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An Exploration of How The Beliefs and Self-Perceptions of Early Childhood Teachers Influence Their Classroom Practice

Chin, Margaret C. (2014) An Exploration of How The Beliefs and Self-Perceptions of Early Childhood Teachers Influence Their Classroom Practice. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

Early childhood education in Jamaica has been given more importance due to the impact of changes in the global context. One such change is the adaptation of revised developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) into the Jamaica’s early childhood curriculum and classroom pedagogy. How DAP is adapted and implemented depends not only on the teachers’ knowledge and skills, but also on Jamaican traditional culture. This collision of post-colonial global knowledge of child development and pedagogy and the cultural and historical development of early childhood education in Jamaica, has created some tension in how early childhood education is delivered locally. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the beliefs and self-perceptions of five early childhood teachers in Jamaica and how their beliefs were reflected in their classroom practices. Through classroom observations, interviews, and focus groups, this research gave the five teachers the opportunity to voice their beliefs about DAP’s child-centered pedagogy. The teachers strongly believed in the importance of child-centered learning, no matter the type of institution in which they teach. However, their teaching styles showed varying differences based on DAP’s principles. Classroom practices demonstrated both developmentally appropriate and inappropriate practices, but there were practices which were not readily identified as either developmentally appropriate or inappropriate. Several personal, professional and cultural factors influenced the extent to which the teachers’ were able to implement DAP. These factors include the teachers’ personal and professional experiences and culture-based practices appropriate to the various school settings and present in the Jamaican culture. Results from the data also confirm existing research on the influences of teacher’s belief systems on their classroom practices, and problematise the legacy of post-colonial influences. The study concludes with recommendations for reform plans for Jamaican early childhood institutions, and for professional development, in order to improve the quality of early childhood education and care.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.629385
Depositing User: Mrs. Margaret C. Chin
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2014 16:29
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 11:18
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7292

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