Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 24

Early Childhood Education Related Abstracts

24 Applying Art Integration on Teaching Quality Assurance for Early Childhood Art Education

Authors: Shih Meng-Chi, Nai-Chia Chao


The study constructed an arts integrative curriculum for early childhood educators and kindergarten teachers to the exciting possibilities of the use of the art integration method. The art integrative curriculum applied art integration that combines and integrates various elements of music, observation, sound, art, instruments, and creation. The program consists of college courses that combine the use of technology with children’s literature, multimedia, music, dance, and drama presentation. This educational program is being used in kindergartens during the pre-service kindergarten teacher training. The study found that arts integrated curriculum was benefit for connecting across domains, multi-sensory experiences, teaching skills, implementation and creation on children art education. The art Integrating instruction helped to provide students with an understanding of the whole framework and improve the teaching quality.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, art integration, teaching quality assurance, arts integrated curriculum

Procedia PDF Downloads 485
23 Effect of Male and Female Early Childhood Teacher's Educational Practices on Child' Social Adaptation

Authors: Therese Besnard


Internationally in early childhood education (ECE), the great majority of teachers are women. Some groups believe that a greater male teacher presence in ECE would be beneficial for children, specifically for boys as it could offer a positive male model. It is a common belief that children would benefit from being exposed to both male and female models. Some believe that women are naturally better suited to offer quality care to young children comparatively to men. Some authors bring forth that after equivalent training, differences in the educational practices are purely individual and do not depend on the teacher’s gender. Others believe that a greater male presence in ECE would increase the risk of pedophilia or child abuse. The few scientific studies in this area suggest that differences could exist between male and female ECE teacher, in particular when it comes to play which is the mainstay of the ECE educational program. Male teachers describe themselves as being more playful and having a greater tendency to initiate physical and turbulent play comparatively to female teachers, who describe themselves as favoring games that are calmer and focused on social interaction. Observed directly, male teachers appear more actively engaged in play with children and propose more motor play than female teachers. Furthermore children who have both male and female teachers for one year show less behavior difficulties when compared to children with only female teachers. Despite a variety of viewpoints we don’t know if the educational practices of male ECE teachers, (emotional support, classroom organization or instructional support) are different than the educational practices of female teachers and if these practices are linked with children’s adaptation. This study compares the educational practices of 37 ECE teachers (57 % male) and analyses the link with children' social adaptation (n=221). Educational practices were assessed through observational measurements with the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) in a natural class environment. Child social adaptation was assessed with the Social Competence and Behavior Evaluation (SCBE). Observational data reveals no differences between men's and women's scale of the CLASS. Results using Multilevel models analyses suggest that the ability to propose good classroom organization and give good instructional support are linked with better child' social adaptation, and that is always true for men and women teachers. The results are discussed on the basis of their potential impact on future educational interventions.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, child social adaptation, educational practices, men teacher

Procedia PDF Downloads 202
22 Assessment of Physical Learning Environments in ECE: Interdisciplinary and Multivocal Innovation for Chilean Kindergartens

Authors: Cynthia Adlerstein


Physical learning environment (PLE) has been considered, after family and educators, as the third teacher. There have been conflicting and converging viewpoints on the role of the physical dimensions of places to learn, in facilitating educational innovation and quality. Despite the different approaches, PLE has been widely recognized as a key factor in the quality of the learning experience , and in the levels of learning achievement in ECE . The conceptual frameworks of the field assume that PLE consists of a complex web of factors that shape the overall conditions for learning, and that much more interdisciplinary and complementary methodologies of research and development are required. Although the relevance of PLE attracts a broad international consensus, in Chile it remains under-researched and weakly regulated by public policy. Gaining deeper contextual understanding and more thoughtfully-designed recommendations require the use of innovative assessment tools that cross cultural and disciplinary boundaries to produce new hybrid approaches and improvements. When considering a PLE-based change process for ECE improvement, a central question is what dimensions, variables and indicators could allow a comprehensive assessment of PLE in Chilean kindergartens? Based on a grounded theory social justice inquiry, we adopted a mixed method design, that enabled a multivocal and interdisciplinary construction of data. By using in-depth interviews, discussion groups, questionnaires, and documental analysis, we elicited the PLE discourses of politicians, early childhood practitioners, experts in architectural design and ergonomics, ECE stakeholders, and 3 to 5 year olds. A constant comparison method enabled the construction of the dimensions, variables and indicators through which PLE assessment is possible. Subsequently, the instrument was applied in a sample of 125 early childhood classrooms, to test reliability (internal consistency) and validity (content and construct). As a result, an interdisciplinary and multivocal tool for assessing physical learning environments was constructed and validated, for Chilean kindergartens. The tool is structured upon 7 dimensions (wellbeing, flexible, empowerment, inclusiveness, symbolically meaningful, pedagogically intentioned, institutional management) 19 variables and 105 indicators that are assessed through observation and registration on a mobile app. The overall reliability of the instrument is .938 while the consistency of each dimension varies between .773 (inclusive) and .946 (symbolically meaningful). The validation process through expert opinion and factorial analysis (chi-square test) has shown that the dimensions of the assessment tool reflect the factors of physical learning environments. The constructed assessment tool for kindergartens highlights the significance of the physical environment in early childhood educational settings. The relevance of the instrument relies in its interdisciplinary approach to PLE and in its capability to guide innovative learning environments, based on educational habitability. Though further analysis are required for concurrent validation and standardization, the tool has been considered by practitioners and ECE stakeholders as an intuitive, accessible and remarkable instrument to arise awareness on PLE and on equitable distribution of learning opportunities.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, Chilean kindergartens, physical learning environment, third teacher

Procedia PDF Downloads 255
21 How Technology Can Help Teachers in Reflective Practice

Authors: Ambika Perisamy, Asyriawati binte Mohd Hamzah


The focus of this presentation is to discuss teacher professional development (TPD) through the use of technology. TPD is necessary to prepare teachers for future challenges they will face throughout their careers and to develop new skills and good teaching practices. We will also be discussing current issues in embracing technology in the field of early childhood education and the impact on the professional development of teachers. Participants will also learn to apply teaching and learning practices through the use of technology. One major objective of this presentation is to coherently fuse practical, technology and theoretical content. The process begins by concretizing a set of preconceived ideas which need to be joined with theoretical justifications found in the literature. Technology can make observations fairer and more reliable, easier to implement, and more preferable to teachers and principals. Technology will also help principals to improve classroom observations of teachers and ultimately improve teachers’ continuous professional development. Video technology allows the early childhood teachers to record and keep the recorded video for reflection at any time. This will also provide opportunities for her to share with her principals for professional dialogues and continuous professional development plans. A total of 10 early childhood teachers and 4 principals were involved in these efforts which identified and analyze the gaps in the quality of classroom observations and its co relation to developing teachers as reflective practitioners. The methodology used involves active exploration with video technology recordings, conversations, interviews and authentic teacher child interactions which forms the key thrust in improving teaching and learning practice. A qualitative analysis of photographs, videos, transcripts which illustrates teacher’s reflections and classroom observation checklists before and after the use of video technology were adopted. Arguably, although PD support can be magnanimously strong, if teachers could not connect or create meaning out of the opportunities made available to them, they may remain passive or uninvolved. Therefore, teachers must see the value of applying new ideas such as technology and approaches to practice while creating personal meaning out of professional development. These video recordings are transferable, can be shared and edited through social media, emails and common storage between teachers and principals. To conclude the importance of reflective practice among early childhood teachers and addressing the concerns raised before and after the use of video technology, teachers and principals shared the feasibility, practical and relevance use of video technology.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, Technology, reflective, improve teaching and learning

Procedia PDF Downloads 297
20 An Investigation of the Science Process Skills of 48-66 Months Old Children

Authors: Berrin Akman, Nilüfer Kuru


In this study, science process skills of children with ages varying between 48-months and 66-months are analyzed. Science process skills of children are investigated in terms of factors including gender of children, attendance of children to the previous educational institution and duration of their attendance, educational background of their parents, ages of children and teachers, professional experience of teachers, educational background, and department of graduation of teachers, type of pre-school education institution of teachers and children. Sample of research consists of 250 children aged between 48-months and 66-months who attend state and private kindergartens under the Ministry of National Education, nursery classes of elementary schools and kindergartens of establishments in central districts of Ankara and 50 teachers who serve in these children’s classes. Science Observation Form, reached from the website of Alaska Department of Education & Early, are analyzed in terms of language, content, construct validity, and reliability by the researchers. Additionally, Personal Information Form is also developed by the researchers. Data obtained in the study are analyzed with SPSS 16.0 package program to obtain percentage and frequency, Kruskal Wallis H-test, and Mann- Whitney U test, which are one of the non-parametric tests, are used. Within the context of this study it has been seen that independent variables of age, type of school attending and status of attendance to pre-school education, educational background of children’s father are meaningful expositive in gaining science process skills for children. It has been seen that period of service of teachers, duration of attendance to pre-school education for children, gender of children and educational background of children’s mother are not meaningful expositive in gaining science process skills for children.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, Science, preschool, science process skills

Procedia PDF Downloads 247
19 Encouraging the Development of Scientific Literacy in Early Childhood Institutions: Croatian Experience

Authors: L. Vujičić, Ž. Ivković, Ž. Boneta


There is a widespread belief in everyday discourse that science subjects (physics, chemistry and biology) are, along with math, the most difficult school subjects in the education of an individual. This assumption is usually justified by the following facts: low GPA in these subjects, the number of pupils who fail these subjects is high in comparison to other subjects, and the number of pupils interested in continuing their studies in the fields with a focus on science subjects is lower compared to non-science-oriented fields. From that perspective, the project: “Could it be different? How do children explore it?” becomes extremely interesting because it is focused on young children and on the introduction of new methods, with aim of arousing interest in scientific literacy development in 10 kindergartens by applying the methodology of an action research, with an ethnographic approach. We define scientific literacy as a process of encouraging and nurturing the research and explorative spirit in children, as well as their natural potential and abilities that represent an object of scientific research: to learn about exploration by conducting exploration. Upon project completion, an evaluation questionnaire was created for the parents of the children who had participated in the project, as well as for those whose children had not been involved in the project. The purpose of the first questionnaire was to examine the level of satisfaction with the project implementation and its outcomes among those parents whose children had been involved in the project (N=142), while the aim of the second questionnaire was to find out how much the parents of the children not involved (N=154) in this activity were interested in this topic.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, documenting, evaluation questionnaire for parents, scientific literacy development

Procedia PDF Downloads 134
18 Examining the Effect of Online English Lessons on Nursery School Children

Authors: Hidehiro Endo, Taizo Shigemichi


Introduction & Objectives: In 2008, the revised course of study for elementary schools was published by MEXT, and from the beginning of the academic year of 2011-2012, foreign language activities (English lessons) became mandatory for 5th and 6th graders in Japanese elementary schools. Foreign language activities are currently offered once a week for approximately 50 minutes by elementary school teachers, assistant language teachers who are native speakers of English, volunteers, among others, with the purpose of helping children become accustomed to functional English. However, the new policy has disclosed a myriad of issues in conducting foreign language activities since the majority of the current elementary school teachers has neither English teaching experience nor English proficiency. Nevertheless, converting foreign language activities into English, as a subject in Japanese elementary schools (for 5th and 6th graders) from 2020 is what MEXT currently envisages with the purpose of reforming English education in Japan. According to their new proposal, foreign language activities will be mandatory for 3rd and 4th graders from 2020. Consequently, gaining better access to English learning opportunities becomes one of the primary concerns even in early childhood education. Thus, in this project, we aim to explore some nursery schools’ attempts at providing toddlers with online English lessons via Skype. The main purpose of this project is to look deeply into what roles online English lessons in the nursery schools play in guiding nursery school children to enjoy learning the English language as well as to acquire English communication skills. Research Methods: Setting; The main research site is a nursery school located in the northern part of Japan. The nursery school has been offering a 20-minute online English lesson via Skype twice a week to 7 toddlers since September 2015. The teacher of the online English lessons is a male person who lives in the Philippines. Fieldwork & Data; We have just begun collecting data by attending the Skype English lessons. Direct observations are the principal components of the fieldwork. By closely observing how the toddlers respond to what the teacher does via Skype, we examine what components stimulate the toddlers to pay attention to the English lessons. Preliminary Findings & Expected Outcomes: Although both data collection and analysis are ongoing, we found that the online English teacher remembers the first name of each toddler and calls them by their first name via Skype, a technique that is crucial in motivating the toddlers to actively participate in the lessons. In addition, when the teacher asks the toddlers the name of a plastic object such as grapes in English, the toddlers tend to respond to the teacher in Japanese. Accordingly, the effective use of Japanese in teaching English for nursery school children need to be further examined. The anticipated results of this project are an increased recognition of the significance of creating English language learning opportunities for nursery school children and a significant contribution to the field of early childhood education.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, teaching children, English education, nursery school

Procedia PDF Downloads 198
17 Early Childhood Education: Teachers Ability to Assess

Authors: Ade Dwi Utami


Pedagogic competence is the basic competence of teachers to perform their tasks as educators. The ability to assess has become one of the demands in teachers pedagogic competence. Teachers ability to assess is related to curriculum instructions and applications. This research is aimed at obtaining data concerning teachers ability to assess that comprises of understanding assessment, determining assessment type, tools and procedure, conducting assessment process, and using assessment result information. It uses mixed method of explanatory technique in which qualitative data is used to verify the quantitative data obtained through a survey. The technique of quantitative data collection is by test whereas the qualitative data collection is by observation, interview and documentation. Then, the analyzed data is processed through a proportion study technique to be categorized into high, medium and low. The result of the research shows that teachers ability to assess can be grouped into 3 namely, 2% of high, 4% of medium and 94% of low. The data shows that teachers ability to assess is still relatively low. Teachers are lack of knowledge and comprehension in assessment application. The statement is verified by the qualitative data showing that teachers did not state which aspect was assessed in learning, record children’s behavior, and use the data result as a consideration to design a program. Teachers have assessment documents yet they only serve as means of completing teachers administration for the certification program. Thus, assessment documents were not used with the basis of acquired knowledge. The condition should become a consideration of the education institution of educators and the government to improve teachers pedagogic competence, including the ability to assess.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, Assessment, Teachers, pedagogic competence

Procedia PDF Downloads 128
16 Research Trends in Early Childhood Education Graduate Theses: A Content Analysis

Authors: Seden Demirtaş, Feyza Tantekin Erden


The importance of research in early childhood education is growing all around the world. This study aims to investigate research trends in graduate theses written in Turkey in the area of early childhood education. Descriptive, contextual and methodological aspects of graduate theses were analyzed to investigate the trends. A sample of the study consisted of 1000 graduate theses (n= 1000) including both MS theses and Ph.D. dissertations. Theses and dissertations were obtained from the thesis database of Council of Higher Education (CoHE). An investigation form was developed by the researcher to analyze graduate theses. The investigation forms validated by expert opinion from early childhood education department. To enhance the reliability of the investigation form, inter-coder agreement was measured by Cohen’s Kappa value (.86). Data were gathered via using the investigation form, and content analysis method was used to analyze the data. Results of the analysis were presented by descriptive statistics and frequency tables. Analysis of the study is on-going and preliminary results of the study show that master theses related to early childhood education have started to be written in 1986, and the number of the theses has increased gradually. In most of the studies, sample group consisted of children especially in between 5-6 age group. Child development, activities (applied in daily curriculum of preschools) and teaching methods are the mostly examined concepts in graduate theses. Qualitative and quantitative research methods were referred equally by researchers in these theses.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, Content Analysis, research trends, graduate thesis

Procedia PDF Downloads 110
15 A Robotic Cube to Preschool Children for Acquiring the Mathematical and Colours Concepts

Authors: Tamer M. Ismail, Ahmed Amin Mousa, M. Abd El Salam


This work presents a robot called Conceptual Robotic Cube, CR-Cube. The robot can be used as an educational tool for children from the age of three. It has a cube shape attached with a camera colours sensor. In addition, it contains four wheels to move smoothly. The researchers prepared a questionnaire to measure the efficiency of the robot. The design and the questionnaire was presented to 11 experts who agreed that the robot is appropriate for learning numbering and colours for preschool children.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, CR-Cube, robotic cube, conceptual robot, conceptual cube, colour concept

Procedia PDF Downloads 199
14 Chinese Early Childhood Parenting Style as a Moderator of the Development of Social Competence Based on Mindreading

Authors: Arkadiusz Gut, Joanna Afek


The first issue that we discuss in this paper is a battery of research demonstrating that culture influences children’s performance in tasks testing their theory of mind, also known as mindreading. We devote special attention to research done within Chinese culture; namely, studies with children speaking Cantonese and Mandarin natively and growing up in an environment dominated by the Chinese model of informal home education. Our attention focuses on the differences in development and functioning of social abilities and competences between children from China and the West. Another matter we turn to is the description of the nature of Chinese early childhood education. We suggest that the differences between the Chinese model and that of the West reveal a set of modifiers responsible for the variation observed in empirical research on children’s theory of mind (mindreading). The modifiers we identify are the following: (1) early socialization – that is, the transformation of the child into a member of the family and society that set special value by the social and physical environment; (2) the Confucian model of education – that is, the Chinese alphabet and tradition that determine a certain way of education in China; (3) the authoritarian style of upbringing – that is, reinforcing conformism, discouraging voicing of private opinions, and respect for elders; (4) the modesty of children and protectiveness of parents – that is, obedience as a desired characteristic in the child, overprotectiveness of parents, especially mothers; and (5) gender differences – that is, different educational styles for girls and boys. In our study, we conduct a thorough meta-analysis of empirical data on the development of mindreading and ToM (children’s theory of mind), as well as a cultural analysis of early childhood education in China. We support our analyses with questionnaire and narrative studies conducted in China that use the ‘Children’s Social Understanding Scale’ questionnaire, conversations based on the so-called ‘Scenarios Presented to Parents’, and questions designed to measure the ‘my child and I’ relation. With our research we aim to identify the factors in early childhood education that serve as moderators explaining the nature of the development and functioning of social cognition based on mind reading in China. Additionally, our study provides a valuable insight for comparative research of social cognition between China and the West.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, Parenting, China, mindreading

Procedia PDF Downloads 277
13 Play Based Practices in Early Childhood Curriculum: The Contribution of High Scope, Modern School Movement and Pedagogy of Participation

Authors: Dalila Lino


The power of play for learning and development in early childhood education is beyond question. The main goal of this study is to analyse how three contemporary early childhood pedagogical approaches, the High Scope, the Modern School Movement (MEM) and the Pedagogy of Participation integrate play in their curriculum development. From this main goal the following objectives emerged: (i) to characterize how play is integrated in the daily routine of the pedagogical approaches under study; (ii) to analyse the teachers’ role during children’s playing situations; (iii) to identify the types of play that children are more often involved. The methodology used is the qualitative approach and is situated under the interpretative paradigm. Data is collected through semi-structured interviews to 30 preschool teachers and through observations of typical daily routines. The participants are 30 Portuguese preschool classrooms attending children from 3 to 6 years and working with the High Scope curriculum (10 classrooms), the MEM (10 classrooms) and the Pedagogy of Participation (10 classrooms). The qualitative method of content analysis was used to analyse the data. To ensure confidentiality, no information is disclosed without participants' consent, and the interviews were transcribed and sent to the participants for a final revision. The results show that there are differences how play is integrated and promoted in the three pedagogical approaches. The teachers’ role when children are at play varies according the pedagogical approach adopted, and also according to the teachers’ understanding about the meaning of play. The study highlights the key role that early childhood curriculum models have to promote opportunities for children to play, and therefore to be involved in meaningful learning.

Keywords: pedagogy, Early Childhood Education, play, curriculum models

Procedia PDF Downloads 57
12 Differences in Preschool Educators' and Parents' Interactive Behavior during a Cooperative Task with Children

Authors: Marina Fuertes


Introduction: In everyday life experiences, children are solicited to cooperate with others. Often they perform cooperative tasks with their parents (e.g., setting the table for dinner) or in school. These tasks are very significant since children may learn to turn taking in interactions, to participate as well to accept others participation, to trust, to respect, to negotiate, to self-regulate their emotions, etc. Indeed, cooperative tasks contribute to children social, motor, cognitive and linguistic development. Therefore, it is important to study what learning, social and affective experiences are provided to children during these tasks. In this study, we included parents and preschool educators. Parents and educators are both significant: educative, interactive and affective figures. Rarely parents and educators behavior have been compared in studies about cooperative tasks. Parents and educators have different but complementary styles of interaction and communication. Aims: Therefore, this study aims to compare parents and educators' (of both genders) interactive behavior (cooperativity, empathy, ability to challenge the child, reciprocity, elaboration) during a play/individualized situation involving a cooperative task. Moreover, to compare parents and educators' behavior with girls and boys. Method: A quasi-experimental study with 45 dyads educators-children and 45 dyads with parents and their children. In this study, participated children between 3 and 5 years old and with age appropriate development. Adults and children were videotaped using a variety of materials (e.g., pencils, wood, wool) and tools (e.g., scissors, hammer) to produce together something of their choice during 20-minutes. Each dyad (one adult and one child) was observed and videotaped independently. Adults and children agreed and consented to participate. Experimental conditions were suitable, pleasant and age appropriated. Results: Findings indicate that parents and teachers offer different learning experiences. Teachers were more likely to challenged children to explore new concepts and to accept children ideas. In turn, parents gave more support to children actions and were more likely to use their own example to teach children. Multiple regression analysis indicates that parent versus educator status predicts their behavior. Gender of both children and adults affected the results. Adults acted differently with girls and boys (e.g., adults worked more cooperatively with girls than boys). Male participants supported more girls participation rather than boys while female adults allowed boys to make more decisions than girls. Discussion: Taking our results and past studies, we learn that different qualitative interactions and learning experiences are offered by parents, educators according to parents and children gender. Thus, the same child needs to learn different cooperative strategies according to their interactive patterns and specific context. Yet, cooperative play and individualized activities with children generate learning opportunities and benefits children participation and involvement.

Keywords: Gender, Early Childhood Education, Parenting, cooperative tasks, adult-child interaction

Procedia PDF Downloads 225
11 Exploring 'Attachment Theory' in the Context of Early Childhood Education

Authors: Wendy Lee


From the mid-twentieth century onward, the notion of ‘attachment’ has been used to define the optimum relationship between young children and their carers; first applied to parents and young children and more recently with early childhood educators and children in their care. However, it is seldom, if ever, asked whether the notion of ‘attachment’ and more especially so-called Attachment Theory, as propounded by John Bowlby and others, provides a sound basis for conceptualising child-adult relationships in early years. Even if appropriate in the context of family, the use of the term raises a number of questions when used in early childhood education. Research has shown that our youngest children (infants) in early childhood centre based care settings, are given the utmost priority to build 'attachments' with their educators. But exactly when, how and why does this priority diminish - and should it (for preschoolers)? This presentation will elaborate on such issues and will argue that there is a need to reconceptualise and redefine how 'quality relationships' should be measured and implemented in the daily practices and pedagogical methods adopted by early childhood educators. Moreover, this presentation will include data collected from the empirical study conducted, that observed various early childhood educators and children in Australian early childhood centres. Lastly, the thoughts, feelings and desires of parents of children in early childhood centre-based care, regarding the term 'attachment' and 'quality relationships' will be shared in the hope that we can take one step closer in bridging the needs of families, children, early childhood centres, educators, and the wider community.

Keywords: pedagogy, Early Childhood Education, attachment, Relationships

Procedia PDF Downloads 46
10 Implementation of Language Policy in a Swedish Multicultural Early Childhood School: A Development Project

Authors: Carina Hermansson


This presentation focuses a development project aiming at developing and documenting the steps taken at a multilingual, multicultural K-5 school, with the aim to improve the achievement levels of the pupils by focusing language and literacy development across the schedule in a digital classroom, and in all units of the school. This pre-formulated aim, thus, may be said to adhere to neoliberal educational and accountability policies in terms of its focus on digital learning, learning results, and national curriculum standards. In particular the project aimed at improving the collaboration between the teachers, the leisure time unit, the librarians, the mother tongue teachers and bilingual study counselors. This is a school environment characterized by cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and professional pluralization. The overarching aims of the research project were to scrutinize and analyze the factors enabling and obstructing the implementation of the Language Policy in a digital classroom. Theoretical framework: We apply multi-level perspectives in the analyses inspired by Uljens’ ideas about interactive and interpersonal first order (teacher/students) and second order(principal/teachers and other staff) educational leadership as described within the framework of discursive institutionalism, when we try to relate the Language Policy, educational policy, and curriculum with the administrative processes. Methodology/research design: The development project is based on recurring research circles where teachers, leisure time assistants, mother tongue teachers and study counselors speaking the mother tongue of the pupils together with two researchers discuss their digital literacy practices in the classroom. The researchers have in collaboration with the principal developed guidelines for the work, expressed in a Language Policy document. In our understanding the document is, however, only a part of the concept, the actions of the personnel and their reflections on the practice constitute the major part of the development project. One and a half years out of three years have now passed and the project has met with a row of difficulties which shed light on factors of importance for the progress of the development project. Field notes and recordings from the research circles, a survey with the personnel, and recorded group interviews provide data on the progress of the project. Expected conclusions: The problems experienced deal with leadership, curriculum, interplay between aims, technology, contents and methods, the parents as customers taking their children to other schools, conflicting values, and interactional difficulties, that is, phenomena on different levels, ranging from school to a societal level, as for example teachers being substituted as a result of the marketization of schools. Also underlying assumptions from actors at different levels create obstacles. We find this study and the problems we are facing utterly important to share and discuss in an era with a steady flow of refugees arriving in the Nordic countries.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, Language policy, multicultural school, school development project

Procedia PDF Downloads 42
9 Musical Diversity: The Differences between Public and Private Kindergartens in China

Authors: Kunyu Yan


Early childhood music education plays a significant role in an individual’s growth. Music can help children understand themselves and relate to others, and make connections between family, school, and society. In recent years, with the development of early childhood education in China, an increasing number of kindergartens have been established, and many of them pay more attention to music education. This research has two main aims. One is to discover how and why music is used in both public and private kindergartens. The second aim is to make recommendations for widening the use of music in kindergartens. In order to achieve these aims, the research uses two main methods. Firstly, it considers the historical background and cultural context of early childhood education in China; and secondly, it uses an approach that compares public and private kindergartens. In this research, six kindergartens were chosen from Qingdao city in Shandong Province as case studies, including 3 public kindergartens and 3 private kindergartens. This research was based on using three types of data collection methods: observation, semi-structured interviews with teachers, and questionnaires with parents. Participant and non-participant observational methods were used and included in daily routines at the kindergartens in order to experience the situation of music education first-hand. Interviews were associated with teachers’ views of teaching and learning music, the perceptions of the music context, and their strategies of using music. Lastly, the questionnaire was designed to obtain the views of current music education from the children’s parents in the respective kindergartens. The results are shown with three main themes: (1) distinct characteristics of public kindergartens (e.g., similar equipment, low tuition fee, qualified teachers, etc); (2) distinct characteristics of private kindergartens (e.g., various tuition fees, own teaching system, trained teachers, etc); and (3) differences between public and private kindergartens (e.g., funding, requirements for teachers, parents’ demands, etc). According to the results, we can see that the main purpose of using music in China is to develop the musical ability of children, and teachers focus on musical learning, such as singing in tune and playing instruments. However, as revealed in this research, there are many other uses and functions of music in these educational settings, including music used for non-musical learning (e.g., counting, learning language, etc.) or in supporting social routines.

Keywords: Music Education, Early Childhood Education, differences between private and public school, uses and functions of music

Procedia PDF Downloads 99
8 Developing Computational Thinking in Early Childhood Education

Authors: Kalliopi Kanaki, Michael Kalogiannakis


Nowadays, in the digital era, the early acquisition of basic programming skills and knowledge is encouraged, as it facilitates students’ exposure to computational thinking and empowers their creativity, problem-solving skills, and cognitive development. More and more researchers and educators investigate the introduction of computational thinking in K-12 since it is expected to be a fundamental skill for everyone by the middle of the 21st century, just like reading, writing and arithmetic are at the moment. In this paper, a doctoral research in the process is presented, which investigates the infusion of computational thinking into science curriculum in early childhood education. The whole attempt aims to develop young children’s computational thinking by introducing them to the fundamental concepts of object-oriented programming in an enjoyable, yet educational framework. The backbone of the research is the digital environment PhysGramming (an abbreviation of Physical Science Programming), which provides children the opportunity to create their own digital games, turning them from passive consumers to active creators of technology. PhysGramming deploys an innovative hybrid schema of visual and text-based programming techniques, with emphasis on object-orientation. Through PhysGramming, young students are familiarized with basic object-oriented programming concepts, such as classes, objects, and attributes, while, at the same time, get a view of object-oriented programming syntax. Nevertheless, the most noteworthy feature of PhysGramming is that children create their own digital games within the context of physical science courses, in a way that provides familiarization with the basic principles of object-oriented programming and computational thinking, even though no specific reference is made to these principles. Attuned to the ethical guidelines of educational research, interventions were conducted in two classes of second grade. The interventions were designed with respect to the thematic units of the curriculum of physical science courses, as a part of the learning activities of the class. PhysGramming was integrated into the classroom, after short introductory sessions. During the interventions, 6-7 years old children worked in pairs on computers and created their own digital games (group games, matching games, and puzzles). The authors participated in these interventions as observers in order to achieve a realistic evaluation of the proposed educational framework concerning its applicability in the classroom and its educational and pedagogical perspectives. To better examine if the objectives of the research are met, the investigation was focused on six criteria; the educational value of PhysGramming, its engaging and enjoyable characteristics, its child-friendliness, its appropriateness for the purpose that is proposed, its ability to monitor the user’s progress and its individualizing features. In this paper, the functionality of PhysGramming and the philosophy of its integration in the classroom are both described in detail. Information about the implemented interventions and the results obtained is also provided. Finally, several limitations of the research conducted that deserve attention are denoted.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, computational thinking, Object-Oriented Programming, physical science courses

Procedia PDF Downloads 17
7 Knowledge of Trauma-Informed Practice: A Mixed Methods Exploratory Study with Educators of Young Children

Authors: N. Khodarahmi, L. Ford


Decades of research on the impact of trauma in early childhood suggest severe risks to the mental health, emotional, social and physical development of a young child. Trauma-exposed students can pose a variety of different levels of challenges to schools and educators of young children and to date, few studies have addressed ECE teachers’ role in providing trauma support. The present study aims to contribute to this literature by exploring the beliefs of British Columbia’s (BC) early childhood education (ECE) teachers in their level of readiness and capability to work within a trauma-informed practice (TIP) framework to support their trauma-exposed students. Through a sequential, mix-methods approach, a self-report questionnaire and semi-structured interviews will be used to gauge BC ECE teachers’ knowledge of TIP, their preparedness, and their ability in using this framework to support their most vulnerable students. Teacher participants will be recruited through the ECEBC organization and various school districts in the Greater Vancouver Area. Questionnaire data will be primarily collected through an online survey tool whereas interviews will be taking place in-person and audio-recorded. Data analysis of survey responses will be largely descriptive, whereas interviews, once transcribed, will be employing thematic content analysis to generate themes from teacher responses. Ultimately, this study hopes to highlight the necessity of utilizing the TIP framework in BC ECE classrooms in order to support both trauma-exposed students and provide essential resources to compassionate educators of young children.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, early learning classrooms, refugee students, trauma-exposed students, trauma-informed practice

Procedia PDF Downloads 21
6 PlayTrain: A Research and Intervention Project for Early Childhood Teacher Education

Authors: Marina Fuertes, Natalia Vieira, Dalila Lino, Maria Joao Hortas, Carla Rocha, Clarisse Nunes, Kátia Sa


The value of play is recognized worldwide and is considered a fundamental right of all children, as defined in Article 31 of the United Nations Children’s Rights. It is consensual among the scientific community that play, and toys are of vital importance for children’s learning and development. Play promotes the acquisition of language, enhances creativity and improves social, affective, emotional, cognitive and motor development of young children. Young children ages 0 to 6 who have had many opportunities to get involved in play show greater competence to adapt to new and unexpected situations and more easily overcome the pain and suffering caused by traumatic situations. The PlayTrain Project aims to understand the places/spaces of play in the education of children from 0 to 6 years and promoting the training of preschool teachers to become capable of developing practices that enhance children’s agency, experimentation in the physical and social world and the development of imagination and creativity. This project follows the Design-Based-Research (DBR) and has two dimensions: research and intervention. The participants are 120 students from the Master in Pre-school Education of the Higher School of Education, Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon enrolled in the academic year 2018/2019. The development of workshops focused on the role of play and toys for young children’s learning promotes the participants reflection and the development of skills and knowledge to construct developmentally appropriated practices in early childhood education. Data was collected through an online questionnaire and focal groups. Results show that the PlayTrain Project contribute to the development of a body of knowledge about the role of play for early childhood education. It was possible to identify the needs of preschool teacher education and to enhance the discussion among the scientific and academic community about the importance of deepening the role of play and toys in the study plans of the masters in pre-school education.

Keywords: Teacher Education, Early Childhood Education, toys, play, children's learning

Procedia PDF Downloads 8
5 The Development, Use and Imapct of an Open Source, Web-Based, Video-Annoation Tool to Provide Job-Embedded Professional Development for Educators: The Coaching Companion

Authors: Gail Joseph


In the United States, to advance the quality and education requirements of PreK teachers, there are concerns regarding barriers for existing early childhood educators to access formal degrees and ongoing professional development. Barriers exist related to affordability and access. Affordability is a key factor that impacts teachers access to degree programs. The lack of financial resources makes it difficult for many qualified candidates to begin, and complete, degree programs. Even if funding was not an issue, accessibility remains a pressing issue in higher education. Some common barriers include geography, long work hours, lack of professional community, childcare, and clear articulation agreements. Greater flexibility is needed to allow all early childhood professionals to pursue college coursework that takes into consideration the many competing demands on their schedules. For these busy professionals, it is particularly important that professional development opportunities are available “on demand” and are seen as relevant to their work. Courses that are available during non-traditional hours make attendance more accessible, and professional development that is relevant to what they need to know and be able to do to be effective in their current positions increase access to and the impact of ongoing professional education. EarlyEdU at the University of Washington provides institutes of higher education and state professional development systems with free comprehensive, competency based college courses based on the latest science of how to optimize child learning and outcomes across developmental domains. The coursework embeds an intentional teaching framework which requires teachers to know what to do in the moment, see effective teaching in themselves and others, enact these practices in the classroom, reflect on what works and what does not, and improve with thoughtful practices. Reinforcing the Intentional Teaching Framework in EarlyEdU courses is the Coaching Companion, an open source, web-based video annotation learning tool that supports coaching in higher education by enabling students to view and refine their teaching practices. The tool is integrated throughout EarlyEdU courses. With the Coaching Companion, students see upload teaching interactions on video and then reflect on the degree to which they incorporate evidence-based practices. Coaching Companion eliminates the traditional separation of theory and practice in college-based teacher preparation. Together, the Intentional Teaching Framework and the Coaching Companion transform the course instructor into a job-embedded coach. The instructor watches student interactions with children on video using the Coaching Companion and looks specifically for interactions defined in course assignments, readings, and lectures. Based on these observations, the instructor offers feedback and proposes next steps. Developed on federal and philanthropic funds, all EarlyEdU courses and the Coaching Companion are available for free to 2= and 4-year colleges and universities with early childhood degrees, as well as to state early learning and education departments to increase access to high quality professional development. We studied the impact of the Coaching Companion in two courses and demonstrated a significant increase in the quality of teacher-child interactions as measured by the PreK CLASS quality teaching assessment. Implications are discussed related to policy and practice.

Keywords: Professional Development, Distance Education, Education Technology, Early Childhood Education

Procedia PDF Downloads 1
4 Exploring the In-Between: An Examination of the Contextual Factors That Impact How Young Children Come to Value and Use the Visual Arts in Their Learning and Lives

Authors: S. Probine


The visual arts have been proven to be a central means through which young children can communicate their ideas, reflect on experience, and construct new knowledge. Despite this, perceptions of, and the degree to which the visual arts are valued within education, vary widely within political, educational, community and family contexts. These differing perceptions informed my doctoral research project, which explored the contextual factors that affect how young children come to value and use the visual arts in their lives and learning. The qualitative methodology of narrative inquiry with inclusion of arts-based methods was most appropriate for this inquiry. Using a sociocultural framework, the stories collected were analysed through the sociocultural theories of Lev Vygotsky as well as the work of Urie Bronfenbrenner, together with postmodern theories about identity formation. The use of arts-based methods such as teacher’s reflective art journals and the collection of images by child participants and their parent/caregivers allowed the research participants to have a significant role in the research. Three early childhood settings at which the visual arts were deeply valued as a meaning-making device in children’s learning, were purposively selected to be involved in the research. At each setting, the study found a unique and complex web of influences and interconnections, which shaped how children utilised the visual arts to mediate their thinking. Although the teachers' practices at all three centres were influenced by sociocultural theories, each settings' interpretations of these theories were unique and resulted in innovative interpretations of the role of the teacher in supporting visual arts learning. These practices had a significant impact on children’s experiences of the visual arts. For many of the children involved in this study, visual art was the primary means through which they learned. The children in this study used visual art to represent their experiences, relationships, to explore working theories, their interests (including those related to popular culture), to make sense of their own and other cultures, and to enrich their imaginative play. This research demonstrates that teachers have fundamental roles in fostering and disseminating the importance of the visual arts within their educational communities.

Keywords: Visual Arts, Early Childhood Education, arts-based methods, teacher's visual arts pedagogies

Procedia PDF Downloads 1
3 Implementation of a Culturally Responsive Home Visiting Framework in Head Start Teacher Professional Development

Authors: Meilan Jin, Mary Jane Moran


This study aims to introduce the framework of culturally responsive home visiting (CRHV) to head start teacher professional sessions in the Southeastern of the US and investigate its influence on the evolving beliefs of teachers about their roles and relationships with families in-home visits. The framework orients teachers to an effective way of taking on the role of learner to listen for spoken and unspoken needs and look for family strengths. In addition, it challenges the deficit model that is grounded on 'cultural deprivation,' and it stresses the value of family cultures and advocates equal, collaborative parent-teacher relationships. The home visit reflection papers and focus group transcriptions of eight teachers have been collected since 2010 throughout a five-year longitudinal collaboration with them. Reflection papers were written by the teachers before and after introducing the CRHV framework, including the details of visit purposes and actions and their plans for later home visits. Particularly, the CRHV framework guided the teachers to listen and look for information about family-living environments; parent-child interactions; child-rearing practices; and parental beliefs, values, and needs. Two focus groups were organized in 2014 by asking the teachers to read their written reflection papers and then discussing their shared beliefs and experiences of home visits in recent years. The average length of the discussions was one hour, and the discussions were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Moreover, the data were analyzed using constant comparative analysis, and the analysis was verified through (a) the uses of multiple data sources, (b) the involvement of multiple researchers, (c) coding checks, and (d) the provisions of the thick descriptions of the findings. The study findings corroborate that the teachers become to reposition themselves as 'knowledge seekers' through reorienting their cynosure toward 'setting stones' to learn, grow, and change rather than framing their home visits. The teachers also continually engage in careful listening, observing, questioning, and dialoguing, and these actions reflect their care toward parents. The value of teamwork with parents is advocated, and the teachers recognize that when parents feel empowered, they are active and committed to doing more for their children, which can further advantage proactive long-term parent-teacher collaborations. The study findings also validate that the framework is influential for educators to provide the experiences of home visiting that is culturally responsive and to share collaborative relationships with caregivers. The long-term impact of the framework further implies that teachers continue to put themselves in the position of evolving, including beliefs and actions, to better work with children and families who are culturally, ethnically, and linguistically different from them. This framework can be applicable to educators and professionals who are looking for avenues to bridge the relationship between home and school and parents and teachers.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, teacher professional development, culturally responsive home visit, parent–teacher collaboration

Procedia PDF Downloads 1
2 Teaching English for Children in Public Schools Can Work in Egypt

Authors: Shereen Kamel


This study explores the recent application of bilingual education in Egyptian public schools. It aims to provide an overall picture of bilingual education programs globally and examine its adequacy to the Egyptian social and cultural context. The study also assesses the current application process of teaching English as a Second Language in public schools from the early childhood education stage and onwards, instead of starting it from middle school; as a strategy that promotes English language proficiency and equity among students. The theoretical framework is based on Jim Cummins’ bilingual education theories and on recent trends adopting different developmental theories and perspectives, like Stephen Crashen’s theory of Second Language Acquisition that calls for communicative and meaningful interaction rather than memorization of grammatical rules. The question posed here is whether bilingual education, with its peculiar nature, could be a good chance to reach out to all Egyptian students and prepare them to become global citizens. In addition to this, a more specific question is related to the extent to which social and cultural variables can affect the young learners’ second language acquisition. This exploratory analytical study uses mixed-methods research design to examine the application of bilingual education in Egyptian public schools. The study uses a cluster sample of schools in Egypt from different social and cultural backgrounds to assess the determining variables. The qualitative emphasis is on interviewing teachers and reviewing students’ achievement documents. The quantitative aspect is based on observations of in-class activities through tally sheets and checklists. Having access to schools and documents is authorized by governmental and institutional research bodies. Data sources will comprise achievement records, students’ portfolios, parents’ feedback and teachers’ viewpoints. Triangulation and SPSS will be used for analysis. Based on the gathered data, new curricula have been assigned for elementary grades and teachers have been required to teach the newly developed materials all of a sudden without any prior training. Due to shortage in the teaching force, many assigned teachers have not been proficient in the English language. Hence, teachers’ incompetency and unpreparedness to teach this grade specific curriculum constitute a great challenge in the implementation phase. Nevertheless, the young learners themselves as well as their parents seem to be enthusiastic about the idea itself. According to the findings of this research study, teaching English as a Second Language to children in public schools can be applicable and is culturally relevant to the Egyptian context. However, there might be some social and cultural differences and constraints when it comes to application in addition to various aspects regarding teacher preparation. Therefore, a new mechanism should be incorporated to overcome these challenges for better results. Moreover, a new paradigm shift in these teacher development programs is direly needed. Furthermore, ongoing support and follow up are crucial to help both teachers and students realize the desired outcomes.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, Language and Culture, Bilingual education, Second language acquisition, Communicative Approach

Procedia PDF Downloads 1
1 A Systematic Review of Forest School for Early Childhood Education in China: Lessons Learned from European Studies from a Perspective of Ecological System

Authors: Xiaoying Zhang


Forest school – an outdoor educational experience that is undertaken in an outdoor environment with trees – becomes an emerging field of early childhood education recently. In China, the benefits of natural outdoor education to children and young people’s wellness have raised attention. Although different types of outdoor-based activities have been involved in some pre-school of China, few study and practice have been conducted in terms of the notion of forest school. To comprehend the impact of forest school for children and young people, this study aims to systematically review articles on the topic of forest school in preschool education from an ecological perspective, i.e. from individual level (e.g., behavior and mental health) to microsystem level (e.g., the relationship between teachers and children) to ecosystem level. Based on PRISMA framework flow, using the key words of “Forest School” and “Early Childhood Education” for searching in Web-of-science database, a total of 33 articles were identified. Sample participants of 13 studies were not preschool children, five studies were not on forest school theme, and two literature review articles were excluded for further analysis. Finally, 13 articles were eligible for thematic analysis. According to Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory, there are some fingdings, on the individual level, current forest school studies are concerned about the children behavioral experience in forest school, how these experience may relate to their achievement or to develop children’s wellbeing/wellness, and how this type of learning experience may enhance children’s self-awareness on risk and safety issues. On the microsystem/mesosystem level, this review indicated that pedagogical development for forest school, risk perception from teachers and parents, social development between peers, and adult’s role in the participation of forest school were concerned, explored and discussed most frequently. On the macrosystem, the conceptualization of forest school is the key theme. Different forms of presentation in various countries with diverse cultures could provide various models of forest school education. However, there was no study investigating forest school on an ecosystem level. As for the potential benefits of physical health and mental wellness that results from forest school, it informs us to reflect the system of preschool education from the ecological perspective for Chinese children. For instance, most Chinese kindergartens ignored the significance of natural outdoor activities for children. Preschool education in China is strongly oriented by primary school system, which means pre-school children are expected to be trained as primary school students to do different subjects, such as math. Hardly any kindergarteners provide the opportunities for children and young people to take risks in a natural environment like forest school does. However, merely copying forest school model for a Chinese preschool education system will be less effective. This review of different level concerns could inform us that the localization the idea of forest school to adapt to a Chinese political, educational and cultural background. More detailed results and profound discussions will be presented in the full paper.

Keywords: Early Childhood Education, ecological system, education development prospects in China, forest school

Procedia PDF Downloads 1