of standardized testing for children eight years of age and younger. Many early childhood educators have become dissatisfied with multiple-choice testing as a measure of student learning and are increasingly using various forms of alternative assessment to replace the more traditional testing formats. Teachers seem to be caught in the middle of the controversy between standardized testing and alternative assessment. This research examined what early childhood educators in one north Texas school district believe about assessment of young children and what assessment methods they report using in their classrooms, as well as factors which influence those beliefs and practices. The sample for this study was 84 teachers who taught prekindergarten through third grade. An eight-page questionnaire provided quantitative data and interviews and the researcher's journal provided qualitative data.
Language Behaviors and Social Strategies of English as Second Language and English as Primary Language Preschool Children During Computer Assisted Instruction Experiences
This study describes the language behaviors and social strategies of English as Second Language (ESL) and English as Primary Language (EPL) pre-kindergarten students during cooperative Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) experiences. Thirty-three pre-kindergarten subjects ages four to five years, were videotaped at two personal computers during self-selected center time. The sources of data for this descriptive study were a parent computer survey, videotapes, a subject interview derived from the Young Children's Computer Inventory, and written records.
A survey study of entry transition practices used by teachers of infants and toddlers.
This study identified transition practices used by teachers and/or primary caregivers of infants and toddlers when entering child care programs across Dallas , TX . Participants completed the Program Entry Transition Practices Survey regarding their use of transition practices in fall 2003 and perceived barriers to entry transition practices. Results show frequency tallies, percentages of use for each transition practice, and the mean number of practices used for the entire sample and with the sample split according to participants from profit and non-profit programs. Results were also organized into four subscales based on the type of practice used. Results supported the hypothesis that teachers and caregivers would report more transition practices occurring after beginning care and directed towards a group than those occurring before beginning care and directed towards an individual. In response to the broader research question regarding barriers: Teachers and caregivers from profit and non-profit centers reported similar barriers to implementing transition practices.
A Case Study of Selected Plan A Special Education Inservice Programs in Texas
This investigation is concerned with determining the extent of inservice education provided for special education personnel by the five pilot programs of Plan A. The two methods of determining this involvement are a case study of the pilot programs' inservice education and its relationship to resource agencies such as the Texas Education Agency and Regional Education Service Centers. The purposes of this study include the following: (1) determining the principles underlying the philosophy formulated by school district personnel in regard to the nature and purpose of inservice training for Plan A, (2) identifying the nature, scope, and assessment of a three-year period of inservice education for the pilot Plan A programs, (3) identifying the successful components of and the problems encountered during the three-year period of inservice education, and (4) describing recommendations for future inservice education. Only the five pilot districts are described in the case studies of Plan A programs. Data is reported in the following sequence for each of the pilot districts: background information; philosophy and goals; pre-, in-, and post-service activities for 1970-1971, 1971-1972, and proposals for inservice education for 1972-1973. Also reported is information concerning the role of the Texas Education Agency and the Regional Education Service Centers in relationship to Plan A implementation and inservice education.
A Comparison Study of the Experiences of Educators and Non-Educators in Promoting Reading and Reading Related Skills of their Own Preschool Children
The rationale for this study was to evaluate the home literacy environments of educators and non-educators to investigate whether educators provide "richer" home environments than non-educator mothers. This research explores the mothers' perceptions of their children, views of reading, methods of promoting a positive reading environment, dealing with personal demands and emotions, and their expectations related to promoting reading. The participants in the study are 2 elementary school teachers with preschool children and 2 non-educator mothers with preschool children. Results indicated that being an educator is not an isolated characteristic of providing a rich home environment. The educational attainment of the mother was discovered to have greater influence on home literacy environment than the mother's profession. Higher educated mothers provided richer home environments than their less educated counterparts.
An Exploratory Study of Curiosity in Three-, Four- and Five-Year-Old Children
This study investigated the development of curiosity in young children. A previous study by Kreitler, Zigler, and Kreitler had identified five specific types of curiosity, manipulatory curiosity, perceptual curiosity, conceptual curiosity, curiosity about the complex, and adjustive-reactive curiosity. The basic problem was to describe the development of these five types of curiosity in three-, four-, and five-year-old children. A secondary problem was to determine if children follow a predictable pattern in their development of the five types of curiosity. Five tasks, measuring nineteen variables of curiosity, were administered individually to thirty three-year-olds, thirty four-year-olds, and thirty five-year-olds by a trained rater. Mean scores for each variable and each type of curiosity were calculated for each group.
Young Children's Construction of Physical Knowledge on Swings in the Outdoor Play Environment
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.
African Refugee Parents' Involvement in Their Children's Schools: Barriers and Recommendations for Improvement
The purpose of this study was to examine involvement of African refugee parents in the education of their elementary school children. The setting of the study was Northern and Southern Texas. African refugee parents and their children's teachers completed written surveys and also participated in interviews. In the study's mixed-method design, quantitative measures provided data about parent involvement at home, parent involvement at school, frequency of parent-teacher contact, quality of parent-teacher relationship, parent endorsement of children's schools, and barriers to parent involvement. Qualitative data from the open-ended questions provided data on barriers and strategies to improve involvement. Sixty-one African refugee parents responded to the survey and also participated in an in-depth face-to-face or telephone interview. Twenty teacher participants responded to an online survey. Quantitative data gathered from the parent and teacher surveys were analyzed using frequency distributions and analyses of variance. Qualitative data were analyzed by summarizing and sorting information into different categories using Weft QDA, an open-source qualitative analysis software. From these data, I identified barriers to African refugee parent involvement in their children's schools, as well as challenges that teachers face as they try to involve African refugee parents. Results of analyses of variance revealed statistically significant differences in parent involvement between African refugee parents with limited English proficiency and those with high English proficiency. A key finding of the research was that, whereas the overall level of parent involvement for African refugee parents was low, a major barrier to involvement was language. Teachers and parents cited enrolment in English as a second language programs as the best strategy to enhance parent involvement of African refugees. Additionally, parents who reported higher education levels were more involved in their children's education both at home and at school. All groups of African refugee parents reported high endorsement of their children's ...
Home Literacy Practices in Diverse Families: Parental Involvement in Kindergarten Children's Literacy Development
Although prior research has shown that parental involvement positively affects a child's literacy development, attention should also be directed to the factors that keep parents from being involved in their children's education. The study reported in this dissertation examined five factors: socioeconomic status, level of education, employment, culture, and language that may be influential in parental assistance of their children's literacy development in the home. The data sources for this investigation included interview responses and a demographic survey. Data from 17 parents, each from a different household, and each with a child in kindergarten were obtained and used for the study. For analyses of these data, content analysis was used to identify similar themes among the interview responses and the demographic survey. Results indicated the following: (1) the time parents spent assisting their child with literacy activities was affected by long work hours, (2) parents with a yearly income of $25,000 or less were unable to provide additional literacy materials for their children, (3) lack of multicultural literature caused culturally diverse parents to feel devalued, and (4) parents who did not speak English fluently lacked the strategies to assist their children in completing English literacy homework. The findings suggest there are significant factors in the home environment that impact the quality and amount of literacy activities that parents provide for their children. In order for teachers to support parents in providing for their children's literacy development, they need to be aware of these factors. In addition, teachers should be culturally sensitive by including multicultural literature in the curriculum.
Gottshall Early Reading Intervention: A phonics based approach to enhance the achievement of low performing, rural, first grade boys.
Learning to read is critical for quality of life and success in our society. Children who cannot read well face unsuccessful educational careers and limited job choices. Recently, policy makers and educators have made progress toward increasing the reading achievement of America's children. Still up to 60% of boys who live in poverty cannot read or read two years below grade level. In this experimental study, I designed and examined the effects of the Gottshall Early Reading Intervention (GERI) to determine if direct instruction with a small group, phonics based approach would increase the literacy achievement of low performing, rural, first grade boys. Participants were selected according to Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI) scores, matched them across race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status, and randomly assigned them to experimental/control group. Three times per week for 15 weeks, boys in the experimental group attended 30-minute pullout sessions taught by trained professionals in addition to classroom reading instruction. Control group members received classroom reading instruction only. Findings reveal no significant differences in reading gains across all variables. However, descriptive data indicate higher percentages of gains for the experimental group on four out of five reading components with rate of gain higher on fifth. Statistics also show that Hispanics are more likely to benefit.
Effectiveness of a Web-based Course in Facilitating the Integration of Technology Into Early Childhood Curricula.
Although technology is available and used in early childhood classrooms, little is known about what early childhood teachers believe about the use of technology and how technology is integrated into early childhood curricula. This study was designed to (a) determine the beliefs of early childhood teachers about technology integration into early childhood curricula and (b) describe the extent to which early childhood teachers integrate technology in their early childhood curricula. The participants included 39 prekindergarten teachers who volunteered to participate in a technology integration project. The treatment group accessed a Web-based technology integration training program and participated in two classroom observations, along with completing an attitudinal questionnaire pretest and posttest. The Prekindergarten Web-based Technology Integration Training included four modules each expanding the following themes: (a) national and state standards and guidelines for technology; (b) setting up a computer center; (c) integrating technology; (d) using the digital camera. The control group participated in two classroom observations without the benefit of the Web-based technology integration training program and completed the attitudinal questionnaire pretest and posttest. Results indicate that Prekindergarten teachers believe that technology can enhance a child's learning, but there was no statistically significant difference between the control and the treatment group.
Parents' Understanding of Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Education
The intent of this study was to determine what understanding and knowledge parents had of developmentally appropriate practice (DAP). The study examined whether the beliefs of parents who enrolled their children in a National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accredited program had any impact on their expectations for a philosophy and curriculum that is centered around DAP. In addition, the study examined whether parents' understanding of DAP changed when their children transitioned from infant and toddler programs, to preschool. The study group consisted of parents with children in two privately owned NAEYC accredited centers in 1998 (N=131). Results from parent reports indicated a high level of parent knowledge regarding DAP.
An Analysis of the Peer Relationships of Gifted and Gifted-Creative Primary Students
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 difference. During observations, the gifted students displayed approximately the same amount of positive verbal behaviors as the gifted-creative students. The gifted students did exhibit more isolated behavior, especially during academic tasks, than.did their gifted creative counterparts. The gifted-creative group displayed much more verbal and physical aggression than the gifted group. This report concludes that in the gifted classroom under investigation, gifted-creative and gifted pupils differ in their peer relationships thus supporting findings documented in past research. However, information from the sociogram seemed to suggest that the gifted-creative students, as a group, achieved higher social status within this gifted classroom than ...
Effects of English and Bilingual Storybook Reading and Reenactment on the Retelling Abilities of Preschool Children
The purpose of this study was to investigate the story retelling abilities of preschool children who have experienced storybook reading and storybook reenactment bilingually, in English and Spanish, and preschool children who have experienced storybook reading and storybook reenactment in English only. This is a clinical case study employing both quantitative and qualitative measures comparing four treatment groups. Three evaluation instruments were developed by the researcher and used for posttesting; a story comprehension test, a story retelling guidesheet/scoresheet, and a storybook literacy response evaluation. In addition, participant observation and teacher interviews were used to gather qualitative data regarding learning center extensions of the target text and teacher beliefs and practices about the use of storybooks. The findings from this study show that scores for children who experienced storybook reading and storybook reenactment were significantly better on both the story retelling and story comprehension measures. In addition, a larger proportion of children who experienced storybook reading and reenactment were found to perform at the second level of literacy response on the Levels of Literacy evaluation. No differences were found in relationship to the language used on any of the dependent measures. Findings fromqualitative data showed that children were involved in limited extensions of the storybook read to them regardless of whether they experienced storybook reenactment or discussion. Teacher beliefs and practices related to their role during learning center play was believed to have some influence on children's choices regarding story extensions or dramatic play theme content. Recommendations were made to pre-school teachers that story reenactment was an effective technique with both bilingual and monolingual presentation. Additional research questions were posed also.
Decision Making Factors in Child Caregiver Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect
This study investigated decision making factors used by child caregivers to identify suspected child abuse and neglect and collected data on caregiver training in the recognition and reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect. Data was collected in July 1999 in fourteen north Texas childcare programs. One hundred twenty three teaching and administrative staff completed a survey based on Jacobson, A., Glass, J. and Ruggiere, P. (1998). Five teachers and five administrators chosen for convenience were read eleven vignettes describing possibly abusive situations to decide whether they were reportable or non-reportable, and to indicate factors used to make their decisions. Administrators (50%) and teachers (13.3%) reported being unfamiliar with child abuse and neglect definitions and reporting laws. Two thirds (66.7%) of the administrators and 39.8% of the teachers had received specific training in recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect. Administrators were more likely than teachers to report suspected child abuse and neglect. Teachers often reported to program administrators rather than state designated authorities. All subjects relied on information about children, but administrators also used information about parents, with teachers more likely to make excuses for parental actions. With 110 reporting opportunities, training was cited as a factor only twice by administrators. No teachers made reports to anyone other than program administrators, a factor named deference in this study. Four of five administrators expected deference from teachers when reporting decisions were made. Present training in the recognition and reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect is inadequate. Caregivers need additional training in differences between accidental and intentional injuries, detection of child sexual abuse and emotional neglect, recognition and assessment of injuries among infants and toddlers, and mandated reporting procedures. Further research on optimal training for accurate reporting of suspected abuse and neglect is needed. A mandate to report to authorities ...
Revealing What Urban Early Childhood Teachers Think About Mathematics and How They Teach It: Implications for Practice
Hersh (1986) states, "One's conception of what mathematics is affects one's conception of how it should be presented. One's manner of presenting it is an indication of what one believes to be most essential in it." In this research study, three hundred ninety-seven urban early childhood teachers were given a survey that examined their attitudes toward mathematics and mathematics teaching, their views of mathematics, views of teaching mathematics, and views of children learning mathematics. The purpose of this study was to identify the attitudes and beliefs of early childhood teachers in two urban school districts to determine if mathematics reform efforts made a difference in teachers' attitudes and beliefs about mathematics and its teaching. Questionnaires were mailed directly to teachers in one school district and principals distributed questionnaires in the other. Summary scores were calculated for parts of the instrument. The researcher performed descriptive statistics, comparative analysis, and conducted frequency distributions, t-tests, ANOVA, and Pearson Correlations. Findings revealed that teachers with 30 or more years of teaching experience had more positive attitudes toward mathematics than teachers with 1-3 years of experience. African American teachers had more positive attitudes toward mathematics and its teaching than other ethnic groups. Teachers who held a minor or major in mathematics had more positive attitudes toward mathematics and its teaching than teachers without a minor or major in mathematics. Teachers in District-A favored constructivist learning while teachers in District-B favored rote learning. Both school districts' teachers favored the problem-solving approach to teaching mathematics. If instruction is to be transformed, reformers need to understand teachers' beliefs about mathematics. Beliefs, which are essential for teachers' development, seldom change without significant intervention (Lappan and Theule-Lubienski, 1994). Therefore, school districts must be informed about the changes necessary for the reform of mathematics teaching and identify and implement through staff ...
A Study of the Relationship Between Selected Learning Styles and Achievement of Kindergarten Language Arts Objectives in a Local School District
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. It was concluded that a relationship exists between the ability to conduct successful word analysis and a child's learning style. It was also determined that children of kindergarten age can self-report learning style as measured by the Learning Style Inventory: Primary. It is recommended that longitudinal studies be conducted to discover if learning styles change with maturity. Other studies could be done on subgroups of the kindergarten population to find what impact preschool experiences, English as a second language, or sex of the child may have on the relationship between a child's learning style and achievement in language arts.
Meeting the challenges of diversity: Beliefs of Taiwanese preservice early childhood teachers.
This study examines 797 Taiwanese pre-service early childhood teachers' diversity beliefs using the Personal and Professional Beliefs about Diversity Scales (PPBD). The purposes of this study are to: (a) validate the diversity belief's instrument, (b) investigate the relationship between diversity beliefs in both personal and professional contexts, (c) examine the group differences in diversity beliefs between pre-service teachers based on their demographic background, school characteristics, and cross-cultural experiences, (d) explore the influential determinants of diversity beliefs in the personal and professional contexts, and (f) identify the types of training early childhood pre-service teachers need regarding multicultural education in early childhood. The results indicate that (a) the professional context of PPBD is not robust to use in population outside the U.S. and needed to modify by adding more items based on current diversity literature and the cultural context in Taiwan, (b) school characteristics are the major contributors that foster pre-service teachers' diversity beliefs in both contexts, (c) school location is the most influential factor for the dependent variable of personal beliefs while experience of studying in another city and students' major become the salient factors for the professional beliefs about diversity, (d) the type of educational philosophy is contributing factor of predicting diversity beliefs in both personal and professional contexts. It echoes the multicultural education approaches advocated by Sleeter and Grant (2003), which say that the most important component of multicultural education involves an entire school and touches all areas including students, teachers, staff, and administrators.
Sex Differences in Computer Usage by Preschool Children
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.
Kindergarten Teacher Competencies Ranked by Kindergarten Teachers and Kindergarten Teacher Trainers
This study is concerned with the problem of determining the competencies which inservice kindergarten teachers and kindergarten-teacher trainers consider most important for teaching kindergarten. There are four purposes of the study: to identify specific competencies needed to teach kindergarten, to determine the teacher competencies considered most important by kindergarten teachers, to determine teacher competencies considered most important by teacher trainers, and to compare the rankings of teacher competencies by kindergarten teachers and kindergarten-teacher trainers.
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
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 given eight weeks later. A completely randomized analysis of covariance was used to analyze the data. It was hypothesized that there would be no difference in the achievement of the children in the different classes to perform the selected skills. Findings revealed that the approach to music teaching does make a difference in the musical achievement of first-graders and their abilities to echo rhythms, match pitches, and to audiate rhythm patterns. The approach to music teaching does not make a difference in the musical achievement of the subjects and their abilities to audiate tonal patterns.
Parents' Beliefs and Knowledge Regarding Child Development and Appropriate Early Childhood Classroom Practices
The intent of this study was to assess low-income parents knowledge and beliefs regarding child development and appropriate classroom practice and to compare their responses with those obtained from a previous survey of upper-income parents (Grebe, 1998). This study group (N=21) consisted of parents or guardians with children in a federally subsidized child-care center. Results indicated a high level of knowledge regarding developmentally appropriate practice and child development. Overall, there were no significant differences in the knowledge between the two income-levels, however, responses to several questions revealed slight differences in beliefs.
Thai Teachers' Beliefs about Learner-Centered Education: Implications for Success For Life Thailand
The Thai government has strongly advocated for the learner-centered education for the past decade. Success For Life Thailand (SFLT), a brain-research-based early childhood education program blended with the theories of the developmentally appropriate practices and child-centered philosophies, has been implemented in Thailand for over 8 years. The purposes of the present study were to: (a) describe the current statuses of the Thai early childhood educators' learner-centered beliefs and practices, (b) identify if the SFLT training workshop affects teachers' learner-centered beliefs and practices, and (c) examine if other variables, along with familiarity with the SFLT program, predict teachers' learner-centered beliefs and practices. Ninety-three preschool and kindergarten teachers participated in the study. Among them, 17 were SFLT trainees in 1999 and 2000 (i.e., the previously trained group), 43 were trained in Year 2006 (the currently trained group), and the others were comparable to the currently trained group by matching the key personal and school variables. The Teachers Beliefs and Practices Survey: 3-5 Year Olds (Burts et al., 2000) and the Learner-Centered Education: the Assessment of Learner- Centered (ALCP) for K-3 (McCombs, 2001) were used to collect data on the various domains of the learner-centered beliefs and practices. Findings reveal that: (a) Thai teachers highly endorse learner-centered beliefs, (b) Thai educators demonstrate relatively low levels of developmentally appropriate practices and high levels of developmentally inappropriate practices (DIP) in comparing with the American early childhood educators, (c) the previously trained SFLT teachers score higher on the DAP domains and lower on the DIP domains than the other two groups, and (d) familiarity with the SFLT program, along with teacher's education level, years of teaching experience, and the total number of students in the classroom do not predict variations on the different domains of the DAP and learner-centered learning questionnaires. Future studies need to use ...
Prek-6 Teachers' Beliefs About Inclusive Practices in the United States and South Korea: Cross Cultural Perspectives
The educational practice known as inclusion, which is based on values of equal opportunity and diversity, enables students with disabilities to attend the same general education classes as typically developing peers. Inclusion is a legal requirement in the United States and South Korea, but factors facilitating inclusion likely differ across countries. The purpose of the study was to examine PreK-6 school teachers' beliefs about inclusive practices in the United States and South Korea and to present a more informed direction for the future of inclusive education in both countries. Seventy-four teachers from the US and 54 from South Korea participated via email for this study employing surveys. Teachers provided their beliefs about inclusion items on the My Thinking About Inclusion (MTAI) scale, a 28-question instrument, and also provided information about their own gender, years of experience, education level, and teaching practices. A statistically significant difference was found between the teachers of the two nations for the full survey scale. The teachers' training area (i.e., general education or special education) in the US was significantly associated with the belief toward inclusion, and special education teachers in both countries were more agreeable to inclusion than general education practitioners were as shown by the MTAI scale. A strong relationship between accommodation and preparedness for disabilities was found. Most of the barrier factors to practicing inclusive education were considered substantial obstacles, but more so for South Korea teachers than US teachers. University coursework was the least preferred method for improving inclusive practices according to teachers in both countries. Based on the outcomes of the two nations' teachers' beliefs about inclusion, the author suggests that supportive practices, including collaboration between educators, professional development, partnerships with parents and families, and peer supports, be implemented within the two countries for the upkeep of inclusive practices.
A Study of the Relationship between Field-Independent and Field-Dependent Cognitive Styles and Social Behaviors during Free-Play of Preschool Children
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 center than 4-year-old boys who were field-dependent. There were significant differences between age-groups but not significant differences between sex-groups in field-independence/field-dependence. Some social behaviors were significantly different between age-groups and sex-groups. Three-year-old children participated significantly more in physically aggressive behavior and less in conversations with peers than 4-year-old children. Boys engaged significantly more in aggressive behavior than girls.
A Case Study of Parental Involvement in the Initial Plan "A" Public School Districts in Texas
The problem of this investigation is a case study of parental involvement in the initial Plan A public school districts in Texas. The components of parental involvement isolated for the study are parent education, parent participation, and parent counseling. The major sources of data are questionnaires distributed to parents, teachers, and administrators in the initial Plan A public school districts. Secondary sources of data include interviews with the three categories of respondents to the questionnaires, communication and correspondence with the Regional Education Service Centers, and correspondence and reports from the Texas Education Agency concerning parental involvement. The purposes of the case study of parental involvement are (1) to analyze the various approaches to provide parent education services in the selected Plan A programs, (2) to analyze the various types of parent participation in the initial Plan A programs, (3) to analyze the existing and projected needs for parent counseling in Plan A, (4) to summarize findings into recommendations for effective parental involvement strategies in future implementations of Plan A in Texas, and (5) to suggest modifications or to raise questions for further investigation.
Preschool Teachers’ Knowledge of Children’s Mathematical Development and Beliefs About Teaching Mathematics
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 between pre-service teachers and in-service preschool teachers in relation to their beliefs about (a) age-appropriateness of mathematics instruction in the early childhood classroom, (b) social and emotional versus mathematical development as a primary goal of the preschool curriculum, and (c) teacher comfort with mathematics instruction. No statistically significant difference was found between pre-service teachers’ and in-service preschool teachers’ beliefs regarding the locus of generation of mathematical knowledge. Both groups believe it is the teacher’s responsibility to intentionally teach mathematics to young children. This result suggests that both pre-service and in-service preschool teachers believe that teachers should play a central role ...
Development of a proposed toddler caregiver training program for South Korea.
Based on the survey results of 150 South Korea toddler caregivers about training needs, I developed a relationship-based approach for a toddler caregiver training program. The training program was modified using suggestions provided by 6 South Korean professors, who were asked to review the program. Survey findings revealed that: (a) All participants (toddler caregivers) perceived that it is necessary for caregivers to attend training. However, most (72.2%) found that it was difficult to attend training programs more than 1 time per year because it was hard to find a substitute teacher (64%). Participants desired to attend training programs on toddler care because of the lack of in-service education (26%), curriculum (24%), and training programs (15.3%); (b) Caregivers who had the third-degree caregiver certification preferred to learn parent education more than child development. However, caregivers who had a higher degree of caregiver certification preferred to learn child development more than parent education; and (c) Caregivers who had more than 5 years of teaching experience preferred to learn about the teacher's role more than caregivers who had fewer than 4 years of teaching experience. Future studies need to evaluate the effect of this relationship-based training program for toddler caregivers in relation to improvement in the quality of child care and interaction between caregivers and toddlers. A large-scale study would increase the generalizability of research findings. A larger sample size from different cities in South Korea and random sampling would generate more reliable findings.
A Description of the Types, Availability and Teachers' Knowledge of Children's Literature in Six Selected Child Care Centers
Twenty-four teachers completed questionnaires and demographic data forms to describe the types of books they chose most often, where they got them, how they selected them, and how important they felt it was to expose children to good literature. A criteria sheet was used to describe the types and currency of books in each center. The teachers used a variety of sources to select and obtain books. Most teachers knew how literature aids some aspect of development. Every type of book was represented in all collections, but poetry and wordless picture books were least represented.