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 early childhood classroom. Young children’s access to knowledge about gender, relationships, and sexuality has critical implications for their health and well-being, not only in their early years but also throughout their lives. This knowledge can build children’s competencies and resilience, contributing to new cultural norms of non-violence in gendered and sexual relationships. With a growing diversity in the make-up of families, it is now more critical than ever that teacher training programs move away from a single way of knowing and make room for multiple perspectives, which in turn influence innovative kinds of teaching decisions and practices. This research illustrates ...
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 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 ...
Western educational policies and practices have impacted Taiwanese early childhood programs. The concept of developmentally appropriate practice has become part of the educational program for young children in Taiwan. This research study was completed to: (a) describe Taiwanese parents' beliefs about developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) in early childhood programs; (b) examine group differences between fathers' and mothers' beliefs about DAP; (c) investigate group differences between parents of different socioeconomic statuses beliefs about DAP; (d) explore group differences between parents' beliefs about DAP when their children attend different types of schools (public and private); and (e) identify salient factors related to the variability of developmentally appropriate beliefs of Taiwanese parents. Three hundred seventy-nine matched Taiwanese parent pairs (mothers and fathers) participated in this survey research study. All parents had at least one child between the ages of 3 and 6 years. Four hundred forty-eight children attended public schools, and 415 attended private schools. The Teacher Beliefs Questionnaire was modified and used to collect data in this study. Findings showed: (a) fathers' and mothers' beliefs about DAP are significantly correlated; (b) fathers' and mothers' socioeconomic statuses are significantly correlated with their developmentally inappropriate practice beliefs; and (c) parents' socioeconomic status was a significant predictor of their DAP belief scores and family, culture, and inclusion belief scores. Future studies are needed to determine the effectiveness and appropriateness of the Teacher Beliefs Questionnaire with Taiwanese parents. Including parent's age, child's gender, child's birth order, residential region, and number of children as variables in future research studies may explain variations in parents' DAP beliefs. Employing qualitative methods, such as classroom observations, case studies, and interviews may be used to verify these findings. The Taiwanese Ministries of Education and Interior may find this study's results useful in creating policies and best practices related to the education ...
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 ...
Many school districts consider literacy and oral language as a top priority for pre-kindergarten students. In the district under study, pre-kindergarten English language learner (ELL) students are encouraged to attend a special summer school program to increase their oral language ability in English. This study compared three groups of children: ELL students attending summer school v. ELL students not attending summer school v. English speaking students not attending summer school. The students' primary reading inventory scores from the end of pre-kindergarten to the middle of kindergarten in the areas of reading, writing and oral language were compared. As expected, ELLs who attended summer school showed significant growth in oral language development from the beginning of summer school to the end of summer school. While it was hypothesized that ELL students attending summer school would show more improvement in oral language than other children over time, there was no significant difference between summer school and non-summer school children's scores by the middle of kindergarten.
Mass media such as television, video players, video games, compact disks, and the computers are commonplace in current American culture. For English as a Second Language children, television may be the only source of English in the home serving as models of grammar, syntax, story structure. An investigation was made using English as a Second Language (ESL) kindergarteners, the classroom writing center, participant-observation, teacher as researcher, and case study methodology to investigate the following questions: Do ESL kindergarten children use media in their writing? If so, how do they use media in their writing? Upon examination of the data, it was found that all these ESL children did use media in the writing process. The function and form of the media references varied from child to child. Media was a cultural context for the childrenÕs social interactions. Oral language (with and without media references) not only informed the writing for some, but also served: to initiate, participate in, and sustain social relationships with peers. Findings indicated that two case study subjects used social dialogue as a separate operation from the production of a written story. Language informed the writing but it also had a socialization function in addition to what the writing needs were. The social aspects of literacy beyond language used to inform the writing is a topic suggested for further research.
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether implementing Success For Life in Thailand would meet the needs of Thai public policy, the Thai educational system, and Thai culture. There were 46 respondents, including 4 early childhood professionals, 4 preschool owners, 6 directors, and 32 teachers. All respondents received the Success For Life training workshop. Each participant was requested to complete a questionnaire on their understanding and awareness of brain development and function, thoughts about implementing Success For Life in Thailand, and the appropriateness of Success For Life for the Thai educational system, Thai public policy, and Thai culture. In addition, all of the 4 early childhood professionals, 4 preschool owners, and 6 directors, and 8 teachers were interviewed to expand the information provided in the questionnaires. Two preschools implemented Success For Life in November 2000. Another 6 preschools implemented Success For Life in June 2001. Participating teachers in the preschools where Success For Life was implemented in November 2000 were also asked to write bimonthly journals. Journal entries included information about how participants changed their teaching styles after receiving the Success For Life training. Research findings indicated that Success For Life was appropriate to the preschool level in Thailand. Recommendations for Success For Life implementation in Thailand were 1) clarify the meaning of “teacher-centered” to conform with Thai policy, 2) modify the mathematics curriculum to reflect higher level concepts, 3) include ethics and financial education in the curriculum, 4) include in Success For Life staff development methods for teaching children with special needs, different learning styles, and in ESL programs, and 5) clarify how, in the Success For Life curriculum, children have a right to access to the Thai dream instead of the American Dream.
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 educatorsself-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.
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.
In this qualitative investigation, the ways in which four ethnically diverse mothers' perceptions of early childhood education combined with the school experiences of their children were examined. Research tools included audiotaped interviews with Mexican-American, Korean-American, African-American, and Anglo mothers; videotaped school experiences; and a video message with a viewing guide requesting written reaction.
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.
In this study, 78 kindergarten and first-grade children were interviewed about their writing to identify indicators of self-assessment. Writing samples for each participant were saved over a three month period, then compared and discussed by the child. Results indicated that these young children did engage in self:-assessment behaviors. The classroom teachers were asked to place the participants in their classes along a writing continuum known as a Writing Band. Graphs were presented to show the writing levels of the children by classroom. In addition, each classroom was surveyed to document events which promote literacy development within the framework of an integrated curriculum. Writing samples for each child were collected and kept in a portfolio. Participants were interviewed regarding the contents of the portfolio. Children in two of the kindergarten classes were interviewed using 5 samples collected over a 2 1/2 month time period, and all other participants were interviewed using 6 writing samples collected over a 3 month period. Findings indicated that not only did these young children recognize growth in their writing, but they also assessed that growth based on outward, physical features of their writing. The writing ability of each child at the beginning of the study did not appear to affect the child's ability to self-assess writing growth. Children on the first 4 Writing Bands, A, B, C, and D self-assessed using similar criteria. Additional findings suggested that many of these young children knew there was a thought process involved with choosing topics to be written about. The results of this study suggested implications for continued investigations into using self-assessment with young children. For example, it was proposed that varying the learning environment may change the criteria that children use for self-assessment. Further research was recommended that would identify student and teacher behaviors that enhance self-assessment.
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.
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.
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 of task-involvement in each child-selected activity depended more upon the age than the sex of children. In addition, individual differences in children's intensity of task-involvement were examined using mean, frequency distribution, and range. The finding was that children differed from one another in their degrees and variability of intensity of task-involvement in child-selected activities.
The problem of this study was to describe, analyze, and compare the effects of learning centers and curricular themes upon the writing production of four children within a kindergarten classroom which followed the whole language approach. This study was conducted in a public school. Four subjects were identified from the administration of the Book Handling Knowledge Task. Using the qualitative research method of case studies, the teacher-researcher kept observational notes concerning the writing behavior of the subjects. The written compositions of the subjects were collected daily throughout the school year and were assigned a context, learning center and curricular theme. The compositions were then coded as to writing frequency, function, and form. The following findings resulted from the study: writing occurred most frequently in the art center followed by dramatic play, language, sand, science, social studies, "other," eyes and hands, mathematics, and library-listening; writing occurred most frequently during the curricular theme of Christmas followed by self-concept, shapes and colors, farm animals, Thanksgiving, Winter, transportation, nursery rhymes, patriotic, Valentine, food and nutrition, Halloween, Spring, wild animals, community helpers, gingerbread man, Summer, Easter, and pets; all five functions of language were used in the art center, four in the language, dramatic play, social studies, and "other" centers, and three in all other centers; all five functions were used during the Valentine curricular theme, four during self-concept, transportation, Spring, and farm animals, three during food and nutrition, and nursery rhymes, two during eleven other curricular themes, and only one during Easter and pets; and gains were made in form by the end of the study. Writing was often in the last stage of spelling development and more print concepts were in evidence. The conclusions made were that some learning centers and curricular themes prompt more frequent writing and the use of more language ...
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.
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.
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.
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