ERIC Number: EJ949632
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
Early Childhood Teachers' Curriculum Beliefs: Are They Consistent with Observed Classroom Practices?
Wen, Xiaoli; Elicker, James G.; McMullen, Mary B.
Early Education and Development, v22 n6 p945-969 2011
Research Findings: This study examined the consistency between early childhood teachers' self-reported curriculum beliefs and observations of their actual interactive behaviors with children in classrooms. Also tested was the hypothesized moderation by teacher and classroom characteristics of the association between beliefs and practices. A total of 58 preschool teachers completed a survey describing their professional backgrounds and curriculum beliefs. Their classroom practices were observed using a newly developed instrument that documented teacher interactions with children. Most teachers in this sample strongly endorsed child-initiated learning beliefs, although their beliefs about teacher-directed learning varied considerably. The most frequently observed teacher behaviors in the classroom were giving directions to children, responding to children's initiations, and engaging in non-interactive classroom management activities. Overall, teachers' curriculum beliefs and observed classroom practices were weakly correlated. However, there were moderation effects. Stronger congruence between teacher-directed learning beliefs and observed teaching behaviors was found among teachers who had more professional training and more years of teaching experience. Practice or Policy: These results support the importance of early childhood teacher professional development. They suggest that teacher preparation and professional development programs should focus on the intellectual transformation between teacher knowledge and teacher practice, promoting both aspects of development. (Contains 3 tables and 3 figures.)
Descriptors: Preschool Teachers, Teacher Attitudes, Curriculum, Beliefs, Teacher Behavior, Teacher Characteristics, Classroom Techniques, Faculty Development, Teaching Experience, Correlation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A