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ERIC Number: EJ939111
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-1350-293X
Working with Toddlers in Child Care: Personal Epistemologies and Practice
Brownlee, Joanne; Berthelsen, Donna; Boulton-Lewis, Gillian
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, v12 n1 p55-70 2004
In the present study, the personal epistemological beliefs of group leaders in toddler child care programmes are investigated. Epistemological beliefs are beliefs about knowing and learning. It is considered that the quality of these beliefs is influenced by educational experiences. In this study, such beliefs are assumed to be mediating factors in the nature and quality of child care practice. Six caregivers in toddler programmes (children aged 18 months to 3 years) in Australia were videoed within their programmes and subsequently asked to describe their personal epistemological beliefs as well as their beliefs about how children learn. In the interviews, excerpts from the video were presented and the caregivers asked to reflect on their practices. The interview data for each caregiver were analysed to ascertain the nature of the personal epistemological beliefs and the nature of beliefs about children's learning. The manner in which caregivers' reflective responses about their practices observed in the video aligned with caregivers' personal epistemologies and their beliefs about children's learning was also considered. Two caregivers, who held relativistic beliefs, also held strong constructivist perspectives about children's learning that aligned with how they reflected on their practices. The other caregivers evidenced mixed or multiplistic epistemological beliefs. They described learning by children as an active or modelling process. These caregivers' reflections on practice were congruent with their personal epistemologies and beliefs about children's learning in viewing their educative role as a guide or a model for the children. Implications for how the exploration of personal epistemologies about knowing and learning can inform and enhance professional development programmes are discussed. (Contains 4 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia