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ERIC Number: EJ757495
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 20
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1040-9289
Section II--Quality from the Perspective of Stakeholders: Quality in Early Childhood Programs? Underlying Values
Lee, Jin-Hee; Walsh, Daniel
Early Education and Development, v16 n4 p449-468 2005
Quality is a value-laden and context-bound concept. Drawing on cultural psychology, this study examines the nature of cultural values underlying definitions of quality in American early childhood programs. From semi-structured interviews with 15 teachers and 15 administrators in center-based early childhood programs, three themes emerged: (a) safety and health first, (b) raising independent children, and (c) developmental appropriateness. Although participants' definitions of quality wove together diverse beliefs about childhood and learning, the view that young children learn best by self-exploration of their world was salient. The ability to explore was believed to become more elaborate as children move through developmental stages. We analyze practitioners' views of young children's abilities and of their learning and development by examining how they are shaped by Western values of independence and individualism. We suggest that these values restrict educators' vision of how to scaffold children's learning in the social and cultural milieu.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. 10 Industrial Avenue, Mahwah, NJ 07430-2262. Tel: 800-926-6579; Tel: 201-258-2200; Fax: 201-236-0072; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A