ERIC Number: ED341500
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Early Childhood Teachers' Theories in Practice: What Do Teachers Believe?
The purpose of this study was to describe and evaluate the operational theories of six early childhood teachers in a child care center and kindergarten in New Zealand. It is suggested that teacher educators have a responsibility to address the significant gaps in some teachers' theoretical accounts of their own practice, and that practice is most effective when teachers are able to make their beliefs explicit. The teachers' beliefs and practices were explored from the viewpoints of the children, the teachers, and the observer. Observation of four target children in each of the settings was followed by a series of interviews with teachers and children. The data were coded and analyzed. Although the teachers appeared to have many common beliefs, there were individual differences, more in what was done than what was said. Provided are a synthesis of the teachers' beliefs, a discussion of the adequacy of their theories, and an overview of implications for teacher education. It is concluded that teachers must be articulate advocates for their work with young children, and that teacher educators best support this process by becoming partners with teachers in dialogue that informs and transforms practice. Appended are 17 references. (GLR)
Descriptors: Beliefs, Child Caregivers, Day Care Centers, Foreign Countries, Individual Differences, Interviews, Kindergarten, Play, Preschool Education, Preschool Teachers, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Education, Teacher Role, Teacher Student Relationship, Theory Practice Relationship
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: New Zealand
Note: Paper presented at the Early Childhood Convention (5th, Dunedin, New Zealand, September 8-13, 1991).