A Qualitative Study of Early Childhood Educators' Beliefs About Key Preschool Classroom Experiences
33 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2009
Date Written: January 26, 2009
To learn about early educators' belief systems about the types of learning experience children should have in preschool prior to entering school, the authors conducted 11 focus group interviews with 75 early childhood educators from three learning settings: private center-based programs, public center-based programs, and family child care centers. Results from the qualitative data analyses showed that participants believe that when working with preschool-age children who will be entering kindergarten that the following dimensions should be considered: (1) the type of teacher-child interactions offered in the preschool setting, (2) what children's learning environment should consist of, and (3) the kinds of learning opportunities teachers offer. Each of these dimensions was made up of several factors. Although educators from all three types of early education programs mentioned these dimensions, the authors found variation within the factors that make up each dimension with differences between and within center type.
Keywords: early childhood educators, teacher beliefs, early childhood education, belief systems, child care
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