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Sex Differences in Computer Usage by Preschool Children

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

Speaking up-speaking out: What does it take to prepare early childhood professionals to advocate for children and families?

Description: 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 ...
Date: December 2002
Creator: Brunson, Mary Nelle

A Study of Korean Kindergarten Teachers' Concerns

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

A Study of the Attitudes of Parents, Teachers and Principals Toward Parental Involvement in School Activities

Description: 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.
Date: May 1973
Creator: Baker, Jeroline Ann, 1932-

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

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

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

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

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

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

Success For Life in Thailand: Educational and Cultural Implementation

Description: 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.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Samahito, Chalatip

A survey study of entry transition practices used by teachers of infants and toddlers.

Description: 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.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Fernandez, Mary Elizabeth Poteet

Taiwanese Preschool Teachers' Awareness of Cultural Diversity of New Immigrant Children: Implications for Practice

Description: This study investigated Taiwanese preschool teachers' awareness of cultural diversity of new immigrant children and how this awareness influences their educational practices. In particular, this study focused on the cultural awareness of preschool teachers who work with young Taiwanese children whose mothers are immigrants from Southeast Asia. This study used quantitative and qualitative methods. One hundred seventy-two Taiwanese preschool teachers from the different geographic areas of Taiwan participated in the study. Data were collected through the use of the Cultural Diversity Awareness Inventory (CDAI) survey and participant interviews. Research results of the study revealed: (a) most Taiwanese preschool teachers had an awareness of cultural diversity, but their perceptions of how to create a multicultural environment need to be improved; (b) Taiwanese preschool teachers' personal experiences with children from different cultures were more associated with their cultural awareness than their ages and educational levels; (c) Geographic location was the factor affecting preschool teachers' awareness of cultural diversity and educational practices. This study is informative to the understanding of Taiwanese preschool teachers' awareness of cultural diversity and the implications of this awareness for classroom practice. In addition, multicultural perspectives of the Taiwan society toward immigrant families and children can benefit from the findings of this study. Future research should include the cultural needs of new immigrant children and the implementation of practices for educating new immigrant children.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Ting, Chia-Wei

Teachers' Use of Children's Literature, Mathematics Manipulatives, and Scaffolding to Improve Preschool Mathematics Achievement: Does It Work?

Description: 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.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Bennett, Tisha L.

Thai Teachers' Beliefs about Learner-Centered Education: Implications for Success For Life Thailand

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2007
Creator: Israsena, Vasinee

To Include or not to Include: Early Childhood Preservice Educators' Beliefs, Attitudes, and Knowledge about Students with Disabilities

Description: 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.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Aldrich, Jennifer E.

Uncovering Gendered Teaching Practices in the Early Childhood Classroom

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

The Written Production of Four Kindergarten Children in a Whole Language Classroom: Frequency, Function, and Form

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 1985
Creator: Medearis, Linda L. (Linda Lee)

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

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

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

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