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Developmentally appropriate practice in the primary grades

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Title:
Developmentally appropriate practice in the primary grades classroom practices and the espoused beliefs of primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators
Creator:
Adams, Suzanne Kay
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
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Language:
English
Physical Description:
xii, 241 p. : ; 22 cm.

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Subjects / Keywords:
Teachers -- Attitudes ( lcsh )
Preschool teaching ( lcsh )
Primary school teaching ( lcsh )
Preschool teaching ( fast )
Primary school teaching ( fast )
Teachers -- Attitudes ( fast )
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theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Colorado at Denver, 1992. Administration, supervision, and curriculum development
General Note:
School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
Suzanne Kay Adams.

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University of Colorado Denver
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|Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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221884945 ( OCLC )
ocn221884945
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371.3 ( ddc )

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Full Text
DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE PRACTICE IN THE PRIMARY
GRADES:
CLASSROOM PRACTICES AND THE ESPOUSED BELIEFS
OF PRIMARY TEACHERS, PRINCIPALS, AND TEACHER EDUCATORS
by
Suzanne Kay Adams
B.S., Colorado State University, 1972
M.A., University of Colorado at Denver, 1976
A thesis submitted to the
Faculty of the Graduate School of the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Administration, Curriculum, and Supervision
1992


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Suzanne Kay Adams
has been approved for the
School of Education
by
Michael Martin
Harriet Able-Boone
LA Napier
Deanna Sands
Date 7 /f, /ff


Adams, Suzanne Kay (Ph.D., Administration, Curriculum,
and Supervision)
Developmentally Appropriate Practice in the Primary
Grades: Classroom Practices and Espoused Beliefs of
Primary Teachers, Principals, and Teacher Educators
Thesis directed by Professor Michael Martin
ABSTRACT
This is a descriptive study designed to examine the
classroom practices of first and second grade teachers
and the espoused beliefs of primary teachers, principals,
and teacher educators concerning developmentally
appropriate curriculum and instructional methods in the
primary grades.
Data were gathered from 142 first and second grade
teachers and 32 principals in public schools in the
Denver metropolitan area and 45 teacher education faculty
members in teacher education certification programs in
Colorado.
Data on beliefs regarding developmentally
appropriate practice in the primary grades and the actual
classroom practices of primary teachers were collected by
means of two questionnaires. These questionnaires were
based upon guidelines for developmentally appropriate
practice for the primary grades established by the


IV
National Association for the Education of Young Children
(Developmentallv Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood
Programs Serving Children from Birth through Acre 8. In
order to validate the accuracy of the above instruments,
data on teachers' practices were collected by observing
and interviewing a sub-sample of 20 primary teachers
using the Checklist for Rating Developmentallv
Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Classroom. This
checklist consisted of items reflective of items on the
questionnaires.
Data were analyzed with analyses of variance and
dependent t-tests. Results (significant at or below the
.05 level) indicated that: (a) while educators studied in
this sample espoused beliefs which were appropriate and
consistent with NAEYC guidelines overall, teacher
educators and principals espoused more developmentally
appropriate beliefs than primary teachers, (b) while
primary teachers reported implementing and were observed
to implement instructional practices reflective of a
developmental-interactive perspective overall, the
frequency of some developmentally inappropriate
activities suggests the influence of the behaviorist
perspective which dominates much of the curricula of
public schools, (c) when there was an apparent lack of
congruence between teacher beliefs and practice,


V
teachers' beliefs tended to be more developmentally
appropriate than their classroom activities, and (d)
teachers with early childhood certification offered more
developmentally appropriate activities than teachers with
elementary certification only.
Implications for primary teacher education, the role
of the elementary principal, and district and state level
policy are presented.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the
candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication.
Signed
Michael Martin


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The author expresses gratitude to Dr. Michael Martin
for his guidance and support as graduate advisor and
thesis committee chairman. His wise counsel helped me to
keep my perspective during challenging times. I also
thank Dr. Harriet Able-Boone, Dr. Joy Berrenberg, Dr.
L.A. Napier, and Dr. Deanna Sands for their support and
suggestions. A special thank-you goes to Dr. Michael
Martin and Dr. Michael Charleston for their role in
recommending me for the Colorado Graduate Fellowship
Award. I also thank the Colorado Association for the
Education of Young Children for their contribution toward
my thesis effort.
I thank the many principals, teachers, and teacher
educators for their time in completing surveys. For
those teachers who permitted us to observe their
classroom and be interviewed, I am especially grateful.
Their willingness to contribute their time and expertise
was most valuable.
Most importantly, I thank my husband, Tom, and my
children, Craig and Kristin. Their support and personal
sacrifice made this endeavor possible.


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. THE PROBLEM...................................... 1
Introduction .................................. 1
Background of the Problem ..................... 3
Statement of the Problem ...................... 7
Research Questions ............................ 7
Implications of the Study ..................... 8
Summary and Outline of Research Design .... 10
Definition of Terms............................14
2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE.........................19
Introduction ................................. 19
A Model for Teachers' Theories of Action . .19
Definition of Beliefs and the Importance of
Beliefs in Teaching..........................26
Definition of Beliefs ...................... 26
Importance of Beliefs in Teaching .......... 30
The Definition and Rationale for
Developmentally Appropriate Practice in
Early Childhood Education Through the
Primary Years................................32
Definition of Developmentally Appropriate 32
Primary Grades as a Part of Early Childhood 34
Developmentally Appropriate Instructional
Methods....................................38
Developmentaly Appropriate Assessment in
Early Childhood............................42
Early Childhood Teacher Certification ... 45


Vll 1
Pressure for Inappropriate Practice and Its
Effects......................................46
The Relationship Between Beliefs and Practice -49
Curriculum Innovation and Curriculum Design .49
Preschool Teachers ......................... 54
Kindergarten Teachers ...................... 62
Primary Teachers............................7 5
Principals/Implications for Supervision . 82
Teacher Education .......................... 86
Importance of Congruency Between Beliefs
and Practice...............................93
Lack of Congruency Between Teacher Beliefs
and Practice.................................94
3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY .......................... 102
Introduction ................................ 102
Summary of Research Questions and Methods . 102
Description of Subjects ..................... 106
Instrumentation...............................107
The Teacher Questionnaire ................. 107
Checklist for Rating Developmentally
Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood
Classrooms................................117
Research Procedures ......................... 119
Administration of the Teacher Questionnaire
to Primary Teachers and Principals . 119
Administration of Educator Beliefs Scale
to Teacher Educators .................... 122
Administration of the Checklist for Rating
Developmentally Appropriate Practice in
the Early Childhood Classroom ............. 123


IX
Observer Training ........................... 124
4. RESULTS...........................................127
Demographic Data............................... 128
Primary Teachers ............................ 128
Principals................................... 130
Teacher Educators ........................... 132
Espoused Beliefs .............................. 134
Individual Items from Beliefs Scale .... 135
Total Scale Means.............................136
Classroom Practices ........................... 140
Individual Items from the Instructional
Activities Scale .......................... 140
Total Scale Means.............................142
Congruence of Beliefs and Teaching Behavior . 143
Degree of Developmentally Appropriate Practice
as a Function of Early Childhood or
Elementary Certification ...................... 151
5. SUMMARY AND INTERPRETATION ...................... 153
Summary of the Study......................... 153
Background................................... 153
Purpose.......................................155
Sample....................................... 156
Research Questions and Methods . ... 156
Summary and Discussion of the Findings . . 161
Implications for Educational Practice and
Policy....................................... 173
Primary Teacher Education ................... 174


X
Role of the Principal........................178
Elementary Principal Certification . . 178
Hiring of Primary Teachers ............... 179
Identifying Teachers' Beliefs ............ 179
Teacher Supervision and Inservice
Training................................180
School, District, and State Level
Implications ............................. 181
School and District Level Implications . 183
State Level Implications ................. 184
Suggestions for Future Research ............. 186
APPENDICES
A. Teacher Beliefs Scale ........................ 190
B. Instructional Activities Scale ............... 194
C. Background Information Forms...................197
Teacher Background Information Form .... 197
Principal Background Information Form . 198
Teacher Educator Background Information
Form.......................................199
D. Checklist for Rating Developmentally
Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood
Classrooms...................................200
E. Letter to Panel of Early Childhood Educators. 215
F. Letter to District Research Administrators . 217
G. Letter to Principals...........................219
H. Return Postcard Enclosed to Principals . . 221
I. Note to Teachers...............................222
J. Informed Consent Letter ...................... 223


XI
K. Teacher Observation Informed Consent Letter 224
L. Mean Scores Rating Importance of Belief Items by
Primary Teachers (T), Principals (P) and
Teacher Educators (TE) ................... 226
M. Mean Scores Rating the Frequency of Each
Activity....................................229
REFERENCES..........................................231


XI1
TABLES
Table
3.1 Factor Structure, Eigen Values, Cronbachs Alpha, Means, and Standard Deviations for the Teacher Beliefs Scale Ill
3.2 Factor Structure, Eigen Values, Cronbach's Alpha, Means, and Standard Deviations for the Instructional Activities Scale 114
4.1 Highest Degree Earned-Primary Teachers .... 128
4.2 Teacher Certification Endorsement 129
4.3 Years of Teaching Experience 130
4.4 Highest Degree Earned-Principals 131
4.5 Principal Certification Endorsement Other Than Type D 132
4.6 Highest Degree Earned-Teacher Educators .... 133
4.7 Type of Education Program at Which Teacher Educator Is a Faculty Member 134
4.8 Beliefs Scale Means and Standard Deviations for Educator Groups 137
4.9 Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficients for Scores on Appropriate and Inappropriate Beliefs Subscales 139
4.10 Intercorrelations Between Scores on the Teacher
Beliefs Scale (TBS), Instructional Activities Scale (IAS), and Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice (Checklist) 144
4.11 Matching Items on Teacher Beliefs Scale (TBS) and Instructional Activities Scale (IAS) .... 147
4.12 Calculated ^.-Statistic and Corresponding p Level for Beliefs/Practice Comparisons 148


i
CHAPTER 1
THE PROBLEM
Introduction
Early childhood education is commonly associated
with the years from birth through kindergarten. However,
the early childhood period includes the next few years
through the ages of 7 or 8. Research on social and
physical development and study of the cognitive growth of
the child indicate that the primary years are more
analogous to early childhood than to the later elementary
school period (Piaget & Inhelder, 1969; Piaget, 1973;
Margolin, 1976). The special characteristics shared by
children in the primary grades often go unrecognized in
the planning of curriculum and instructional methods
appropriate to this age group.
According to Piaget (Piaget, 1973; Piaget &
Inhelder, 1969), children's cognitive processes develop
in an orderly sequence of stages. The preoperational
stage spans approximately ages 2 to 7, thus including
most children in kindergarten, first, and second grades.
During this stage, the foundations for logical thought
are developed. According to Piaget, logical operations
are constructed through children's autonomous activities
that provide opportunities to discover relationships and


2
ideas. Cognitive growth takes place when children
construct their own knowledge by interacting with people
and materials in their environment.
During the primary years, other intellectual growth
occurs which opens up expanded social possibilities for
the child. Through social interaction and experience, a
gradually increased mobility of thought enables the child
to take the view of another person and replaces
egocentrism with cooperative endeavors (Hunt, 1961).
Thus, some important social transformations accompany the
intellectual changes at about the age of 7 or 8.
In addition, children in the primary years share
many physical characteristics which are relevant to their
school experience.
They experience growth spurts, which may cause
instability, awkwardness, and an increased need for
movement. Small muscles and bones are not
completely formed or developed; fine-motor tasks
still present a challenge for many children. Most
children of thi age are naturally farsighted, and
activities requiring close work such as printing
are very tiring. Children's hearing is not fully
developed, and phonics-related activities requiring
close attention to small details may be
inappropriate. (Gareau & Kennedy, 1991, pp. 49-50)
The National Association for the Education of Young
Children (NAEYC), the nation's largest organization of
early childhood educators, defines early childhood as
the years from birth through 8. One of the most
comprehensive documents (Bredekamp, 1987) addressing the


3
issue of developmentally appropriate practice in early
childhood programs is the position statement published by
NAEYC. This document represents the expertise of key
authorities in the field and the experience of hundreds
of early childhood professionals. NAEYC believes that
one indicator of the quality of primary education is the
extent to which the curriculum and instructional methods
are developmentally appropriate for children 6 through 8
years of age based on the most current knowledge of
teaching and learning as derived from theory, research,
and practice (Bredekamp, 1987) .
Despite the growing body of research on what young
children need for optimal development and how they learn,
primary teachers may have misconceptions about
development and appropriate instruction in these grades.
Background of the Problem
Early education today is influenced by two dominant
educational philosophical and psychological perspectives:
the behavioristic-learning theory perspective based on
the work of Skinner, and the developmental perspective,
incorporating the work of Piaget and Dewey (Seefeldt,
1976). The behaviorist perspective currently dominates
the curricula of the public schools as demonstrated by
academic, teacher-directed large-group instruction,


careful sequencing of skills, systematic use of
reinforcement, use of workbooks, and much drill and
practice. According to many early experts in early
childhood education, this perspective, along with a
recent emphasis on "back to basics" and improved
standardized test scores, results in many elementary
schools narrowing the curriculum and adopting
instructional approaches that are incompatible with
current knowledge about how young children learn and
develop (Bredekamp, 1987, p. 62). With an emphasis on
rote learning of academic skills rather than active,
experiential learning in a meaningful context, Bennett
(1986) contends that many children are being taught
academic skills but are not learning to apply those
skills in context and are not developing more complex
thinking skills such as the ability to communicate
complex ideas and to analyze and solve complex problems.
Experts in early childhood education advocate a
developmental-interactive perspective as appropriate for
children 6 through 8 years of age, reflected in a child-
centered integrated curriculum designed to develop skill
in all developmental areas through active involvement
with other children, adults, and materials in the
environment. Teachers guide children's learning
experiences by extending children's ideas, responding to


5
their questions, engaging them in conversation, making
suggestions, and encouraging and challenging their
thinking (Bredekamp, 1987; NAEYC, 1988).
The developmental-interactive perspective
incorporates the cognitive developmental theory of Piaget
but is also compatible with components of Vygotsky's
sociocultural theory. Vygotsky (1978) emphasizes the
influence of the socio-cultural context on development
and learning. Vygotsky views thinking as activity,
dependent upon speech, and developed and maintained
through interpersonal experience. He contends that
cognitive development has its origins in interaction
among people in a culture before the psychological
process--representing ideas, events, attitudes, and
strategies--is internalized within children.
Curriculum can be derived from several sources: the
child, the content, and the society (Tyler, 1949) .
According to NAEYC, the curriculum in early childhood
programs is typically a balance of child-centered and
content-centered curriculum. "Good preschools present
rich content in a curriculum that is almost entirely
child-centered. As children progress into the primary
grades, the emphasis on content gradually expands as
determined by the school, the local community, and the
society" (Bredekamp, 1987, p. 62). The challenge for


6
teachers is to plan for rich, meaningful content in a
program of developmentally appropriate teaching practices
which take advantage of the child's natural abilities,
interests, and enthusiasm for learning. This requires
application of knowledge about childrens' cognitive,
language, physical, social-emotional and moral
development to practice in the primary grades. According
to Peck, McCaig, and Sapp (1988), if the kindergarten
program is developmentally appropriate and the first
grade based on a didactic approach, children will be in
for a shock and any developmental gains from kindergarten
may be lost shortly after children are confronted with an
inappropriate first grade curriculum.
Are educators of young children in the primary
grades implementing practices reflecting a teacher-
structured behavioristic perspective or a child-centered
developmental-interactive perspective as advocated by
prominant early childhood educators? Do primary teachers
consider themselves "elementary teachers rather than
early childhood" teachers? What do primary teachers
consider to be developmentally appropriate curriculum and
instructional methods?


7
Statement of the Problem
What are the classroom practices of first and second
grade teachers and the espoused beliefs of primary
teachers, principals, and teacher educators concerning
developmentally appropriate curriculum and instructional
methods in the primary grades?
Research Questions
1. To what extent are the espoused beliefs of
primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators
consistent with the NAEYC guidelines for developmentally
appropriate practice for 6 to 8 year olds?
2. Is there a difference in the beliefs of primary
teachers, principals, and teacher educators regarding
appropriate primary curriculum and instructional
practices?
3. What is the relationship between developmentally
appropriate and inappropriate beliefs?
4. To what extent are primary teachers implementing
practices which are consistent with the NAEYC guidelines
for developmentally appropriate instructional practices
for 6 to 8 year olds?
5. What is the relationship between appropriate
classroom instructional practice and inappropriate
instructional practice?


8
6. What is the congruence between the beliefs of
primary teachers and their teaching behavior in the
classroom?
7. Is there a difference in the level of
developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices between
those primary teachers with certification in early
childhood education and those primary teachers with
elementary education certification only?
Implications of the Study
This study is important to primary teachers
interested in improving their teaching. The literature
review examines research on developmentally appropriate
practice in the primary years. The results highlight the
importance of examining one's beliefs explicitly and
determining the congruency between one's beliefs and
classroom practices.
An understanding of the beliefs and classroom
behaviors of practicing primary teachers with respect to
appropriate curriculum is of interest to the
administrators of teacher education programs in
evaluating the degree to which teacher education for the
primary grades includes the development of children ages
6 to 8 and the instructional methods and curriculum
appropriate for these ages as opposed to older elementary


9
school children. Traditionally, the aim of teacher
training institutions has been to provide students with a
sound understanding of theory in order that their
graduates pursue appropriate educational goals. However,
teacher candidates may not be able to derive from theory
a coherent framework to guide practice, because
researchers and theorists provide insufficient directives
in the translation of theory to everyday practice.
Kaplan-Sanoff (1980) claims that the goal of teacher
education should be to produce graduates who are able to
articulate and defend their own beliefs about the
teaching-learning process. The responsibility of teacher
educators thus becomes one of ensuring that teachers not
only have a sound understanding of principles of child
development and learning theory, but they are able to
translate their beliefs into educational goals and
teaching practices consistent with the development and
learning abilities of primary grade children. Early
childhood teacher certification separate from elementary
certification may be necessary for primary teachers to
ensure that they understand the unique developmental
characteristics of young children and the implications
for curriculum and instruction.
Understanding the relationship between an
individual teachers beliefs about appropriate curriculum


10
practices and that individual's ability to implement
practices in the classroom is of interest to elementary
school principals charged with hiring primary teachers,
providing supervision and staff development. Principals
may need to give primary teachers additional support and
in-service work to learn more about recent research and
theory on how young children learn. More importantly,
this study highlights the necessity of addressing not
just teacher behavior, but the beliefs and principles
which give rise to behavior. Therefore, one of the tasks
of principals may be to assist the teacher in
acknowledging and evaluating his or her beliefs.
School districts can use information from this study
in their hiring and evaluating of elementary school
principals to determine whether principals are aware of
the differing philosophical approaches to early childhood
education and their ability to promote developmentally
appropriate curriculum and instructional methods for the
primary grades.
Summary and Outline of Research Design
This was a descriptive study examining the classroom
practices of first and second grade teachers and the
espoused beliefs of primary teachers, principals, and
teacher educators concerning developmentally appropriate


11
curriculum and instructional methods in the primary
grades. The study also examined differences in level of
developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices between
teachers certified in early childhood education and those
certified in elementary education.
The purpose of this study was to:
1. Identify the degree to which the beliefs of
primary teachers, elementary school principals, and early
childhood teacher educators are congruent with the NAEYC
guidelines for appropriate/inappropriate curriculum and
instructional practices for 6 to 8 year olds.
2. Identify the degree to which primary teachers'
practices are congruent with the NAEYC guidelines for
appropriate/ innappropriate instructional practices for 6
to 8 year olds.
3. Compare the congruence between the beliefs of
primary teachers and their teaching behavior in the
classroom.
4. Compare the level of developmentally
appropriate practice between those primary teachers with
a certification in early childhood education and those
primary teachers with elementary certification.
The work of Argyris and Schon on theories-in-use"
is presented to justify focus on the importance of
beliefs as a determinant of teacher practice and the


12
importance of congruency between beliefs and practice.
Argyris and Schon (1974) suggest that theories of action
determine all deliberate behavior. Such theories of
action depend on a set of stated or unstated assumptions.
According to their view, when someone is asked how he or
she would behave under certain circumstances, the answer
usually given is their espoused theory of action for the
situation--the theory of action to which one gives
allegiance and communicates to others. However, the
theory that actually governs one's actions is one's
theory-in-use, which may or may not be compatible with
one's espoused theory (p. 7). Congruence exists when
one's espoused theory matches the theory-in-use -- one's
behavior fits one's espoused theory of action.
Data on beliefs regarding developmentally
appropriate practice in the primary grades and the actual
classroom practices of primary teachers were collected by
using The Teacher Questionnaire, an instrument that
consists of a Teacher Beliefs Scale (TBS) and an
Instructional Activities Scale (IAS)(see Appendixes A and
B). These self-report instruments were developed based
on the section on primary grades in Developmentally
appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving
Children from Birth through Aae 8 (Bredekamp, 1987) and
represent areas of primary instruction as specified in


13
the NAEYC guidelines: curriculum goals, teaching
strategies, integrated curriculum, guidance of social-
emotional development, motivation, parent-teacher
relations, evaluation, and transitions.
Each Teacher Belief Scale item is a statement (e.g.
It is important for children to learn through interaction
with other children) that the respondent rates on a 5
point Likert scale from not important at all to extremely
important. Instructional Activity Scale items describe an
activity (e.g. children selecting centers). The
respondent rates the frequency of availability of each
activity in his/her classroom along a 5 point scale from
almost never (less than monthly) to very often (daily).
A brief cover sheet accompanied the TBS to provide
demographic information regarding education and teaching
experience (see Appendix C). A version of the Teacher
Belief Scale was administered to first- and second-grade
teachers, elementary school principals, and early
childhood/elementary teacher education faculty members.
The Instructional Activities Scale was administered to
primary teachers only.
In order to validate the accuracy of The Teacher
Questionnaire. data on teachers' practices were collected
by observing a sub-sample of twenty primary teachers
using the Checklist for Rating Developmentallv


14
Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Classrooms (see
Appendix D). This checklist consists of items reflective
of items on the teacher questionnaires. These primary
teachers were observed on two occasions (for a 2-3 hour
period each) within a 2-week period.
Observers were college students with experience in
early childhood education. Student observers read and
discussed the complete NAEYC Guidelines with the
researcher before doing observations. Before school
visits, observers conducted pilot observations in a
college laboratory preschool to practice and assure
interobserver reliability. Student observers were blind
to the results of the teacher questionnaires.
Definition of Terms
For the purposes of this study, the following terms
were defined as follows:
1. Beliefs--individual constructions of reality
constructed from personal experience (Sigel, 1985, p.
349) .
2. Early childhood-- the years in a child's life
from birth to age 8 (Bredekamp, 1987, p. 62) .
3. Primary teachers--first and second grade
teachers.


15
4. Developmentally appropriate curriculum--a
curriculum which is planned to be appropriate for the age
span of the children within the group and is implemented
with attention to the different needs, interests, and
developmental levels of those individual children
(Bredekamp, 1987, pp. 3-9, 67-68).
Such a curriculum:
--is designed to develop children's knowledge and
skills in all areas of development (physical,
emotional, social, and cognitive) and to help
children learn how to learn--to establish a
foundation for lifelong learning.
--is based on teachers' observations and recordings of
each child's special interests and developmental
progress
--is designed to develop children's self-esteem, sense
of competence, and positive feelings toward learning
--emphasizes learning as an interactive process where
teachers prepare the environment for children to
learn through active exploration and interaction with
adults, other children, and materials
--is integrated so that children's learning in all
traditional subject areas occurs primarily through
projects and learning centers that teachers plan and
that reflect children's interests and suggestions


16
--provides opportunities for children to choose from a
variety of activities, materials, and equipment and
provides time to explore through active involvement
--provides for multicultural and nonsexist experiences,
materials, and equipment
--provides a balance of rest and active movement for
children throughout the program day
--provides outdoor experiences for children of all
ages.
5. Developmentally appropriate instructional
methods (or teaching strategies) include the following
characteristics (Bredekamp, 1987, pp. 69-70):
--the curriculum is integrated so that learning occurs
primarily through projects, learning centers, and
playful activities that reflect current interests of
children
--teachers guide children's projects and enrich the
learning experience by extending children's ideas,
responding to their questions, engaging them in
conversation, and challenging their thinking
--individual children or small groups are expected to
work and play cooperatively or alone in learning
centers and on projects that they usually select
themselves or are guided to by the teacher


17
--learning materials and activities are concrete, real,
and relevant to children's lives.
6. Developmentally inappropriate curriculum is
narrowly focused on the intellectual domain with
intellectual development defined as acquisition of
discrete, technical academic skills, without recognition
that all areas of children's development are interrelated
(Bredekamp, 1987, p. 67).
In such a curriculum:
--children are evaluated against a standardized group
norm
--all children are expected to achieve the same easily
measured academic skills by the same predetermined
time schedule (chronological age and grade level
expectations).
7. Developmentally inappropriate instructional
methods (or teaching strategies) include the following
characteristics (Bredekamp, 1987, pp. 67-69):
--curriculum is divided into separate subjects
--primary emphasis is given to reading and secondary
emphasis to math; other subjects such as social
studies, science, and health are covered if time
permits
--art, music, and physical education are taught only
once a week by specialists


18
-instructional strategies focus on teacher-directed
groups, whole-group lecture, paper-and-pencil
exercises or worksheets
-children work individually at desks; children are
rarely permitted to help each other
-interest areas are limited to children who have
finished seatwork early or children are assigned to
a learning center to complete a prescribed sequence
of teacher-directed activities
-available materials are limited primarily to books,
workbooks, and pencils.


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Introduction
The literature review is organized into four
sections:
1) a theoretical model for interpreting the research
on teacher beliefs and behavior
2) research which defines beliefs and the importance
of beliefs in teaching
3) the definition and rationale for developmentally
appropriate practice in early childhood education through
the primary years
4) educational research about the relationship
between beliefs and practices.
A Model for Teachers' Theories of Action
Argyris and Schon (1974) suggest that theories of
action determine all deliberate behavior. Such theories
of action depend on a set of stated or unstated
assumptions and beliefs. According to their view, when
someone is asked how he or she would behave under certain
circumstances, the answer one usually gives is their
espoused theory of action for the situation--the theory
of action to which one gives allegiance and communicates


20
to others. However, the theory that actually governs
one's actions is one's theory-in-use, which may or may
not be compatible with one's espoused theory (p. 7).
Congruence exists when one's espoused theory matches the
theory-in-use--one's behavior fits one's espoused theory
of action.
As explained by Argyris and Schon, theories are
vehicles for explanation, prediction, or control.
An explanatory theory explains events by setting
forth propositions from which these events may be
inferred, a predictive theory sets forth
propositions from which inferences about future
events may be made, and a theory of control
describes the conditions under which events of a
certain kind may be made to occur, (p. 5)
As a theory, theories of action share general
properties that all theories share--generality,
relevance, consistency, completeness, testability,
centrality, and simplicity. Theories of action depend on
a set of stated or unstated assumptions and beliefs
(Argyris & Schon, 1974).
Argyris and Schon suggest that theories of
professional practice are best understood as special
cases of the theories of action that determine all
deliberate behavior. A theory of practice consists of
"a set of interrelated theories of action that specify
for the situations of the practice the actions that will,


21
under relevant assumptions, yield intended consequences"
(p. 6).
According to Argyris and Schon, theories-in-use
include assumptions about self, others, the situation,
and the connections among action, consequence, and
situation (p. 7). Theories-in-use cannot be determined
simply by asking; they must be constructed from
observations of behavior.
Theories-in-use are means for getting what we want.
They specify strategies for every kind of intended
consequence. Theories-in-use are also a means for
maintaining certain kinds of constancy, for keeping
certain governing variables of interest to us within a
range acceptable to us.
Our theories-in-use specify which variables we are
interested in (as opposed to the constraints of our
environment about which we can do nothing) and
thereby set boundaries to action. Within these
boundaries, theories-in-use provide the programs by
which the variables may be managed. (Argyris &
Schon, 1974, p. 15)
Thus, theories-in-use create the teachers' behavioral
world as they act according to the requirements of the
governing variables of their theories-in-use.
Teachers work at maintaining the constancy of their
theories-in-use. Theories-in-use are the means of
maintaining specific constancies, but they also come to
be valued in their own right for the constancy of the


22
world-picture they provide. 'The inherent variability of
the behavioral world gives us more information than we
can handle, so we value a stable world-picture, being
predictable, and being able to predict" (Argyris & Schon,
1974, pp. 16-17). Teachers work at maintaining their
theories-in-use, even when they prove ineffective.
According to Argyris and Schon, whether theories-
in-use tend to "create a behavioral world that
constrains or frees the individual" depends on answers to
the following questions: Are the theories-in-use
internally consistent? Are they congruent? Are they
testable? Are they effective? Do we value the worlds
they create (1974, p. 20).
Internal consistency involves the absence of self-
contradiction. Internal inconsistency results when one
variable (such as teacher control) falls out of its
acceptable range if the other variable (such as child
choice) is brought into the acceptable range.
Congruence means that one's espoused theory matches
one's theory-in-use--their behavior fits their espoused
theory of action and inner feelings are expressed in
actions. Congruence allows for
an integration of one's internal (what one who is
aware of my feelings and beliefs would perceive) and
external (what an outsider who is aware only of my
behavior would perceive) state. Lack of congruence
between espoused theory and theory-in-use may
precipitate search for a modification of either


23
theory since we tend to value both espoused theory
(image of self) and congruence(integration of doing
and believing). (Argyris & Schon, 1974, p. 23)
A theory-in-use is effective when action according
to the theory tends to achieve its governing variables.
Testing consists of evaluating whether the action yields
its predicted results. If it does, the theory-in-use has
been confirmed (Argyris & Schon, 1974, pp. 24-25).
Argyris and Schon's work on theories-in-use has
direct application to the training and supervision of
teachers. According to their view, "understanding how
we diagnose and construct our experience, take action,
and monitor our behavior while simultaneously achieving
our goals is crucial to understanding and enhancing
effectiveness" (p. xi). Argyris and Schon see a
distinct advantage to explicitly stating one's theories-
in-use. Substituting the word "teacher" for the word
"agent" makes the following quote directly applicable to
teachers:
If the teacher is performing ineffectively and does
not know why or if others are aware of his
ineffectiveness and he is not, explicitly stating
his theory-in-use allows conscious criticism. The
teacher's efforts to defend his tacit theory-in-use
may prevent his learning to behave differently; he
may not be willing to behave differently until he
has examined his theory-in-use explicitly and
compared it with alternatives. He may be unable to
test his theory-in-use until he has made it
explicit, (pp. 14-15)
Argyris and Schon contend that we value the
constancy of our theories-in-use and our behavioral


24
worlds; thus theories-in-use tend to be self-maintaining.
They suggest people adopt strategies to avoid perceiving
that data do not fit and the behavioral reality is
increasingly divergent from one's theory of it.
However, occassionally people are faced with dilemmas
which require change in their theory-in-use. As defined
by Argyris and Schon, dilemmas consist of a conflict
between some element of the prevailing theory-in-use and
some criterion applicable to the theory.
--Dilemmas of incongruity arise out of the
progressively developing incongruity between espoused
theory and theory-in-use. "In order for such conflicts
to become dilemmas, the elements of espoused theory must
be central to the protagonist's self-image, and events
must emphasize the conflict between espoused theory and
theory-in-use in ways that overcome normal attempts to
avoid noticing the conflict" (p. 30).
--Dilemmas of inconsistency arise when the governing
variables of theory-in-use become increasingly
incompatible.
--Dilemmas of effectiveness arise when governing
variables in theory-in-use/behavioral-world interaction
become unachievable.


25
--Dilemmas of value arise when the behavioral world
created by the theory-in-use becomes intolerable (pp. 30-
31) .
Using Agyris and Schon's ideas as applied to
teachers, one could expect that teachers develop a
repertoire of devices* by which to protect their
theories-in-use from dilemmas:
1. Teachers may try to compartmentalize--separating
their espoused theory and theory-in-use. "One goes on
speaking in the language of one theory, acting in the
language of another, and maintaining the illusion of
congruence through systematic self-deception" (p. 33)
2. Teachers may become selectively inattentive to
the data that point to dilemmas.
3. The teacher introduces change, but only into his
or her espoused theory--leaving their theory-in-use
unchanged.
4. The teacher introduces marginal change into his
or her theory-in-use, leaving the core untouched.
Incongruity becomes intolerable when teachers find
that they cannot realize the central governing variables
of the espoused theory on which their self-esteem
depends. Thus the basic dilemma is one of effectiveness
and constancy. The teacher 'strives to be effective and
to keep constant his theory-in-use and the behavioral


I
26
world he has created. When, finally, he cannot do both
in spite of his full repertoire of defenses, he may
change the governing variables of his theory-in-use"
(Argyris & Schon, 1974, p. 38).
According to Argyris and Schon, the goals of the
process of constructing/modifying theories-in-use must be
produce data that help the individual to learn; help
individuals gain insight into the conditions under
which their defenses as well as their theories-in-
use inhibit and facilitate their growth and the
growth of others; provide information from which
individuals can design programs for self-
improvement, gain help from others, and evaluate
their progress; and help individuals learn how
to discover their own theories-in-use and generate
new ones--that is, learn to generate directly
observable data, infer theories-in-use, alter
theories-in-use, and test new theories of action.
(p. 39)
Definition of Beliefs and the Importance of
Beliefs in Teaching
Definition of Beliefs
Sigel defined beliefs as individual constructions of
reality constructed from personal experience (1985, p.
349). The source of beliefs is personal experience and
the individual's perception of that experience, not
provable knowledge. Sigel asserts that beliefs
statements are not synonymous to fact statements
(knowledge) in that


27
beliefs are knowledge in the sense that the
individual knows that what he (or she) espouses is
true or probably true, and evidence may or may not
be deemed necessary; or if evidence is used, it
forms a basis for the belief but is not the belief
itself, (p. 348)
Thus while knowledge is derived from provable
evidence, beliefs can be based on non-verifiable emotions
and speculation. According to Sigel, an individual does
not seek provable fact statements to substantiate his or
her position but may instead adopt the belief merely
because it has been useful in his or her personal
experience (1985, p. 349).
Sigel asserts that beliefs may be either conscious
or non-conscious. Individuals may or may not be aware of
their beliefs and therefore may or may not be able to
articulate them.
Acording to Sigel (1985), the degree to which
beliefs are related to behavior is modified by several
conditions: (a)intentionality--the willingness and/or
ability to act in harmony with one's beliefs of how, (b)
attitudes regarding the action as well as the object of
one's actions, and (c) the value of the action and
consequent interaction (p. 356).
In addition, Sigel maintains that beliefs do not
occur in isolation but must be considered within the
surrounding context. Belief-behavior interaction is
influenced by factors such as education, contacts with


28
significant others, cultural traditions, and past
individual experience (p. 357).
Nespor (1987) presents a conceptualization of
beliefs grounded in current research in cognitive
psychology which supports Sigel's definition of beliefs.
Nespor contends that several features serve to
distinguish 'beliefs' from 'knowledge':
1. Existential presumption--Belief systems
frequently contain propositions or assumptions about the
existence or nonexistence of entities--such as the
entities thought to be embodied by the students. The
"conversion of transitory, ambiguous, or abstract
characteristics into stable, well-defined and concrete
entities is important because such entities tend to be
seen as immutable--as beyond the teacher's control and
influence" (p. 318).
2. Alternativitv--Beliefs often include
representations of 'alternative worlds' or 'alternative
realities'--conceptualizations of ideal situations
differing signficantly from present realities. "In this
respect, beliefs serve as means of defining goals and
tasks, whereas knowledge systems come into play where
goals and the paths to their attainment are well-defined"
(p. 319).


29
3. Affective and evaluative aspects--Accordina to
Nespor, belief systems rely much more heavily on
affective and evaluative components than knowledge
systems. She contends that affect and evaluation can be
important regulators of the amount of energy teachers
will put into activities" (p. 320).
4. Episodic structure--Information in knowledge
systems is stored primarily in semantic networks, while
belief systems are composed mainly of 1 episodically'-
stored material derived from personal experience or from
cultural or institutional sources. Beliefs "often
derive their subjective power, authority, and legitimacy
from particular episodes or events" (p. 320).
5. Non-consensualitv--Belief systems consist of
"propositions, concepts, arguments that are recognized --
by those who hold them or by outsiders--as being in
dispute or as in principle disputable" (p. 320). Much of
the non-consensuality of beliefs derives from a lack of
agreement over how they are to be evaluated. By
contrast, part of the consensus characterizing knowledge
systems is a consensus about the ways in which knowledge
can be evaluated or judged (p. 320).


30
Importance of Beliefs in Teaching
Several researchers have discussed the manner in
which the beliefs of teachers influence their decisions
and behavior in the classroom (Bauch, 1984; Janesick,
1979; Mayer, 1985; Munby, 1983; Schickedanz, York,
Steward, & White, 1983; Spodek, 1987, 1988). Beliefs
have been described as providing a screen through which
teachers view the world and establish the basis for
teachers' action (Harvey, 1970; Nespor, 1985; Spodek &
Rucinski, 1984).
According to Spodek (1987), "teachers actions and
classroom decisions are driven by their perceptions and
beliefs. They create conceptions of their professional
world based upon their perceptions of reality and their
beliefs of what is true" (p. 197). Spodek (1988)
discussed the role of teachers' "implicit theories" in
guiding instruction. Implicit theories are the ideas
about child development and instruction that teachers
develop from their personal experience based on their
practical knowledge. According to Spodek, they differ
from the explicit theories of the profession which are
taught in education and child development courses.
Teachers' implicit theories provide a way to interpret
events and a means of predicting the consequences of


31
teachers' actions, which Spodek noted is consistent with
Argyris and Schon's (1974) concept of "theories- in-use."
Nespor (1985) maintains that teachers' beliefs about
teaching play a crucial role in the way they formulate
goals and define the tasks of teaching. Nespor conducted
the Teacher Beliefs Study, an intensive, two-year program
of research on the structures and functions of teachers'
belief systems. Eight teachers in three school districts
were videotaped to construct verbatim records of
classroom actions and were interviewed using a variety of
techniques, including stimulated recall, and "repertory
grid" to generate data on the teachers' beliefs.
Teachers were found to act according to reasons that made
sense to them in terms of what they considered the goals
of teaching to be. Analyzing the data lead Nespor to the
conclusion that teachers have conceptual systems, even
though they may be implicit and unsystematized, which are
used for making sense of, evaluating, and justifying
classroom activities and interactions.
Using extensive participant observation and
interviews, Janesick (1979) observed one sixth-grade
teacher's classroom and discovered how his perception of
his class determined his decision making and leadership
style. This teacher perceived his class as a cohesive,
interacting group. He believed that it was important to


32
maintain a sense of unity within his classroom, by
organizing daily activities to promote the values of
respect and cooperation and by demonstrating the
behaviors he wished his students to model. Janesick
noted that "outside influences, such as district-mandated
management-by-objectives system in reading and math,
intervention by the principal or other staff members, and
directives from parents had little or no effect on the
classroom curriculum" (p. 28). She concluded that the
teacher's classroom perspective was the source of the
curriculum of the classroom.
The Definition and Rationale for Developmentally
Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Education
Through the Primary Years
Definition of Developmentallv Appropriate
The National Association for the Education of Young
Children (NAEYC) has been at the forefront in delineating
developmentally practice for young children. NAEYC's
original position statement on developmentally
appropriate practices (1986b) focused most specifically
on programs for 4- and 5- year olds, because of concerns
about the formally academic content of many
prekindergarten and kindergarten curricula. A recently
expanded position statement (Bredekamp, 1987) presents
components of appropriate and inappropriate practice for


i
33
each of five age groups: infants, toddlers, 3-year-olds,
4-and 5-year-olds, and primary grade children. This
document represents the expertise of many of the foremost
authorities in the field and the experience of hundreds
of early childhood educators.
In this NAEYC position statement, the concept of
developmentally appropriate practice is defined based
upon the knowledge of the typical development of children
within a certain age span (age appropriateness) as well
as the uniqueness of the individual (individual
appropriateness).
As indicated by the references cited in the 1987
guidelines (including Biber, Elkind, Erikson, Kamii,
Katz, Piaget, and Schweinhart), the content of these
guidelines is strongly influenced by those developmental
and educational theories and research findings which
emphasize direct experience, concrete materials, child-
initiated activity, responsive adults and social
interaction. This is contrasted with inappropriate
practice which ignores the concrete, hands-on approach to
learning and emphasizes teacher-directed large-group
instruction focusing on the direct teaching of specific,
discrete skills through the use of paper and pencil
activities and much drill and practice.


34
In the NAEYC guidelines, the components of a primary
grade educational program (such as curriculum goals,
teaching strategies, integrated curriculum, guidance of
social-emotional development, motivation, parent-teacher
relations, evaluation) are described. Statements of
appropriate practice are paired with a corresponding
inappropriate practice. For example, the following pair
is found within the category of "integrated curriculum"
in programs for the primary grades:
APPROPRIATE Practice: The goals of the language and
literacy program are for children to expand their ability
to communicate orally and through reading and writing,
and to enjoy these activities. Technical skills or
subskills are taught as needed to accomplish the larger
goals, not as the goal itself.
INNAPPROPRIATE Practice: The goal of the reading
program is for each child to pass the standardized tests
throughout the year at or near grade level. Reading is
taught as the acquisition of skills and subskills.
(Bredekamp, 1987, p.70)
Primary Grades as a Part of Early Childhood
The period of early childhood between ages 2 and 7
is what Piaget called the preoperational stage of human
development (Piaget, 1970; Piaget & Inhelder, 1969) .
Piaget viewed preoperational children as dominated by
perceptions, focusing on only one aspect of an event or
object at a time, rather than understanding underlying
concepts and relations. They are rarely able to think
hypothetically or deal with abstractions. Piaget found


35
that children make cognitive discoveries by interacting
with objects and learning from trial and error. Based on
the work of Piaget, Schweinhart and Weikart (1988)
contend that the effectiveness of early childhood
education depends not only on the content that is offered
but also on the opportunities to explore this content
actively and think about the experience. "Later, the
concrete-operational child is intellectually disposed
toward social rules, regulations, and systematic
learning, but such matters are both uncharacteristic and
unnecessary during the preoperational period" (p. 216).
According to Katz (1990), contemporary research
confirms that young children learn most effectively when
they are engaged in interaction rather than in merely
receptive or passive activities. She asserts that young
children should be interacting with adults, materials,
and their surroundings in ways which help them make sense
of their own experiences and environment. Interaction
that arises in the course of such activities provides a
context for social and cognitive learning. Katz (1990)
identifies four kinds of learning in early childhood--
knowledge, skills, feelings and dispositions. She
defines dispositions as enduring "habits of mind,"
characteristic ways of responding to experience. Katz
argues that one goal of early childhood education is to


36
support the young child's dispositions toward curiosity,
humor, creativity, persistence, willingness to engage in
conversations, and explorations of the environment. Such
explorations not only form the foundations of physical,
logical, and mathematical knowledge (Piaget, 1970), but
they lead to the development of the dispositions of a
responsible, creative learner. According to Schweinhart
and Weikart (1988), teacher-directed instruction on the
basic academic skills during the preoperational period
makes learning-style demands that are appropriate for
children several years older. Early childhood education
provides for the development of skills that form the
basis of later development, but the "basic skills" of the
preoperational period are not those of the concrete-
operational period. Like Katz, they emphasize the
dispositions with which the child approaches learning and
activity. In their view, a high-quality early education
guides the child into a course of development supported
by knowledge, skills, and dispositions that guide
learning and social relationships into adulthood (p.
218) .
The National Association of State Boards of
Education (NASBE) represents state boards of education,
which are elected or appointed bodies of lay citizens
responsible for setting standards, approving programs,


37
and developing policies for public schools. In July-
1986, NASBE began a program of technical assistance to
help state policymakers plan new early childhood
initiatives. The NASBE Task Force addressed a variety
of concerns regarding recent trends in teaching,
curriculum, and assessment practices in the early grades
including increased use of standardized tests for younger
children, prevalence of worksheets and workbooks,
tracking and retention of children, increased focus on
narrowly defined basic skiils, and a segmented and
fragmented approach to the teaching of skills and
content. Early childhood experts testifying before the
Task Force criticized these trends as inconsistent with
knowledge of how children learn best in their early years
of schooling. The NASBE Task Force report, Right from
the Start. seeks to broaden the definition of early
childhood issues to promote improvements in kindergarten
and the early grades. Its recommendations reflect child
development principles: learning occurs best when there
is a focus on the whole child; learning for children and
adults is interactive; young children learn from concrete
work and play; young children are profoundly influenced
by their families and the surrounding community (Schultz
& Lombardi, 1989). According to Schultz & Lombardi, the
NASBE report advances the thinking of public school


38
leaders about the importance of viewing early childhood
as a continuum from birth through age 8 and is
significant as an added endorsement for the major child
development principles advocated by NAEYC.
Developmentally Appropriate Instructional Methods
According to Katz (1990), the younger the children
are, the greater the variety of teaching methods and the
more informal the learning environment should be.
Informal learning environments encourage spontaneous play
and cooperative effort. She asserts that preschool and
kindergarten experiences require an approach in which
children interact in small groups as they work together
on projects which help them make sense of their own
experience.
As described by Connell, in the early childhood
period
it is primarily not what you teach, but how you
teach that makes for success or failure. More than
fifty years of solid child development research
tells us strongly that children under a mental age
of six years--which many seven-year-olds still are
too--are usually still in the learn-by-doing stage.
We must question whether or not a kindergarten or
first grade (or even a second grade) without a great
many lively play activities and interesting
projects, and a great deal of quiet conversation
among children, is functioning appropriately.
(1987, p. 32)
According to Katz and Chard (1989), the project
approach is a particularly promising strategy for


39
fostering children's interactions as suggested by
research. A project is a group undertaking, usually
around a particular theme or topic. A project involves a
variety of kinds of work over a period of several days or
weeks. A theme of the project may be introduced by the
teacher or children or evolve from discussions they have
together. Webster describes characteristics of well-
designed projects (1990) Such projects (a) promote
childrens attempts to construct their own understanding
and interpretation; (b) include features within the scope
of the project that necessitate the use of basic academic
skills; (c) encourage children's independent, creative
thinking; and (d) are managed in ways that allow for
diverse levels of involvement and provide diverse
cognitive challenges so that no child "fails" (Webster,
1990) .
Another method of teaching in the primary grades
that allows for developmental theory and educational
pratice to be integrated is the use of learning centers
(Gareau & Kennedy, 1991; York, 1977) A learning center
is a clearly defined area of the classroom containing
materials selected by the teacher to facilitate the
teaching-learning process in which a small group of
children, generally from one to six in number, may work
independently (York, 1977) Learning centers are


40
designed to appeal to children's interests and to elicit
their active involvement during learning. Learning
centers structure the learning environment by the
arrangement of space, equipment, and materials through
which children are free to move, choose, and busy
themselves (Myers & Maurer, 1987). Rather than
instructing the entire group of children, the teacher is
freed to interact with small groups or individual
children. According to Myers and Maurer (1987), the
learning centers approach is consistent with
developmentally appropriate practice by allowing the
teacher to consider both the age appropriateness and the
individual appropriateness of learning experience.
Projects and learning centers provide problem
solving situations for young children. Goffin and Tull
(1985) maintain that problem solving is distinctly
different from academic learning. They view academic
skills as representing external knowledge that must be
taught. Problem solving opportunities encourage children
to create new mental relationships by interacting with
the environment. Meaningful problems stimulate
children's mental activity as they relate new
understandings to previous one. This is consistent with
the application of Piaget's ideas to early childhood
education. Cognitive development, from a Piagetian


41
perspective, involves children's interacting with their
environment and the creation of increasingly more complex
relationships that result in a more complete framework
for understanding reality; it is not the accumulation of
isolated pieces of information (Goffin & Tull, 1985).
Problem solving activities enable children to actively
investigate the cause and effects of their actions on the
people and objects in their environment; encourage
children to elaborate and refine their knowledge; promote
initiative, cooperation, independence, curiosity, and a
sense of competence as children see the impact of their
actions in a challenging and responsive environment
(Goffin & Tull, 1985).
According to Goffin and Tull, early childhood
educators should recognize the possibilities for problem
solving in typical classroom activities such as creative
dramatics and puppetry, cooking, blockbuilding,
carpentry, and art. Such everyday activities can be
expanded into problem-solving possibilities by
encouraging children to plan, predict possible outcomes,
make decisions, and observe the results of their actions.
Goffin and Tull also encourage the use of open-ended
materials such as blocks, water, sand, wood, and art
materials because they respond immediately to children's
actions and encourage problem solving by allowing


42
children to test ideas (p. 30). These authors also
point out that the peer interactions inherent in such
classroom activities result in opportunities for
interpersonal problem solving--encouraging children to
consider others' points of view, developing understanding
about social interactions, and assuming more
responsibility in their relationships with peers.
Developmentallv Appropriate Assessment in Early Childhood
The NAEYC Guidelines for Developmentally Appropriate
Practice contain the following statement regarding
assessment.
Assessment of individual children's development and
learning is essential for planning and implementing
developmentally appropriate programs, but should be
used with caution to prevent discrimination against
individuals and to ensure accuracy. Accurate testing
can only be achieved with reliable, valid instruments
and such instruments developed for use with young
children are rare. In the absence of valid
instruments, testing is not valuable. Therefore,
assessment of young children should rely heavily on
the results of observations of their development and
descriptive data. (Bredekamp, 1987, pp. 12-13)
It is further recommended that decisions that have a
major impact on children such as enrollment, retention,
or assignment to remedial or special classes should be
based on multiple sources of information and should never
be based on a single test score. Often intial assessment
takes the form of "readiness testing" with young children
or "achievement testing" with older children. The


43
results of these tests can be used to exclude children
from a program, track them by ability, or otherwise label
them. However, no available school readiness test is
accurate enough to screen children for placement into
programs without a 50% error rate, as reported by
Shepard & Smith (1986). Therefore, the results obtained
on a single administration of a test must be confirmed
through periodic assessment and corroborated by other
sources of information to be considered reliable.
Recommended sources of assessment information include
combinations of: (a) systematic observations by teachers
and other professionsals; (b) samples of children's work
such as drawings, paintings, dictated stories, writing
samples, and projects; and (c) observations and anecdotes
related by parents and other family members (Bredekamp,
1987; Meisels, 1989; The National Association for the
Education of Young Children and the National Association
of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of
Education, NAECS/SDE, 1991) .
Further NAEYC and NAECS/SDE recommendations which
are most relevant to a discussion of curriculum and
instructional practices in the primary grades include
(1991, p. 32):
1. Curriculum and assessment are integrated
throughout the program; assessment is congruent with and


44
relevant to the goals, objectives, and content of the
program.
2. Assessment results in benefits to the child such
as needed adjustments in the curriculum or more
individualized instruction and improvements in the
program.
3. Children's development and learning in all the
domains--physical, social, emotional, and cognitive--are
informally and routinely assessed by teachers observing
children's activities and interactions and listening to
them as they talk.
4. Assessment relies on demonstrated performance
during real, not contrived activities--for example real
reading and writing activities rather than only skills
testing.
5. Assessment utilizes an array of tools and a
variety of processes including but not limited to
collections of representative work by children (artwork,
stories they write, tape recordings of their reading),
records of systematic observations by teachers, records
of conversations and interviews with child, teachers'
summaries of children's progress.


45
Early Childhood Teacher Certification
The Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) and the
National Association for the Education of Young Children
(NAEYC) have jointly developed guidelines for
certification standards for teachers in programs serving
children from birth through 8 years of age (1991). The
Early Childhood Teacher Certification Guidelines
recommend the establishment of specialized early
childhood teacher certification standards which are
"distinctive from, and independent of, existing
elementary and secondary certifications" (ATE and NAEYC,
1991, p. 17). These organizations contend that the
absence of consistent standards for specialized early
childhood certification has led to the lack of adequate
preparation programs in early childhood education at the
baccalaureate level in many states.
The ATE and NAEYC argue that early childhood
teachers must be adequately informed about the "unique
developmental characteristics of young children and the
implications for curriculum and instruction" (1991, p.
17). They recommend that this specialized knowledge must
be reflected in standards for early childhood teacher
certification established by state boards of education
and other certifying agencies to ensure that the
certified early childhood teacher will demonstrate


46
professional knowledge, attitudes, dispositions,
values, and attitudes regarding growth,development,
and learning; family and community relations;
curriculum development, content, and implementation;
health, safety, and nutrition; field experiences and
professional internship; and professionalism. (p.
19)
Pressure for Inappropriate Practice and Its Effects
Despite the accumulation of theory, research, and
teaching experience in favor of instructing children at
their level of intellectual, social, and physical
maturity, there is not broad acceptance of
developmentally appropriate education for young children
because developmentally appropriate curriculum and
teaching practices contradict much of the pedagogy in
today's schools (Warger, 1988). The paradigm that
dominates contemporary American education is behavioral.
At the core of the behavioral paradigm are the
assumptions that (a) only observable behaviors that can
be measured are of value and (b) the basic principles of
learning are the laws of classical and operant
conditioning. According to this view, each behavior is
taught through a stimulus-response pattern. Through an
analysis of prerequisite and component skills needed to
perform the task, a skill sequence is planned. The
teacher identifies the child's entry level skills, then


47
presents instruction along predetermined lines based upon
the skill sequence.
The task of the teacher is the transmission of
knowledge through direct instruction. According to
Schweinhart & Weikart (1988), teacher-directed
instruction produces a standard product by relying on the
standard practices of lecture, teacher-centered
discussions, and paperwork. The teacher provides the
stimulus to the child (spoken and written information)
and checks to make sure the information has been received
through questioning, paperwork, and standardized tests.
Willert and Kamii assert that this kind of early direct
instruction is based on the erroneous assumption that
"children are like empty glasses who learn by having bits
of knowledge poured into them and that the sooner we
start to fill the glasses, the sooner this process will
be completed" (1985, p. 3).
Shepard and Smith (1988) contend that the academic
demands in the primary grades are higher today than
twenty years ago and continue to escalate. They suggest
that the downward shift of what were next-grade
expectations into the earliest grades results from
demands for acceleration from middle-class parents and
demand from the public that schools be accountable for
preparation in academic skills. "Promotional gates" at


I
48
the third or sixth grade become translated downward into
fixed requirements for the end of first and second grade.
The increased demand for accountability also results in
the increased use of standardized achievement tests,
which results in a narrow curricular focus. Kamii (1985)
reports that primary grade teachers feel compelled to
give phonics lessons because they are expected to produce
acceptable test scores. Although many teachers believe
that first graders cannot possibly understand missing
addends and place value, they feel required to teach this
content because it is on the achievement test.
NAEYC asserts that "the trend toward early academics
is antithetical to what we know about how young children
learn" (p. 4, 1986a). Highly formalized activities that
occur too early deprive children of time to learn from
play, substitute inappropriate symbolic learning for
manipulative learning, detach reading from normal
language development stifle natural exploration, and
increases stress (Elkind, 1987; Kamii, 1985; NAEYC,
1986a).
Willert and Kamii (1985) suggest that authoritarian
teachers who tell children what to do from one moment to
the next thwart children's initiative and curiosity.
Katz (1990) states that the risk of early instruction in
beginning reading skills is that the amount of drill and


49
practice required for success at an early age will
undermine children's disposition to be readers.
Shepard and Smith (1988) noted that fixed, higher
standards cause many more children to fail. They report
that policies such as raising the entrance age for
kindergarten, readiness screening, and kindergarten
retention--which are intended to solve the problem of
inappropriate academic demand by removing younger or
unready children--have not been effective in reducing the
failure rate in kindergarten and first grade.
The Relationship Between Beliefs and Practice
Curriculum Innovation and Curriculum Design
An extensive study of the understandings of teachers
under conditions of a change to open and less formal
approaches to instruction was conducted by Bussis,
Chittenden, and Amarel (1976) They interviewed 60
kindergarten, first, and second grade teachers, then
analyzed and categorized their responses into categories
representing curriculum, understanding of children's
perceptions of the working environment, and perceptions
of support from advisers.
These researchers made a distinction between "the
surface content of curriculum and a deeper level of


50
organizing content...with 'surface' referring to the
manifest activities and materials in the classroom and
the 'deeper level' referring to the purposes and
priorities a teacher holds for children's learning"
(Bussis et al., p. 4).
Bussis et al. found that teachers differed
significantly in the number of learning priorities held,
in their awareness of the existence of these priorities,
and in their perceptions of the connection between
priorities and the surface content of the curriculum.
Another discovery that the researchers made was that
a substantial percentage of the teachers held
philosophies inconsistent with the open-classroom
approach and dealt with the conflict in different
manners. One group of teachers behaved in their
traditional manner and showed no evidence of changing
their surface curriculum in the classroom. Another group
of teachers followed the open-classroom program while
experiencing a great deal of anxiety and frustration.
They encouraged group interaction in their classroom but
experienced a fear of management problems.
In general, the belief-behavior relationship was
stronger for those teachers whose construct systems were
clearly formulated and articulated. The researcher
concluded that teachers need to have a philosophical


51
commitment to an innovative program in order for it to
work and an ability to see the connection between their
priorities for children's learning and the surface
curriculum. Bussis et al. also concluded that aides and
parents were more influential in shaping teacher behavior
than were the principal or school policies (1976) .
How teachers' beliefs and principles interact with
the adoption of an externally imposed novel curricula is
the focus of a study by Olson (1981). He investigated
the dilemma that teachers face when the beliefs embedded
in an innovation are perceived by them to be
fundamentally at odds with their perceptions of their
roles in the classroom. Olson's study investigates the
thoughts and feelings of eight science teachers who
attempted to implement the English Schools Council
Integrated Science Project (SCISP). The researchers
speculated that teacher implementation of SCISP would
cause difficulty for the teachers because the curriculum,
based on the inquiry approach, emphasized the process of
instruction (as opposed to content) and free-ranging
discussion periods. This was contrary to the conception
of teaching held by the teachers using the curriculum,
who were very traditional.
To probe for the features of teachers' beliefs of
interest to his study, Olson used the Repertory Grid


52
Technique of Kelly (1955) and found that "an important
common and underlying construct in the practical language
of teachers is that of classroom influence* (Olson, 1981,
p. 264) This construct conflicted with the new science
curriculum that advocated a low influence teaching style,
with the teacher as a facilitator of open discussion
encouraging students to discover knowledge on their own.
Olson found that teachers did not have a language"
for explaining the innovations in this program.
Consequently they translated the program into their own
frame of reference. Teachers resolved the dilemma of
dealing with a curriculum which called for low classroom
influence in a number of ways. One teacher used open-
ended discussion questions as an opportunity to deliver
information through direct instruction. Another teacher
used project questions as end-of-chapter, homework-type
questions. Discussion periods were viewed by one teacher
as a time for students to freely talk without any teacher
guidance, thus downplaying the importance of the
discussion. For another, discussion lessons were viewed
as 'pure waffle" (Olson, 1981).
In summary, Olson found that teaching behavior in
the classroom is linked to belief systems about the role
of the teacher and appropriate curriculum; teachers'
beliefs and principles interact with curricular


53
innovations resulting in translations which radically
alter the curriculum as practiced.
The conclusion drawn from the Bussis et al. and the
Olson studies is that when teachers are confronted with a
teaching method containing beliefs inconsistent with
their own, they tend to return to a practice that is
more consistent with their own belief system, thus
supporting the contention that beliefs create practice.
In a qualitative study to determine the nature of
teachers' beliefs and principles regarding curriculum and
teaching, Munby (1983) found that teachers were extremely
diverse in their beliefs about teaching, including
teachers instructing in the same curricular areas. Munby
concluded that this diversity of beliefs accounted for
the fact that the same curriculum was implemented
differently across classrooms. Munby suggests that
curriculum designers must consider teachers' beliefs
systems in that teachers' beliefs and principles interact
with the adoption of curricula.
Munby's conclusions are consistent with Robertss
(1980) conception of a "theory-practice interface"
wherein a teacher's beliefs and principles, together with
his perception of the professional context in which he
finds himself, interact with the text of curriculum


54
materials and the embedded views, conceptualizations, and
intents of the curriculum developer.
Preschool Teachers
According to Spodek (1987), teachers actions and
classroom decisions are driven by their perceptions and
beliefs. They create conceptions of their professional
world based upon their perceptions of reality and their
beliefs of what is true. "These understandings, and the
thought processes that lead to them, become the basis of
the teacher's actions. To understand the nature of
teaching one must understand teachers' processes of
thinking about teaching, and the belief systems that
drive these processes" (p. 197).
Spodek (1987) conducted a study designed to examine
preschool teachers' thoughts related to decision-making
in the classroom. Observations of four preschool
teachers were recorded in a notebook. Following
classroom visits, observers reviewed recordings and
identified the decisions made by the teacher.
Descriptions of teacher decisions and their context were
presented to teachers in an interview session later that
day. Teachers were asked about reasons for their
decisions. Interviews were audiotaped and later
transcribed. The statements regarding their thoughts


55
were dichotomized into "scientific concepts--statements
of what was thought to be true and "value beliefs
statements of what was thought to be right.
It was found that these preschool teachers generated
a greater variety of beliefs and concepts than had
primary teachers studied earlier, with fewer of them held
in common. Most of the teachers' concerns were with
classroom management rather than with achieving the goals
of the program. "The fact that so many of the thoughts
underlying the teachers' classroom decisions were related
to values and were concerned with the process of
maintaining classroom activities seems to raise issues
about the foundation of early childhood educational
practice" (Spodek, 1987, p. 206). Spodek contends that
many early childhood educators view the field as a
practical application of the scientific field of child
development and assume that providing increased knowledge
of child develop research and theory will improve the
work of the classroom teachers (Caldwell, 1984; Katz,
1984). However, the results of this study indicate that
relatively few of the theories used by the teachers were
grounded in reliable knowledge of child development.
Spodek suggests that the teachers' decisions seem to be
based on a form of personal practical knowledge rather
than the technical knowledge of child development and


56
learning theory. He further concluded that the teachers'
thinking processes determined the actions that were taken
in the classroom. Teacher belief statements provided for
an interpretation of events and a way of predicting the
consequence of teachers' action. According to Spodek,
this is consistent with the concept of "theories-in-use"
as described by Argyris and Schon (1974). "Such theories
determine the internal consistency of the actions of
practitioners" (Spodek, 1987, p. 199).
The purpose of a study by Verma and Peters (1975)
was the development of appropriate and theoretically
relevant measures for the naturalistic observation of
teacher/child interaction patterns within day care
settings and for assessing the beliefs or attitudes held
by the observed teachers. The theories of Piaget and
Skinner were used as the foundation of the rating
instrument developed to measure teachers beliefs about
child development and learning. The resulting Teacher
Belief Rating Scale consisted of items representing
Operant and Piagetian beliefs. A Teacher Practices
Observations Form was developed by formulating observable
behavioral categories, each of which correspond to the
items on the belief scale. When administered to teachers
in programs that were designed to follow either Piagetian
or operant principles, the teachers' beliefs and


57
practices were consistent. However, when the measures
were used with 38 day care teachers from a variety of
programs, the researchers found that the day care
teachers agreed significantly more with Piagetian beliefs
than with operant beliefs, but behave in ways more
consistent with operant theory than with Piagetian
theory. The results indicated that only two of the 38
teachers had practices that were consistent with their
beliefs.
Gonzalez-Vargas (1984) examined the relationship
among three variables: "teacher beliefs regarding child
development theories, teacher structure as observed by
experts, and teacher structure as perceived by the
teachers themselves" (p.2). She defined teacher
structure as "the manner in which teachers organize the
educational setting regarding the day-to-day curriculum,
the physical environment and the way they relate to
children" (p. 6).
Gonzalez-Vargas interviewed and observed 34 early
childhood teachers. It was predicted that there would be
a positive relationship between teacher beliefs and
teacher behavior as demonstrated by an agreement between
teacher beliefs regarding child development and teacher
structure. Results indicated that neither teacher
beliefs about child development nor teacher beliefs about


58
appropriate structure were found to be significantly-
correlated to teacher structure as observed by experts.
Teacher beliefs about child development and teachers
perceptions of their behavior in the classroom were found
to be related.
This relationship indicated that teachers who showed
strong beliefs in favor of behavioristic theory
perceived themselves as high structure teachers,
teachers who showed preference for maturationist
theory perceived themselves as low structure
teachers and teachers who expressed beliefs in favor
of developmental theory perceived themselves as
structured to a degree, but less than that perceived
by the teachers in the behaviorist group and more
than that perceived by the teachers in the
maturationist group. (p. 125)
Based upon guidelines outlined in Developmentallv
Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving
Children from Birth Through Aae 8 (NAEYC, 1986a), Hoot,
Bartkowiak, and Goupil (1989) developed the "Educators'
Beliefs Regarding Preschool Programming" to assess
knowledge of appropriate practice among educators.
Survey items were created to assess beliefs in the sub-
areas described in the NAEYC document. These included
beliefs concerning: curriculum goals, teaching
strategies, guidance of socioemotional development,
language/literacy development, cognitive development,
physical development, aesthetic development, motivation,
parent-teacher relations, assesssment of children,
program entry and staffing.


59
Surveys were returned by 401 elementary and special
education administrators, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten,
primary, intermediate, and special education teachers
from a large Northeastern state. Respondents, in
general, appeared to have a reasonable knowledge of
developmentally appropriate practices and no significant
differences were found between groups in the areas of
cognitive development, aesthetic development, parent-
teacher relations and assessment of young children.
Significant difference among professional groups were
found in the following areas: curriculum goals, teaching
strategies, guidance of socioemotional development,
language/ literacy development, physical development,
motivation, assessment of children, program entry and
staffing. A one-way analysis of variance determined
these significant difference between subject groups:
1. Elementary administrators, special education
administrators, and pre-kindergarten teachers scored
significantly higher than elementary teachers. (High
scores indicate more developmentally appropriate.)
2. Special education administrators, pre-
kindergarten and special education teachers scored
significantly higher than intermediate teachers.
3. Elementary administrators, special education
administrators, pre-kindergarten teachers and special


60
education teachers scored significantly higher than
primary grade teachers.
4. Special education administrators and pre-
kindergarten teachers scored significantly higher than
kindergarten teachers.
Therefore, with the exception of the pre-
kindergarten teachers, those most likely to fill rapidly
developing public school pre-kindergarten positions
(primary and intermediate teachers) scored significantly
lower than elementary and special education
administrators and special education teachers. Hoot et
al. refers to data indicating that teachers with more
formal background in child development and early
childhood education are more likely to carry out
appropriate practices whereas teachers whose previous
teaching experience was with older children seem to have
"a particularly difficult time 'unlearning' inappropriate
methods" (Mitchell & Modigliani, 1989, p. 58). According
to Hoot et al., this information becomes increasingly
problematic in union states where seniority (rather than
competence with a particular age group) is used as
teacher selection critiera for early childhood programs.
The purpose of a study by Wing (1989) was to examine
the relationship between teachers' beliefs, instructional
decisions, and preschool children's conception of reading


61
and writing. Wing summarized two predominant beliefs
about reading that teachers often possess. The first, a
mastery of specific skills/text-based" orientation,
reflects the belief that 'reading ability develops to the
extent that students master specific reading skills...and
to the extent that these skills are taught by another
person" and that "reading consists largely of sounding
out words on a page" (Leu & Kinzer, 1987, pp. 29-39).
The second, a "holistic/reader-based" orientation,
reflects the belief that "reading ability develops as
students engage in meaningful, functional, and holistic
experiences with print and that much of their learning
takes place in a largely inductive fashion." Also
reflected is the belief that "readers use background
knowledge and the evolving meaning of text to help them
make guesses and form expectations for upcoming words"
(Leu Sc Kinzer, 1987, pp. 41-51).
Two nursery schools were selected for the Wing
study. One school was found to have a "mastery of
specific skills/text based" orientation (Montessori
school), and the other was found to have a
holistic/reader-based orientation (constructivist
school). Three sets of data were collected at each
school: director interviews; observations of literacy


62
materials, methods, and experiences; and child
interviews.
The directors' beliefs were found to be highly
consistent with the philosophies of their programs.
Their beliefs were reflected as a mastery of specific
skills/text based orientation (Montessori) or a
holistic/reader-based orientation (constructivist
school). These orientations were also reflected by the
materials and practices in the two programs. From the
child interviews, results indicated that these preschool
children's conceptions of reading and writing reflected
the instructional beliefs and decisions of the nursery
school program in which they were enrolled. The children
in each school gave at least twice as many responses that
reflected their school's orientation toward reading and
writing. Wing concluded that the practices of the
preschool teacher may influence whether children view
reading as "sounding out words" or as "looking at books"
and whether they view writing as "copying letters" or as
writing a story."
Kindergarten Teachers
The conflict between knowledge about how children
grow and learn and how they are actually being taught is
evidenced by the conclusions from a study by Hatch and


63
Freeman (1988a). They interviewed a kindergarten
teacher, a principal, and a central office administrator
responsible for kindergarten programs from each of 12
school districts in Ohio. Analysis of interviews led to
the identification of two broad generalizations:
1) Kindergarten programs are increasingly academic
and skill oriented; and 2) individuals responsible
for implementing these programs may not believe that
their kindergarten best serves the needs of young
children, with the result that these individuals
experience philosophy-reality conflicts, (p. 151)
Interview questions designed to reveal informants'
philosophies of early childhood education were analyzed
and classified into three categories according to their
perceptions about child development: maturationism,
behaviorism, and interactionism.
Maturationism, espoused by Gesell and others,
stresses the role of genetically controlled biological
change in behavior and learning. In contrast,
behaviorism, associated with Skinner, emphasizes the
importance of environmental factors. Interactionism,
also known as cognitive-developmental theory, is based on
the work of Piaget and views development as the dynamic
interaction of the individual with his or her environment
(Hatch & Freeman, 1988a, p. 159).
Hatch and Freeman described the majority of
kindergartens in this study as skill-based, highly
structured, academically focused and based on a direct


64
instruction model, suggesting a behaviorist orientation
to learning and development. No teacher reported using a
child-initiated" approach. Use of learning centers was
limited to *a location in the room where teachers
provided planned activities that children were assigned
to complete" (1988a, p. 157).
Hatch and Freeman reported that of the 36
individuals interviewed, 27.8% of their subjects
communicated beliefs that were classified as
maturationist, 27.8% communicated interactionist beliefs,
and 44.4% communicated behavioristic beliefs. The
researchers described as "surprising" the finding that
55.6% of the subjects held maturationist or
interactionist beliefs while working in or supervising
programs that were behavioristic in practice. This
discrepancy between their own philosophies of education
and the realities of classroom practice was labelled a
philosophy-reality conflict." This conflict was found
to be more prevalent among teachers than principals or
central office supervisors. Over 66% of the teachers
interviewed expressed maturationist or interactionist
beliefs; thus they were in conflict between their
espoused beliefs about what is appropriate to facilitate
learning in young children and their implementation of
behaviorist classroom practices; 50% of the principals


65
and supervisors held maturationist or interactionist
beliefs.
In a study by the Oregon Department of Education
(Hitz, 1986; Hitz & Wright, 1988), researchers also found
educators implementing more academically oriented
practices in the kindergarten while espousing more
developmentally oriented beliefs. Questionnaires were
sent to all elementary principals with kindergartens in
their schools, all kindergarten teachers, and a random
sample of 325 first-grade teachers. One portion of the
survey was designed to determine teacher and educator
views regarding kindergarten curriculum and practices.
Respondents were asked to express level of agreement or
disagreement with twelve statements reflecting one of two
views about kindergarten practices: a formal, structured
view in which workbooks, teacher-directed activities, and
formal testing are emphasized, and a developmental view
that emphasizes the teaching of basic skills and concepts
through direct experience with objects and people.
Principals, kindergarten teachers, and first grade
teachers responded more favorably to the statements
reflecting a developmental philosophy than to statements
reflecting a formal academic approach to teaching
kindergarten. They supported the use of dramatic play,
open-ended materials, and hands-on activities. They


66
disagreed with the heavy use of workbook and other seat
work activity in the kindergarten program. However, when
asked about the degree and direction of change in recent
kindergarten practices, "the most striking response was
the agreement--reported by 61% of the principals, 64%of
the kindergarten teachers, and 72% of the first-grade
teachers--that emphasis on academic skill development has
increased" (Hitz & Wright, 1988, p. 29) .
Kagan and Smith (1988) examined the relationship
between kindergarten teachers' cognitive styles and their
tendency to implement a child-centered vs. a teacher-
structured approach to kindergarten. Fifty-one
kindergarten teachers completed self-report instruments
assessing cognitive style, teaching ideology, classroom
behavior, and occupational stress. In addition, outside
raters recorded two kinds of teacher behavior: "verbal
interactions, and 'mapping' data indicating the positions
of teacher and students within the classroom" (p. 26).
Two inventories were used to measure teachers'
cognitive styles: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Myers &
McCaulley, 1985) and the Inquiry Mode Questionnaire
(Harrison & Bramson, 1977). Teaching attitudes towards
structuring a kindergarten class were assessed with the
Teacher Belief Rating Scale (Verma & Peters, 1975), a
self-report instrument designed to evaluate the beliefs


67
of early childhood teachers in terms of two developmental
theories: Piagetian vs. operant. Evaluations of
teachers' classroom behaviors were made using the Teacher
Structure Checklist (Webster, 1972) .
To analyze the data collected with these
instruments, bivariate relationships among all variables
were evaluated with Pearson correlations. Scores on the
Teacher Belief Rating Scale, the checklist measuring
teachers' perceptions of their own classroom behavior,
and their actual behavior as evaluated by observers using
the Teacher Structure Checklist were all highly
interrelated. Teachers who endorsed child-centered
attitudes used less teacher-structure and more child
focus in their classes.
Endorsement of child-centered beliefs was also
related to a number of observational measures -- use
of relatively little criticism, the tendency to work
and to communicate with individual children or with
small groups rather than with the entire class.
Thus a confluence of self-report, third-party and
observational data appeared to define the child-
centered kindergarten. (Webster, 1972, p. 30)
With respect to scores on the Inquiry Mode
Questionnaire and measures of teacher attitude or
behavior, high scores on the Idealist scale were
consistently associated with behavior and attitudes
characteristic of a child-centered approach to
kindergarten; scores on the Pragmatist and Realist scales
were positively related to behavior characteristic of a


68
teacher-centered approach. Kagan and Smith inferred from
this data that the "use of more teacher structure in
class was regarded by teachers as a more immediately
pragmatic method of classroom management" (p. 33).
Due to high positive correlation among teachers'
beliefs, self-reported classroom behaviors and outside
raters' reports of classroom the researchers suggested
two generalizations:
First, kindergarten teachers did appear to
operationalize their beliefs about the best way to
teach young children. Secondly, teachers were quite
accurate in their own perceptions of the classroom
environment they created. (Webster, 1972, p.33)
Using the NAEYC Position Statement of
Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Programs for 4-
and 5-Year Olds (NAEYC, 1986b), Charlesworth, Hart,
Burts, and Hernandez developed a questionnaire to obtain
information regarding teachers' beliefs and practices.
The questionnaire contained two subscales: the Teacher
Beliefs Scale (TBS) containing 30 items regarding
teachers' beliefs and the Instructional Activities Scale
containing 31 items designed to inventory actual
instructional practice. The items represented several
areas of kindergarten instruction as specified in the
NAEYC guidelines: curriculum goals, teaching strategies,
guidance of socioemotional development, language
development and literacy, cognitive development, physical


69
development, aesthetic development, motivation, and
assessment of children (Charlesworth, Hart, Burts, &
Hernandez, 1990, pp. 12-13) .
The questionnaire was administered to 113
kindergarten teachers in four southern states.
Respondents were asked to provide demographic information
regarding their education and teaching experience and to
estimate the percentage of influence each of the
following have on their planning and implementation of
instruction: parents, parish or school system policy,
principal, teacher (themselves), state regulations and
other teachers. They were asked to assign the
percentages so that the sum of all six categories was
100% (Charlesworth et al., 1990, p. 12).
Classroom observations were used to validate the
accuracy of individual teacher's questionnaire responses,
using the Checklist for Rating Developmentallv
Appropriate Practice in Kindergarten Classrooms, a 27
item observational instrument. Items were constructed
corresponding to the NAEYC guidelines for children ages 5
to 8 (Bredekamp, 1987). Areas included were curriculum
goals, teaching strategies, integrated curriculum,
guidance of socioemotional development, motivation,
parent-teacher relations, evaluation, and transitions
(Charlesworth et al., 1990, p. 15).


70
Correlational analyses were used to determine the
relationships between teacher's perceptions of their own
beliefs and practices. Developmentally appropriate
beliefs were moderately correlated with developmentally
appropriate practices (£=.63, p=.000); a stronger
relationship was found between teacher's developmentally
inappropriate beliefs and inappropriate practices (£=
.71. p= .000). Charlesworth et al. suggested that the
moderate nature of the correlations between beliefs and
practices may be related to the availibility of the
appropriate activites. They noted that in some
kindergarten classrooms
teachers may make appropriate activities available
each day but limit access. For example, students
may have to finish a mountain of workbook and
worksheet activities before having an opportunity
to go to the centers where they can explore more
appropriate materials. Thus only the more capable,
faster workers have access to these materials. In
other classrooms appropriate materials are used,
but only in large group activities. This usually
means waiting for everyone to complete a task
before moving on to the next, again placing a
limitation on access. Teachers responses to the
inappropriate items may be better predictors of
what is really going on in their classrooms than
their responses to the appropriate items. (p. 30)
Responses to the question about influence on teacher
planning and implementation of instruction varied among
teachers. The teachers who had the strongest appropriate
beliefs and who offered appropriate activities most
frequently felt they had greater control over their


71
planning and implementing of instruction. Teachers who
had more developmentally inappropriate beliefs and
practices viewed outside forces such as principals and
parents as having more influence on their planning and
instruction. Charlesworth et al. (1990) speculated that
the more strongly appropriate teachers may have
educational backgrounds which were more child development
oriented, may be people with stronger self concepts who
stand up for their beliefs, or may have a better
articulated theory underlying their practices while
teachers with less appropriate beliefs and practices may
rely more on opinion in forming their implicit theories
and thus turn to outside forces as the determinants of
their instructional programs (p. 32).
Some of the more inappropriate teachers we visited
told us that they 'know better' but that the parents
and/or principal demanded that they use
inappropriate activities. On the otherhand, we have
also talked with teachers who firmly believe that
the inappropriate activities and materials are
'appropriate.' Our results support the need
for principals and parents to become educated
regarding developmentally appropriate educational
practices for young children. (Charlesworth et al.,
1990, p. 32)
In a study utilizing the same Teacher Beliefs Scale.
Instructional Activities Scale, and Checklist for Rating
Developmentallv Appropriate Practice in Kindergarten
Classrooms. researchers explored the relationship between
appropriate and inappropriate practices and stress


72
behaviors in kindergarten children (Burt, Hart,
Charlesworth, Hernandez, Kirk, & Mosley, 1989) Based
on the results of analysis of the observational checklist
for rating developmentally appropriate classrooms, two
classes were selected: one represented a developmentally
appropriate kindergarten setting and the other a
developmentally inappropriate kindergarten setting.
These two teachers were then asked to complete the
Teacher Beliefs Scale and Instructional Activities Scale.
The 37 children in these two classes were observed using
a classroom child stress behavior instrument. Items
selected for this observational tool were derived from an
extensive review of literature that documents
manifestations of stress in child behaviors.
Results indicated that children in the
developmentally inappropriate class exhibited
significantly more stress behaviors than did children in
the developmentally appropriate class; males exhibited
more total stress behaviors than females. According to
Burt et al.(1989, p. 9), these findings provide empirical
data to support the position of Elkind (1986),
Schweinhart and Weikart (1988), Gallagher and Coche
(1987), and Shepard and Smith (1988) who have warned of
the negative consequences of inappropriate practices.
Differences were also found between the two classes in


73
time devoted to various activities, with the more
appropriate classroom exhibiting more center activities,
group stories, and transition activities while the
inappropriate classroom had more whole group and
workbook/ worksheet activities. Burt et al. suggest that
these findings are what one would expect based on the
NAEYC guidelines (Bredekamp, 1987) and help confirm the
validity of the teacher questionnaires and the classroom
observation scale in identifying appropriate and
inappropriate classrooms.
Building on the work of Bussis, Chittenden, and
Amerel (1976), Halliwell (1980) identified and analyzed
the meanings that three kindergarten teachers attached to
the curriculum and activities in their classrooms. To
arrive at the constructs that these kindergarten teachers
held, Halliwell observed the classrooms and interviewed
the teachers. The teachers were provided with
opportunities in the interviews to clarify their reasons
for and the meanings of the activities and interactions
which took place in their classroom.
Halliwell found that the teachers were guided by the
district "curriculum guide." However, the three teachers
differed in the amount of emphasis they attached to the
guide and in the emphasis placed on different areas of
the guide. Each teacher responded to her perception of


74
the needs of the group of children with whom she was
working. A teacher mainstreaming handicapped children
into classroom activities showed special concern that
these children participate and feel a successful part of
the group. Her priorities included helping children to
enjoy school, to get along with others, and to experience
academic growth. A second teacher wanted her program to
be responsive to individual children's interests. Her
priorities were to help children to get along with one
another and to develop thinking skills in the areas of
reading, writing, math, and social studies. The third
teacher wanted to encourage children to care about
themselves and others, to feel responsible for their own
learning, and to acquire a broad base of concepts and
skills.
Halliwell concluded that these teachers' constructs
illuminated the reasons for their own particular actions
and for the development of particular activities and
interactions in their respective classrooms. She
determined that the consistency of teaching practice in
each of these classes could be understood in terms of
each teacher's particular constructs.


75
Primary Teachers
Working with a sample of 182 teachers from Goodlads
study of schooling (1983), Bauch examined the degree to
which the instructional beliefs of teachers influence
their behavior in the classroom. Bauch's theoretical
conceptions described belief systems as a psychological
filter which selectively attends to and admits
information from the environment. The individuals
beliefs are viewed as predispositions to action, in that
beliefs screen the information available for the
formation of attitudes, which influence intentions, which
are the basis for decisions that lead to related behavior
(1984, pp. 2-3). The model of beliefs used by Bauch
assumes that an individual's beliefs are organized around
underlying points of reference which represent something
that is important to an individual--"criterial
referents." Bauch's study attempted to identify from
among two belief referents (teacher control and student
participation), the degree to which one or both was held,
and the extent to which they seemed to influence
classroom teaching behavior and student perceptions of
the classroom environment (Bauch, 1984, p. 4) .
Bauch explored elementary school teachers' beliefs
using a paper-and-pencil inventory, the Teacher Beliefs
Inventory. She assessed teacher practice through


I
76
questionnaires, interviews, and direct observation of
instruction using a modified version of the Stallings
Classroom Observation Instrument. Basing her judgments
on the belief dimensions of teacher discipline and
control and student participation, Bauch labeled teachers
as controllers (scoring high on teacher control, but low
on student participation), strategists (high on both),
laissez-faire (low on both), or relators (low on teacher
control and high on student participation). Bauch's
discussion of the results focused on the two groups of
teachers for whom one of the constructs was criterial:
controllers and relators.
Bauch found that teachers' instructional beliefs
were generally consistent with their teaching behaviors.
Controller teachers were found to express both in belief
and practice classroom curriculum and instructional
behavior different from relator teachers. Controllers
tended to employ lecturing, writing, and test-taking as
their primary methodology. Controller teachers reported
that they were more influenced by curriculum guides,
standardized test results, textbooks, and commercial
materials than by student background and preferences in
planning for teaching. In contrast, relators tended to
promote student self-direction through such activities as
class discussions, dramatizations, projects, and


77
experiments. In planning for teaching, relators
considered student preferences, interests, and abilities
and evaluated students based on student projects,
reports, and performances.
Bauch (1984) attributed the difference in belief
systems to the philosophical presuppositions held by each
group of teachers. Each group was seen as having
different assumptions about human nature, the locus of
culture, and the center of values (society vs.
individual) (p. 20).
Spodek and Rucinski attempted to arrive at teachers'
constructs, as "theory-in-use," by asking them to respond
to actions that take place in their classroom (1984) .
Observations of ongoing classroom activities were
recorded from three first grade classrooms. Observers
reviewed the notes taken during observations and
identified decisions that were made by each teacher.
Descriptions of the teachers' actions and their contexts
were abstracted. Teachers were interviewed about the
decision situations. Interviews were audiotaped and
transcribed, wherein statements of beliefs were
identified by researchers. Statements of beliefs were
edited and presented to the teachers for confirmation or
modification. Statements were organized into ten content
areas and statements of belief about values (representing


78
the "oughts" and "shoulds" of education) were separated
from beliefs about fact (descriptive of attributes of
schools, teachers, children, parents and other adults and
the relationship between such attributes) (Spodek &
Rucinski, 1984, p. 15). Although there was a great deal
of differences in the number of statements generated by
each teacher, the proportion of value-oriented belief
statements to technically-oriented statements was nearly
identical among the three teachers: 60% technical or
"fact" beliefs and 40% "value" beliefs (p. 16).
Researchers were also able to identify three categories
which generated the highest number of beliefs for each
teacher (classroom management, learning, instructional
practices). Spodek suggests that since these three
categories predominated in the statements of all three
teachers, they may reflect the focus of teaching in the
primary classroom. The prevailing perception was that a
class needs to be well managed for any teaching to occur.
Once management is accounted for, the focus of the
teacher is on instruction and learning--the prime role of
the school. Teacher beliefs are "related to the purposes
of primary education and what teachers need to do to
achieve these purposes" (1984, p. 23). Spodek further
asserts that the manner in which these beliefs were
generated, focusing on theories-in-use rather than


79
espoused theories, lead them to be consistent with each
teacher's practice (p. 22).
In presenting background to their study, Regan and
Weininger (1988) acknowledge that a recurring debate in
kindergarten and primary education is the kind of program
appropriate for these early school years. Recently, lack
of agreement concerning the "what" and "how" of early
school experience has been complicated by demands for
"accountability," "excellence," and getting "back to the
basics" (p. 2). According to Regan and Weininger, child
centered education has become the target of critics who
claim that "basics" have been abandoned in the primary
school years.
Regan and Weininger (1988) suggest that supporters
of child centeredness often have difficulty defending
what is
both a philosophy and a particular approach to
classroom practice...Teachers committed to the ideas
that education should be responsive to children's
needs, and that children should feel and be involved
in their own education, are sometimes less certain
of what this commitment means with respect to
program design and teacher role in the
classroom...As a result, they fall prey to critics
who suggest a lack of focus or goals and call for
programs directed toward more standardized and
measurable outcomes. (p. 2)
In this study, videotapes were made of exemplary
child centered practice and the teachers involved were
asked to describe and explain what was happening in the


80
illustrations selected. The objective was to develop a
means for illustrating what exemplary child centered
practice looks like and to allow teachers to share their
goals and how they went about achieving these goals. The
six teachers chosen were committed to a child centered
approach. Criterion for determining child centered
practice was evidence that the program of activities,
experiences and teacher-child interactions in the
classroom was "continually responsive to, and adapted
for, the needs of children in that particular setting at
that particular time" (Regan & Weininger, 1988, p. 3).
Teachers were asked to describe, in writing, "the
beliefs that explain and guide your practice." Regan and
Weininger explained that the concept of "beliefs" was
chosen in exploring teacher thoughts about their practice
for two reasons. First, this concept as discussed by
Sigel (1987) was seen as meeting the purposes of the
investigation. Sigel refers to beliefs as "truth
statements held by an individual" derived from many
sources, which are "at the core of much of our actions"
(Sigel, 1987, p. 216). According to Regan and Weininger
(1988), their observations suggest that what guides
practice in a setting is a combination of the teacher's
assumptions regarding how children develop and learn and
his/her educational values, which are continually


61
influenced by teaching experience. A second reason for
choosing the construct "beliefs" was the researchers'
judgment that "asking teachers to identify 'beliefs'
rather than 'theories' and 'goals and objectives' might
produce a more personal and valid expression of what was
at the core of their thinking" (p. 4).
In their analysis of primary teachers written
responses, Regan and Weininger organized teacher "belief"
statements into three categories: (a) assumptions about
child development and learning, (b) principles of
practice--articulating program goals and guidelines, and
(c) practice prescriptions--specifics associated with
daily classroom activities and teacher-child program
interactions.
Based on their own analysis of the videotapes and
the written responses of graduate students who were asked
to identify beliefs about children, teaching, and
educational goals reflected in the videotape and the
teacher descriptions of the setting, Regan and Weininger
concluded that
education that is responsive to children, engaging
them in their own learning and promoting their sense
of self worth is not without focus or direction when
guided by teachers able to successfully combine a
sense of educational purpose and sensitivity to
children. (1988, p. 9)


62
Principals./Implications for Supervision
Nespor (1987) suggests that to understand teaching
from teachers' perspectives we have to understand the
beliefs with which they define their work. She asserts
that teaching takes on different meanings for different
teachers, and failure to recognize this impairs any
attempt to make sense of what teachers do in the
classroom or why they do it. If the ultimate goal of
research on teaching is to shape, direct, or improve the
practices of teachers, "then the reasons that teacher
have for acting as they do--reasons which make them more
or less amenable to advice and training--must be
examined" (Nespor, 1985, p. 3).
According to Munby (1983), because teaching events
occur in very particular contexts, any attempt to improve
a teacher's practice must consider the uniqueness of the
context and the individual teacher. This includes
obtaining knowledge about the nature of the beliefs and
principles teachers hold. Munby refers to clinical
supervision (Cogan, 1973; Goldhammer, 1969) as an option
which allows the supervisor to address teacher behaviors
and the beliefs or principles which influence teacher
behavior. "One could say that one of the many demanding
tasks to be handled by the clinical supervisor is that of


83
having the teacher face and evaluate his or her beliefs"
(Munby, 1983, p. 10).
Expanding on this idea, Kaplan-Sanoff (1980) asserts
that teachers who can identify their theoretical
assumptions and classroom strategies related to child
learning are better able to make daily educational
decisions based upon a rational and consistent framework
of beliefs. In addition, teachers who are able to
explain their goals and how their strategies will achieve
these goals can justify their teaching positions to
principals and parents and are more likely to receive
their support. Kaplan-Sanoff contends that teachers
should be able to identify their own teaching behavior
and their ideal teaching beliefs. Teachers and
supervisors can then identify the difference between
actual classroom behavior and theoretical teaching
beliefs and work toward making practices and beliefs more
congruent.
With respect to knowledge and beliefs concerning
developmentally appropriate practice, Hatch and Freeman
(1988a) reported that 50% of principals and supervisors
in their study held maturationist or interactionist
beliefs even though the majority of the kindergartens in
their schools operated according to a behaviorist
orientation to learning and development--highly


64
structured, skill-based, academically focused and based
on a direct instruction model. The researchers labelled
this discrepancy between philosophies of education and
the realities of classroom practice a philosophy-reality
conflict.* This conflict was even more prevalent for the
kindergarten teachers; 66% of whom expressed
maturationist or interactionist beliefs.
In a study by Hoot, Bartkowiak, and Goupil (1989),
principals were found to have a better knowledge of
developmentally appropriate practice at the kindergarden
level than primary and intermediate teachers. They
suggested that an explanation for this finding might be
that administrators somehow manage to keep up with
current information in their fields through journals or
workshops. These researchers expressed an interest in
research to see if these administrators managed to
support the implementation of appropriate programs based
on their beliefs, citing a number of obstacles to such
implementation by administrators. As they cited,
Administrators, even more so than teachers, are
pressured to ensure that children learn in their
programs. Parents exert heavy pressure on
administrators. Commercial curriculum developers
influence administrators to purchase kits or
textbooks that they claim will help children excel.
But most importantly, public school administrators
are required to implement various policies mandated
by the local school system or state. (Bredekamp,
1987, p. 84)


85
Brousseau and Freeman (1987) discuss the various
panels and commissions such as the National Commission on
Excellence in Education (1983) which have dramatized the
problem of educational ineffectivenss and call for
reforms to improve education. They cite Odden (1984) who
points out that the recommendations suggested by these
commissions generally focus on what might be called the
"'hardware of educational excellence' (i.e., programs,
standards, and requirements), and seem to propose 'reform
by addition.' What may be more important to school
improvement is reform by reallocation and internal
change" (Odden, 1984, p. 312). Similarly, Goodlad
(1983) argues that developing the capacity of each school
to change and improve may be the only effective strategy
for reforming education. According to Brousseau and
Freeman (1987), a first step toward understanding how to
affect the process of schooling is to understand the
values and beliefs underlying those processes. They
further assert that a clear description of the
educational beliefs of a school's staff is an important
contribution in efforts to understand a teaching culture,
the importance of which is supported by Deal (1985), who
states "unless local educators understand and reckon with
the existing culture of each school, the introduction of
commissions' recommendations or characteristics of


86
effectiveness will probably not work; it may even do more
harm than good" (p. 604).
Teacher Education
According to Mayer (1985) teacher education in
America has always had a tendency to be practice-oriented
as opposed to theory-oriented. He cites research which
suggests that the beliefs teacher hold are an important
determinant of teaching behavior and that those teachers
who do operate from beliefs and theory are in fact more
effective teachers than those who operate at a more
concrete level (Brown, 1969; Buchman, 1983; Olson, 1981).
Mayer argues that findings from research on teacher
beliefs justify devoting more time in teacher education
to the issue of teacher beliefs.
When educators contemplate reforms in teacher
education curricula, they often think in terms of changes
that will upgrade teacher candidates' professional
knowledge or teaching skills. However, some educators
believe that when attention centers on efforts to improve
the way prospective teachers will ultimately act in their
classrooms, it is apparent that teacher education must
also consider educational dispositions and beliefs
(Brousseau & Freeman, 1987; Katz & Raths, 1985).


87
Nespor contends that "even prospective teachers have
conceptual systems--no matter how implicit and
unsystematized these may be--for making sense of,
evaluating, and justifying the things that go on in
classrooms' (1985, p. 3). Nespor sees two responses
possible to deal with the influence of beliefs in
defining and shaping tasks in teaching. One would be to
transform teaching into a set of well-defined tasks by
teaching prospective teachers recipe-like pedagogical
methods and closely monitoring the performance of
teachers. Another response would be to try and change or
shape teachers' beliefs. This would require assisting
teachers and prospective teachers to become consciously
aware of their beliefs, and as Fenstermacher (1979)
suggests, presenting objective data on the adequacy or
validity of their beliefs. Fenstermacher contends that
teachers' beliefs and practices will be transformed only
if alternative or new beliefs are available to replace
the old. He argues, "there is a critical difference
between studying what makes teachers effective and
teaching teachers to be effective' (1979, p. 175).
According to some, this implies that teacher education
must build or displace existing systems of beliefs and
knowledge held by prospective teachers (Feiman-Nemser &
Floden, 1986; Floden, 1985; Nespor, 1985). Lortie


68
(1975) explains the existence of beliefs about education
in preservice teachers as a process of internalizing the
modes of practices of their own teachers while they were
students in his words, an apprenticeship-of-
observation" as students.
In a study designed to determine faculty definitions
of desirable teacher beliefs, Brousseau and Freeman
(1987, 1988) administered a modified version of the "MSU
Educational Beliefs Inventory* to instructors in five
undergraduate teacher education programs offered by
Michigan State's College of Education. This instrument
consists of statements that are intended to reflect a
representative sample of beliefs for each of Schwab's
(1958) four commonplaces of schooling (students,
curriculum, social milieu, and teachers) plus a fifth
category designed to capture beliefs about pedagogy. The
results indicated that faculty did not always agree on
the ways in which a particular belief should be shaped.
There were also significant differences in the extent to
which beliefs were handled across courses in the program.
Faculty members reported they were far more likely to
emphasize beliefs with which they wanted graduates to
agree than issues on which they felt students should
adopt their own informed positions. Faculty members
typically reinforced (rather than challenged) prevailing


Full Text

PAGE 1

DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE PRACTICE IN THE PRIMARY GRADES: CLASSROOM PRACTICES AND THE ESPOUSED BELIEFS OF PRIMARY TEACHERS, PRINCIPALS, AND TEACHER EDUCATORS by Suzanne Kay Adams B.S., Colorado State University, 1972 M.A., University of Colorado at Denver, 1976 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Administration, Curriculum, and Supervision 1992

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Th1s thesis for the Doctor of Ph1losophy degree by Suzanne Kay Adams has been approved for the School of Education by Michael Martln Harriet Able-Boone L.A Nap1er Deanna Sands

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Adams, Suzanne Kay (Ph.D., Administration, Curriculum, and Supervision) Developmentally Appropriate Practice in the Primary Grades: Classroom Practices and Espoused Beliefs of Primary Teachers, Principals, and Teacher Educators Thesis directed by Professor Michael Martin ABSTRACT This is a descriptive study designed to examine the classroom practices of first and second grade teachers and the espoused beliefs of primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators concerning developmentally appropriate curriculum and instructional methods in the primary grades. Data were gathered from 142 first and second grade teachers and 32 principals in public schools in the Denver metropolitan area and 45 teacher education faculty members in teacher education certification programs in Colorado. Data on beliefs regarding developmentally appropriate practice in the primary grades and the actual classroom practices of primary teachers were collected by means of two questionnaires. These questionnaires were based upon guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice for the primary grades established by the

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iv National Association for the Education of Young Children (Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childbood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age_a. In order to validate the accuracy of the above instruments, data on teachers' practices were collected by observing and interviewing a sub-sample of 20 primary teachers using the Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Classroom. This checklist consisted of items reflective of items on the questionnaires. Data were analyzed with analyses of variance and dependent t-tests. Results (significant at or below the .05 level) indicated that: (a) while educators studied in this sample espoused beliefs which were appropriate and consistent with NAEYC guidelines overall, teacher educators and principals espoused more developmentally appropriate beliefs than primary teachers, (b) while primary teachers reported implementing and were observed to implement instructional practices reflective of a developmental-interactive perspective overall, the frequency of some developmentally inappropriate activities suggests the influence of the behaviorist perspective which dominates much of the curricula of public schools, (c) when there was an apparent lack of congruence between teacher beliefs and practice,

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v teachers' beliefs tended to be more developmentally appropriate than their classroom activities, and (d) teachers with early childhood certification offered more developmentally appropriate activities than teachers with elementary certification only. Implications for primary teacher education, the role of the elementary principal, and district and state level policy are presented. This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication. Signed Michael Martin

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The author expresses gratitude to Dr. Michael Martin for his guidance and support as graduate advisor and thesis committee chairman. His wise counsel helped me to keep my perspective during challenging times. I also thank Dr. Harriet Able-Boone, Dr. Joy Berrenberg, Dr. L.A. Napier, and Dr. Deanna Sands for their support and suggestions. A special thank-you goes to Dr. Michael Martin and Dr. Michael Charleston for their role in recommending me for the Colorado Graduate Fellowship Award. I also thank the Colorado Association for the Education of Young Children for their contribution toward my thesis effort. I thank the many principals, teachers, and teacher educators for their time in completing surveys. For those teachers who permitted us to observe their classroom and be interviewed, I am especially grateful. Their willingness to contribute their time and expertise was most valuable. Most importantly, I thank my husband, Tom, and my children, Craig and Kristin. Their support and personal sacrifice made this endeavor possible.

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CONTENTS CHAPTER 1 THE PROBLEM . . . . . . . . . 1 Introduction . . . . . . . . 1 Background of the Problem . . . . . 3 Statement of the Problem 7 Research Questions . 7 Implications of the Study . . . . . 8 Summary and Outline of Research Design . . 10 Definition of Terms 14 2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 19 Introduction . . . . . 19 A Model for Teachers' Theories of Action ... 19 Definition of Beliefs and the Importance of Beliefs in Teaching . . . 26 Definition of Beliefs Importance of Beliefs in Teaching The Definition and Rationale for Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Education Through the 26 30 Primary Years . . . . . . 32 Definition of Developmentally Appropriate 32 Primary Grades as a Part of Early Childhood 34 Developmentally Appropriate Instructional Methods . . . . . . . 3 8 Developmentaly Appropriate Assessment in Early Childhood . . . . . . 42 Early Childhood Teacher Certification . 45

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viii Pressure for Inappropriate Practice and Its Effects . . . . . . 46 The Relationship Between Beliefs and Practice .49 Curriculum Innovation and Curriculum Design .49 Preschool Teachers . . . . . . 54 Kindergarten Teachers . . . . . 62 Primary Teachers . . . . . . . 7 5 Principals/Implications for Supervision 82 Teacher Education . 86 Importance of Congruency Between Beliefs and Practice . . . . .... 93 Lack of Congruency Between Teacher Beliefs and Practice . . . 94 3. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 102 Introduction . 102 Summary of Research Questions and Methods 102 Description of Subjects 106 Instrumentation . . 107 The Teacher Questionnaire . 107 Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Classrooms . . . . . . . 117 Research Procedures . . . . . 119 Administration of the Teacher Questionnaire to Primary Teachers and Principals 119 Administration of Educator Beliefs Scale to Teacher Educators . . . . . 122 Administration of the Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice in the Early Childhood Classroom . . . 123

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4. ix Observer Training 124 RESULTS ... 127 Demographic Data . 128 Primary Teachers 128 Principals . . 130 Teacher Educators . . . . . . 132 Espoused Beliefs 134 Individual Items from Beliefs Scale 135 Total Scale Means . 136 Classroom Practices 140 Individual Items from the Instructional Activities Scale . . 140 Total Scale Means 142 Congruence of Beliefs and Teaching Behavior 143 Degree of Developmentally Appropriate Practice as a Function of Early Childhood or Elementary Certification . . . . 151 5. SUMMARY AND INTERPRETATION 153 Summary of the Study 153 Background 153 Purpose . . . . 155 Sample 156 Research Questions and Methods 156 Summary and Discussion of the Findings 161 Implications for Educational Practice and Policy . . . . . . . 17 3 Primary Teacher Education ......... 174

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X Role of the Principal 178 Elementary Principal Certification . 178 Hiring of Primary Teachers 17 9 Identifying Teachers' Beliefs 179 Teacher Supervision and Inservice Training . . 180 School, District, and State Level Implications . 181 School and District Level Implications 183 State Level Implications 184 Suggestions for Future Research 186 APPENDICES A. Teacher Beliefs Scale B. Instructional Activities Scale C. Background Information Forms Teacher Background Information Form Principal Background Information Form Teacher Educator Background Information Form ... D. Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood 190 194 197 197 198 199 Classrooms . . . 200 E. Letter to Panel of Early Childhood Educators. 215 F. Letter to District Research Administrators 217 G. Letter to Principals 219 H. Return Postcard Enclosed to Principals 221 I. Note to Teachers 222 J. Informed Consent Letter 223

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xi K. Teacher Observation Informed Consent Letter 224 L. Mean Scores Rating Importance of Belief Items by Primary Teachers (T), Principals (P), and Teacher Educators (TE) . . . . 226 M. Mean Scores Rating the Frequency of Each Activity . 229 REFERENCES . 231

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xii TABLES Table 3.1 Factor Structure, EigenValues, Cronbach's Alpha, Means, and Standard Deviations for the Teacher Beliefs Scale . . . . . 111 3.2 Factor Structure, EigenValues, Cronbach's Alpha, Means, and Standard Deviations for the Instructional Activities Scale . .. 114 4.1 Highest Degree Earned-Primary Teachers 128 4.2 Teacher Certification Endorsement ....... 129 4.3 Years of Teaching Experience . 130 4.4 Highest Degree Earned-Principals 131 4.5 Principal Certification Endorsement Other Than Type D. . . . . . . 132 4.6 Highest Degree Earned-Teacher Educators 133 4.7 Type of Education Program at Which Teacher Educator Is a Faculty Member . . 134 4.8 Beliefs Scale Means and Standard Deviations for Educator Groups . . . . . 137 4.9 Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficients for Scores on Appropriate and Inappropriate Beliefs Subscales . . . . . . 139 4.10 Intercorrelations Between Scores on the Teacher Beliefs Scale (TBS), Instructional Activities Scale (IAS), and Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice (Checklist) . . . . . . . . . . . 14 4 4.11 Matching Items on Teacher Beliefs Scale (TBS) and Instructional Activities Scale (IAS) 147 4.12 Calculated and Level for Beliefs/Practice Comparisons . 148

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CHAPTER 1 THE PROBLEM Introduction Early childhood education is commonly associated with the years from birth through kindergarten. However, the early childhood period includes the next few years through the ages of 7 or 8. Research on social and physical development and study of the cognitive growth of the child indicate that the primary years are more analogous to early childhood than to the later elementary school period (Piaget & Inhelder, 1969; Piaget, 1973; Margolin, 1976). The special characteristics shared by children in the primary grades often go unrecognized in the planning of curriculum and instructional methods appropriate to this age group. According to Piaget (Piaget, 1973; Piaget & Inhelder, 1969), children's cognitive processes develop in an orderly sequence of stages. The preoperational stage spans approximately ages 2 to 7, thus including most children in kindergarten, first, and second grades. During this stage, the foundations for logical thought are developed. According to Piaget, logical operations are constructed through children's autonomous activities that provide opportunities to discover relationships and

PAGE 14

2 ideas. Cognitive growth takes place when children construct their own knowledge by interacting with people and materials in their environment. During the primary years, other intellectual growth occurs which opens up expanded social possibilities for the child. Through social interaction and experience, a gradually increased mobility of thought enables the child to take the v1ew of another person and replaces egocentrism with cooperative endeavors (Hunt, 1961). Thus, some important social transformations accompany the intellectual changes at about the age of 7 or 8. In addition, children in the primary years share many physical characteristics which are relevant to their school experience. They experience growth spurts, which may cause instability, awkwardness, and an increased need for movement. Small muscles and bones are not completely formed or developed; fine-motor tasks still present a challenge for many children. Most children of thi age are naturally farsighted, and activities requiring close work such as printing are very tiring. Children's hearing is not fully developed, and phonics-related activities requiring close attention to small details may be inappropriate. (Gareau & Kennedy, 1991, pp. 49-50) The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation's largest organization of early childhood educators, defines early childhood as the years from birth through 8. One of the most comprehensive documents (Bredekamp, 1987) addressing the

PAGE 15

3 issue of developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs is the position statement published by NAEYC. This document represents the expertise of key authorities in the field and the experience of hundreds of early childhood professionals. NAEYC believes that one indicator of the quality of primary education is the extent to which the curriculum and instructional methods are developmentally appropriate for children 6 through 8 years of age based on the most current knowledge of teaching and learning as derived from theory, research, and practice (Bredekamp, 1987). Despite the growing body of research on what young children need for optimal development and how they learn, primary teachers may have misconceptions about development and appropriate instruction in these grades. Background of the Problem Early education today is influenced by two dominant educational philosophical and psychological perspectives: the behavioristic-learning theory perspective based on the work of Skinner, and the developmental perspective, incorporating the work of Piaget and Dewey (Seefeldt, 1976). The behaviorist perspective currently dominates the curricula of the public schools as demonstrated by academic, teacher-directed large-group instruction,

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careful sequencing of skills, systematic use of reinforcement, use of workbooks, and much drill and practice. According to many early experts in early childhood education, this perspective, along with a recent emphasis on back to basics and improved standardized test scores, results in many elementary schools narrowing the curriculum and adopting instructional approaches that are incompatible with current knowledge about how young children learn and develop (Bredekamp, 1987, p. 62). With an emphasis on rote learning of academic skills rather than active, experiential learning in a meaningful context, Bennett (1986) contends that many children are being taught academic skills but are not learning to apply those skills in context and are not developing more complex thinking skills such as the ability to communicate complex ideas and to analyze and solve complex problems. 4 Experts in early childhood education advocate a developmental-interactive perspective as appropriate for children 6 through 8 years of age, reflected in a childcentered integrated curriculum designed to develop skills in all developmental areas through active involvement with other children, adults, and materials in the environment. Teachers guide children's learning experiences by extending children's ideas, responding to

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their questions, engaging them in conversation, making suggestions, and encouraging and challenging their thinking (Bredekamp, 1987; NAEYC, 1988). 5 The developmental-interactive perspective incorporates the cognitive developmental theory of Piaget but is also compatible with components of Vygotsky's sociocultural theory. Vygotsky (1978) emphasizes the influence of the socio-cultural context on development and learning. Vygotsky views thinking as activity, dependent upon speech, and developed and maintained through interpersonal experience. He contends that cognitive development has its origins in interaction among people in a culture before the psychological process--representing ideas, events, attitudes, and strategies--is internalized within children. Curriculum can be derived from several sources: the child, the content, and the society (Tyler, 1949). According to NAEYC, the curriculum in early childhood programs is typically a balance of child-centered and content-centered curriculum. Good preschools present rich content in a curriculum that is almost entirely child-centered. As children progress into the primary grades, the emphasis on content gradually expands as determined by the school, the local community, and the society" (Bredekamp, 1987, p. 62). The challenge for

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6 teachers is to plan for rich, meaningful content in a program of developmentally appropriate teaching practices which take advantage of the child's natural abilities, interests, and enthusiasm for learning. This requires application of knowledge about childrens' cognitive, language, physical, social-emotional and moral development to practice in the primary grades. According to Peck, McCaig, and Sapp (1988), if the kindergarten program is developmentally appropriate and the first grade based on a didactic approach, children will be in for a shock and any developmental gains from kindergarten may be lost shortly after children are confronted with an inappropriate first grade curriculum. Are educators of young children in the primary grades implementing practices reflecting a teacherstructured behavioristic perspective or a child-centered developmental-interactive perspective as advocated by prominant early childhood educators? Do primary teachers consider themselves elementary teachers rather than early childhood teachers? What do primary teachers consider to be developmentally appropriate curriculum and instructional methods?

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7 Statement of the Problem What are the classroom practices of first and second grade teachers and the espoused beliefs of primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators concerning developmentally appropriate curriculum and instructional methods in the primary grades? Research Questions 1. To what extent are the espoused beliefs of primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators consistent with the NAEYC guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice for 6 to 8 year olds? 2. Is there a difference in the beliefs of primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators regarding appropriate primary curriculum and instructional practices? 3. What is the relationship between developmentally appropriate and inappropriate beliefs? 4. To what extent are primary teachers implementing practices which are consistent with the NAEYC guidelines for developmentally appropriate instructional practices for 6 to 8 year olds? 5. What is the relationship between appropriate classroom instructional practice and inappropriate instructional practice?

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6. What is the congruence between the beliefs of primary teachers and their teaching behavior in the classroom? 8 7. Is there a difference in the level of developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices between those primary teachers with certification in early childhood education and those primary teachers with elementary education certification only? Implications of the Study This study is important to primary teachers interested in improving their teaching. The literature review examines research on developmentally appropriate practice in the primary years. The results highlight the importance of examining one's beliefs explicitly and determining the congruency between one's beliefs and classroom practices. An understanding of the beliefs and classroom behaviors of practicing primary teachers with respect to appropriate curriculum is of interest to the administrators of teacher education programs in evaluating the degree to which teacher education for the primary grades includes the development of children ages 6 to 8 and the instructional methods and curriculum appropriate for these ages as opposed to older elementary

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9 school children. Traditionally, the aim of teacher training institutions has been to provide students with a sound understanding of theory in order that their graduates pursue appropriate educational goals. However, teacher candidates may not be able to derive from theory a coherent framework to guide practice, because researchers and theorists provide insufficient directives in the translation of theory to everyday practice. Kaplan-Sanoff (1980) claims that the goal of teacher education should be to produce graduates who are able to articulate and defend their own beliefs about the teaching-learning process. The responsibility of teacher educators thus becomes one of ensuring that teachers not only have a sound understanding of principles of child development and learning theory, but they are able to translate their beliefs into educational goals and teaching practices consistent with the development and learning abilities of primary grade children. Early childhood teacher certification separate from elementary certification may be necessary for primary teachers to ensure that they understand the unique developmental characteristics of young children and the implications for curriculum and instruction. Understanding the relationship between an individual teacher's beliefs about appropriate curriculum

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10 practices and that individual's ability to implement practices in the classroom is of interest to elementary school principals charged with hiring primary teachers, providing supervision and staff development. Principals may need to give primary teachers additional support and in-service work to learn more about recent research and theory on how young children learn. More importantly, this study highlights the necessity of addressing not just teacher behavior, but the beliefs and principles which give rise to behavior. Therefore, one of the tasks of principals may be to assist the teacher in acknowledging and evaluating his or her beliefs. School districts can use information from this study in their hiring and evaluating of elementary school principals to determine whether principals are aware of the differing philosophical approaches to early childhood education and their ability to promote developmentally appropriate curriculum and instructional methods for the primary grades. Suromary and Outline of Research Design This was a descriptive study examining the classroom practices of first and second grade teachers and the espoused beliefs of primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators concerning developmentally appropriate

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1 1 curriculum and instructional methods in the primary grades. The study also examined differences in level of developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices between teachers certified in early childhood education and those certified in elementary education. The purpose of this study was to: 1. Identify the degree to which the beliefs of primary teachers, elementary school principals, and early childhood teacher educators are congruent with the NAEYC guidelines for appropriate/inappropriate curriculum and instructional practices for 6 to 8 year olds. 2. Identify the degree to which primary teachers' practices are congruent with the NAEYC guidelines for appropriate/ innappropriate instructional practices for 6 to 8 year olds. 3. Compare the congruence between the beliefs of primary teachers and their teaching behavior in the classroom. 4. Compare the level of developmentally appropriate practice between those primary teachers with a certification in early childhood education and those primary teachers with elementary certification. The work of Argyris and Schon on theories-in-use is presented to justify focus on the importance of beliefs as a determinant of teacher practice and the

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12 importance of congruency between beliefs and practice. Argyris and Schon (1974) suggest that theories of action determine all deliberate behavior. Such theories of action depend on a set of stated or unstated assumptions. According to their view, when someone is asked how he or she would behave under certain circumstances, the answer usually given is their espoused theory of action for the situation--the theory of action to which one gives allegiance and communicates to others. However, the theory that actually governs one's actions is one's theory-in-use, which may or may not be compatible with one's espoused theory (p. 7). Congruence exists when one's espoused theory matches the theory-in-use --one's behavior fits one's espoused theory of action. Data on beliefs regarding developmentally appropriate practice in the primary grades and the actual classroom practices of primary teachers were collected by using The Teacher Questionnaire, an instrument that consists of a Teacher Beliefs Scale (TBS) and an Instructional Activities Scale (lAS) (see Appendixes A and B). These self-report instruments were developed based on the section on primary grades in Developmentally appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8 (Bredekamp, 1987) and represent areas of primary instruction as specified in

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the NAEYC guidelines: curriculum goals, teaching strategies, integrated curriculum, guidance of socialemotional development, motivation, parent-teacher relations, evaluation, and transitions. 13 Each Teacher Belief Scale item is a statement (e.g. It is important for children to learn through interaction with other children) that the respondent rates on a 5 point Likert scale from not important at all to extremely important. Instructional Activity Scale items describe an activity (e.g. children selecting centers). The respondent rates the frequency of availability of each activity in his/her classroom along a 5 point scale from almost never (less than monthly) to very often (daily). A brief cover sheet accompanied the to provide demographic information regarding education and teaching experience (see Appendix C). A version of the Teacher Belief Scale was administered to first-and second-grade teachers, elementary school principals, and early childhood/elementary teacher education faculty members. The Instructional Activities Scale was administered to primary teachers only. In order to validate the accuracy of The Teacher Questionnaire, data on teachers' practices were collected by observing a sub-sample of twenty primary teachers using the Checklist for Rating Developmentally

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14 Apnropriate Practice in Early Childhood Classrooms (see Appendix D) This checklist consists of items reflective of items on the teacher questionnaires. These primary teachers were observed on two occasions (for a 2-3 hour period each) within a 2-week period. Observers were college students with experience in early childhood education. Student observers read and discussed the complete NAEYC Guidelines with the researcher before doing observations. Before school visits, observers conducted pilot observations in a college laboratory preschool to practice and assure interobserver reliability. Student observers were blind to the results of the teacher questionnaires. Definition of Terms For the purposes of this study, the following terms were defined as follows: 1. Beliefs--individual constructions of reality constructed from personal experience (Sigel, 1985, p. 349) 2. Early childhood--the years in a child's life from birth to age 8 (Bredekarnp, 1987, p. 62). 3. Primary teachers--first and second grade teachers.

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15 4. Developmentally appropriate curriculum--a curriculum which is planned to be appropriate for the age span of the children within the group and is implemented with attention to the different needs, interests, and developmental levels of those individual children (Bredekamp, 1987, pp. 3-9, 67-68). Such a curriculum: --is designed to develop children's knowledge and skills in all areas of development (physical, emotional, social, and cognitive) and to help children learn how to learn--to establish a foundation for lifelong learning. --is based on teachers' observations and recordings of each child's special interests and developmental progress --is designed to develop children's self-esteem, sense of competence, and positive feelings toward learning --emphasizes learning as an interactive process where teachers prepare the environment for children to learn through active exploration and interaction with adults, other children, and materials --is integrated so that children's learning all traditional subject areas occurs primarily through projects and learning centers that teachers plan and that reflect children's interests and suggestions

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16 --provides opportunities for children to choose from a variety of activities, materials, and equipment and provides time to explore through active involvement --provides for multicultural and nonsexist experiences, materials, and equipment --provides a balance of rest and active movement for children throughout the program day --provides outdoor experiences for children of all ages. 5. Developmentally appropriate instructional methods (or teaching strategies) include the following characteristics (Bredekamp, 1987, pp. 69-70): --the curriculum is integrated so that learning occurs primarily through projects, learning centers, and playful activities that reflect current interests of children --teachers guide children's projects and enrich the learning experience by extending children's ideas, responding to their questions, engaging them in conversation, and challenging their thinking --individual children or small groups are expected to work and play cooperatively or alone in learning centers and on projects that they usually select themselves or are guided to by the teacher

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17 --learning materials and activities are concrete, real, and relevant to children's lives. 6. Developmentally inappropriate curriculum is narrowly focused on the intellectual domain with intellectual development defined as acquisition of discrete, technical academic skills, without recognition that all areas of children's development are interrelated {Bredekamp, 1987, p. 67). In such a curriculum: --children are evaluated against a standardized group norm --all children are expected to achieve the same easily measured academic skills by the same predetermined time schedule {chronological age and grade level expectations). 7. Developmentally inappropriate instructional methods {or teaching strategies) include the following characteristics {Bredekamp, 1987, pp. 67-69): --curriculum is divided into separate subjects --primary emphasis is given to reading and secondary emphasis to math; other subjects such as social studies, science, and health are covered if time permits --art, music, and physical education are taught only once a week by specialists

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--instructional strategies focus on teacher-directed groups, whole-group lecture, paper-and-pencil exercises or worksheets --children work individually at desks; children are rarely permitted to help each other 18 --interest areas are limited to children who have finished seatwork early or children are assigned to a learning center to complete a prescribed sequence of teacher-directed activities --available materials are limited primarily to books, workbooks, and pencils.

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CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction The literature review is organized into four sections: 1) a theoretical model for interpreting the research on teacher beliefs and behavior 2) research which defines beliefs and the importance of beliefs in teaching 3) the definition and rationale for developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood education through the primary years 4) educational research about the relationship between beliefs and practices. A Model for Teachers' Theories of Action Argyris and Schon (1974) suggest that theories of action determine all deliberate behavior. Such theories of action depend on a set of stated or unstated assumptions and beliefs. According to their view, when someone is asked how he or she would behave under certain circumstances, the answer one usually gives is their espoused theory of action for the situation--the theory of action to which one gives allegiance and communicates

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20 to others. However, the theory that actually governs one's actions is one's theory-in-use, which may or may not be compatible with one's espoused theory (p. 7). Congruence exists when one's espoused theory matches the theory-in-use--one's behavior fits one's espoused theory of action. As explained by Argyris and Schon, theories are vehicles for explanation, prediction, or control. An explanatory theory explains events by setting forth propositions from which these events may be inferred, a predictive theory sets forth propositions from which inferences about future events may be made, and a theory of control describes the conditions under which events of a certain kind may be made to occur. (p. 5) As a theory, theories of action share general properties that all theories share--generality, relevance, consistency, completeness, testability, centrality, and simplicity. Theories of action depend on a set of stated or unstated assumptions and beliefs (Argyris & Schon, 1974). Argyris and Schon suggest that theories of professional practice are best understood as special cases of the theories of action that determine all deliberate behavior. A theory of practice consists of a set of interrelated theories of action that specify for the situations of the practice the actions that will,

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21 under relevant assumptions, yield intended consequencesR (p. 6) According to Argyris and Schon, theories-in-use include assumptions about self, others, the situation, and the connections among action, consequence, and situation (p. 7). Theories-in-use cannot be determined simply by asking; they must be constructed from observations of behavior. Theories-in-use are means for getting what we want. They specify strategies for every kind of intended consequence. Theories-in-use are also a means for maintaining certain kinds of constancy, for keeping certain governing variables of interest to us within a range acceptable to us. Our theories-in-use specify which variables we are interested in (as opposed to the constraints of our environment about which we can do nothing) and thereby set boundaries to action. Within these boundaries, theories-in-use provide the programs by which the variables may be managed. (Argyris & Schon, 1974, p. 15) Thus, theories-in-use create the teachers' behavioral world as they act according to the requirements of the governing variables of their theories-in-use. Teachers work at maintaining the constancy of their theories-in-use. Theories-in-use are the means of maintaining specific constancies, but they also come to be valued in their own right for the constancy of the

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22 world-picture they provide. The inherent variability of the behavioral world gives us more information than we can handle, so we value a stable world-picture, being predictable, and being able to predict (Argyris & Schon, 1974, pp. 16-17). Teachers work at maintaining their theories-in-use, even when they prove ineffective. According to Argyris and Schon, whether theories-in-use tend to "create a behavioral world that constrains or frees the individual" depends on answers to the following questions: Are the theories-in-use internally consistent? Are they congruent? Are they testable? Are they effective? Do we value the worlds they create (1974, p. 20). Internal consistency involves the absence of self-contradiction. Internal inconsistency results when one variable (such as teacher control) falls out of its acceptable range if the other variable (such as child choice) is brought into the acceptable range. Congruence means that one's espoused theory matches one's theory-in-use--their behavior fits their espoused theory of action and inner feelings are expressed in actions. Congruence allows for an integration of one's internal (what one who is aware of my feelings and beliefs would perceive) and external (what an outsider who is aware only of my behavior would perceive) state. Lack of congruence between espoused theory and theory-in-use may precipitate search for a modification of either

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23 theory since we tend to value both espoused theory (image of self) and congruence(integration of doing and believing). (Argyris & Schon, 1974, p. 23) A theory-in-use is effective when action according to the theory tends to achieve its governing variables. Testing consists of evaluating whether the action yields its predicted results. If it does, the theory-in-use has been confirmed (Argyris & Schon, 1974, pp. 24-25). Argyris and Schon's work on theories-in-use has direct application to the training and supervision of teachers. According to their view, "understanding how we diagnose and construct our experience, take action, and monitor our behavior while simultaneously achieving our goals is crucial to understanding and enhancing effectiveness" (p. xi). Argyris and Schon see a distinct advantage to explicitly stating one's theories-in-use. Substituting the word teacher for the word nagent" makes the following quote directly applicable to teachers: If the teacher is performing ineffectively and does not know why or if others are aware of his ineffectiveness and he is not, explicitly stating his theory-in-use allows conscious criticism. The teacher's efforts to defend his tacit theory-in-use may prevent his learning to behave differently; he may not be willing to behave differently until he has examined his theory-in-use explicitly and compared it with alternatives. He may be unable to test his theory-in-use until he has made it explicit. (pp. 14-15) Argyris and Schon contend that we value the constancy of our theories-in-use and our behavioral

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24 worlds; thus theories-in-use tend to be self-maintaining. They suggest people adopt strategies to avoid perceiving that data do not fit and the behavioral reality is increasingly divergent from one's theory of it. However, occassionally people are faced with dilemmas which require change in their theory-in-use. As defined by Argyris and Schon, dilemmas consist of a conflict between some element of the prevailing theory-in-use and some criterion applicable to the theory. --Dilemmas of incongruity arise out of the progressively developing incongruity between espoused theory and theory-in-use. nrn order for such conflicts to become dilemmas, the elements of espoused theory must be central to the protagonist's self-image, and events must emphasize the conflict between espoused theory and theory-in-use in ways that overcome normal attempts to avoid noticing the conflictn (p. 30). --Dilemmas of inconsistency ar1se when the governing variables of theory-in-use become increasingly incompatible. --Dilemmas of effectiveness arise when governing variables in theory-in-use/behavioral-world interaction become unachievable.

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25 --Dilemmas of value arise when the behavioral world created by the theory-in-use becomes intolerable (pp. 3031) Using Agyris and Schon's ideas as applied to teachers, one could expect that teachers develop a repertoire of devices by which to protect their theories-in-use from dilemmas: 1. Teachers may try to compartmentalize--separating their espoused theory and theory-in-use. one goes on speaking in the language of one theory, acting in the language of another, and maintaining the illusion of congruence through systematic self-deception (p. 33) 2. Teachers may become selectively inattentive to the data that point to dilemmas. 3. The teacher introduces change, but only into his or her espoused theory--leaving their theory-in-use unchanged. 4. The teacher introduces marginal change into his or her theory-in-use, leaving the core untouched. Incongruity becomes intolerable when teachers find that they cannot realize the central governing variables of the espoused theory on which their self-esteem depends. Thus the basic dilemma is one of effectiveness and constancy. The teacher strives to be effective and to keep constant his theory-in-use and the behavioral

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26 world he has created. When, finally, he cannot do both in spite of his full repertoire of defenses, he may change the governing variables of his theory-in-use {Argyris & Schon, 1974, p. 38). According to Argyris and Schon, the goals of the process of constructing/modifying theories-in-use must be to produce data that help the individual to learn; help individuals gain insight into the conditions under which their defenses as well as their theories-inuse inhibit and facilitate their growth and the growth of others; provide information from which individuals can design programs for selfimprovement, gain help from others, and evaluate their progress; and help individuals learn how to discover their own theories-in-use and generate new ones--that is, learn to generate directly observable data, infer theories-in-use, alter theories-in-use, and test new theories of action. {p. 39) Definition of Beliefs and the Importance of Beliefs in Teaching Definition of Beliefs Sigel defined beliefs as individual constructions of reality constructed from personal experience {1985, p. 349). The source of beliefs is personal experience and the individual's perception of that experience, not provable knowledge. Sigel asserts that beliefs statements are not synonymous to fact statements {knowledge) in that

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beliefs are knowledge in the sense that the individual knows that what he (or she) espouses is true or probably true, and evidence may or may not be deemed necessary; or if evidence is used, it forms a basis for the belief but is not the belief itself. (p. 348) Thus while knowledge is derived from provable 27 evidence, beliefs can be based on non-verifiable emotions and speculation. According to Sigel, an individual does not seek provable fact statements to substantiate his or her position but may instead adopt the belief merely because it has been useful in his or her personal experience (1985, p. 349). Sigel asserts that beliefs may be either conscious or non-conscious. Individuals may or may not be aware of their beliefs and therefore may or may not be able to articulate them. Acording to Sigel (1985), the degree to which beliefs are related to behavior is modified by several conditions: (a)intentionality--the willingness and/or ability to act in harmony with one's beliefs of how, (b) attitudes regarding the action as well as the object of one's actions, and (c) the value of the action and consequent interaction (p. 356). In addition, Sigel maintains that beliefs do not occur in isolation but must be considered within the surrounding context. Belief-behavior interaction is influenced by factors such as education, contacts with

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significant others, cultural traditions, and past individual experience (p. 357). 28 Nespor (1987) presents a conceptualization of beliefs grounded in current research in cognitive psychology which supports Sigel's definition of beliefs. Nespor contends that several features serve to distinguish 'beliefs' from 'knowledge': 1. Existential presumption--Belief systems frequently contain propositions or assumptions about the existence or nonexistence of entities--such as the entities thought to be embodied by the students. The "conversion of transitory, ambiguous, or abstract characteristics into stable, well-defined and concrete entities is important because such entities tend to be seen as immutable--as beyond the teacher's control and influence" (p. 318). 2. Alternativity--Beliefs often include representations of 'alternative worlds' or 'alternative realities'--conceptualizations of ideal situations differing signficantly from present realities. rn this respect, beliefs serve as means of defining goals and tasks, whereas knowledge systems come into play where goals and the paths to their attainment are well-defined" (p. 319).

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29 3. Affective and evaluative aspects--According to Nespor, belief systems rely much more heavily on affective and evaluative components than knowledge systems. She contends that affect and evaluation can be important regulators of the amount of energy teachers will put into activities (p. 320). 4. Episodic structure--Information in knowledge systems is stored primarily in semantic networks, while belief systems are composed mainly of 'episodically'stored material derived from personal experience or from cultural or institutional sources. Beliefs often derive their subjective power, authority, and legitimacy from particular episodes or eventsn (p. 320). 5. Non-consensuality--Belief systems consist of propositions, concepts, arguments that are recognized by those who hold them or by outsiders--as being in dispute or as in principle disputablen (p. 320). Much of the non-consensuality of beliefs derives from a lack of agreement over how they are to be evaluated. By contrast, part of the consensus characterizing knowledge systems is a consensus about the ways in which knowledge can be evaluated or judged (p. 320).

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Importance of Beliefs in Teaching Several researchers have discussed the manner in which the beliefs of teachers influence their decisions and behavior in the classroom (Bauch, 1984; Janesick, 1979; Mayer, 1985; Munby, 1983; Schickedanz, York, Steward, & White, 1983; Spodek, 1987, 1988). Beliefs have been described as providing a screen through which teachers view the world and establish the basis for teachers' action (Harvey, 1970; Nespor, 1985; Spodek & Rucinski, 1984). According to Spodek (1987), teachers actions and classroom decisions are driven by their perceptions and beliefs. They create conceptions of their professional world based upon their perceptions of reality and their beliefs of what is true" (p. 197). Spodek (1988) discussed the role of teachers' implicit theories" in guiding instruction. Implicit theories are the ideas about child development and instruction that teachers develop from their personal experience based on their practical knowledge. According to Spodek, they differ from the explicit theories of the profession which are taught in education and child development courses. Teachers' implicit theories provide a way to interpret events and a means of predicting the consequences of 30

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31 teachers' actions, which Spodek noted is consistent with Argyris and Schon's (1974) concept of theoriesin-use. Nespor (1985) maintains that teachers' beliefs about teaching play a crucial role in the way they formulate goals and define the tasks of teaching. Nespor conducted the Teacher Beliefs Study, an intensive, two-year program of research on the structures and functions of teachers' belief systems. Eight teachers in three school districts were videotaped to construct verbatim records of classroom actions and were interviewed using a variety of techniques, including stimulated recall, and repertory grid" to generate data on the teachers' beliefs. Teachers were found to act according to reasons that made sense to them in terms of what they considered the goals of teaching to be. Analyzing the data lead Nespor to the conclusion that teachers have conceptual systems, even though they may be implicit and unsystematized, which are used for making sense of, evaluating, and justifying classroom activities and interactions. Using extensive participant observation and interviews, Janesick (1979) observed one sixth-grade teacher's classroom and discovered how his perception of his class determined his decision making and leadership style. This teacher perceived his class as a cohesive, interacting group. He believed that it was important to

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32 maintain a sense of unity within his classroom, by organizing daily activities to promote the values of respect and cooperation and by demonstrating the behaviors he wished his students to model. Janesick noted that outside influences, such as district-mandated management-by-objectives system in reading and math, intervention by the principal or other staff members, and directives from parents had little or no effect on the classroom curriculum" (p. 28). She concluded that the teacher's classroom perspective was the source of the curriculum of the classroom. The Definition and Rationale for DeveloPmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Education Through the Primary Years Definition of Developmentally Appropriate The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has been at the forefront in delineating developmentally practice for young children. NAEYC's original position statement on developmentally appropriate practices (1986b) focused most specifically on programs for 4-and 5-year olds, because of concerns about the formally academic content of many prekindergarten and kindergarten curricula. A recently expanded position statement (Bredekamp, 1987) presents components of appropriate and inappropriate practice for

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33 each of five age groups: infants, toddlers, 3-year-olds, 4-and 5-year-olds, and primary grade children. This document represents the expertise of many of the foremost authorities in the field and the experience of hundreds of early childhood educators. In this NAEYC position statement, the concept of developmentally appropriate practice is defined based upon the knowledge of the typical development of children within a certain age span (age appropriateness) as well as the uniqueness of the individual (individual appropriateness). As indicated by the references cited in the 1987 guidelines (including Biber, Elkind, Erikson, Kamii, Katz, Piaget, and Schweinhart), the content of these guidelines is strongly influenced by those developmental and educational theories and research findings which emphasize direct experience, concrete materials, childinitiated activity, responsive adults and social interaction. This is contrasted with inappropriate practice which ignores the concrete, hands-on approach to learning and emphasizes teacher-directed large-group instruction focusing on the direct teaching of specific, discrete skills through the use of paper and pencil activities and much drill and practice.

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34 In the NAEYC guidelines, the components of a primary grade educational program (such as curriculum goals, teaching strategies, integrated curriculum, guidance of social-emotional development, motivation, parent-teacher relations, evaluation) are described. Statements of appropriate practice are paired with a corresponding inappropriate practice. For example, the following pair 1s found within the category of Rintegrated curriculum" in programs for the primary grades: APPROPRIATE Practice: The goals of the language and literacy program are for children to expand their ability to communicate orally and through reading and writing, and to enjoy these activities. Technical skills or subskills are taught as needed to accomplish the larger goals, not as the goal itself. INNAPPROPRIATE Practice: The goal of the reading program is for each child to pass the standardized tests throughout the year at or near grade level. Reading is taught as the acquisition of skills and subskills. (Bredekamp, 1987, p.70) Primary Grades as a Part of Early Childhood The period of early childhood between ages 2 and 7 is what Piaget called the preoperational stage of human development (Piaget, 1970; Piaget & Inhelder, 1969). Piaget viewed preoperational children as dominated by perceptions, focusing on only one aspect of an event or object at a time, rather than understanding underlying concepts and relations. They are rarely able to think hypothetically or deal with abstractions. Piaget found

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35 that children make cognitive discoveries by interacting with objects and learning from trial and error. Based on the work of Piaget, Schweinhart and Weikart (1988) contend that the effectiveness of early childhood education depends not only on the content that is offered but also on the opportunities to explore this content actively and think about the experience. Later, the concrete-operational child is intellectually disposed toward social rules, regulations, and systematic learning, but such matters are both uncharacteristic and unnecessary during the preoperational period" (p. 216). According to Katz (1990), contemporary research confirms that young children learn most effectively when they are engaged in interaction rather than in merely receptive or passive activities. She asserts that young children should be interacting with adults, materials, and their surroundings in ways which help them make sense of their own experiences and environment. Interaction that arises in the course of such activities provides a context for social and cognitive learning. Katz (1990) identifies four kinds of learning in early childhood-knowledge, skills, feelings and dispositions. She defines dispositions as enduring habits of mind, characteristic ways of responding to experience. Katz argues that one goal of early childhood education is to

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36 support the young child's dispositions toward curiosity, humor, creativity, persistence, willingness to engage in conversations, and explorations of the environment. Such explorations not only form the foundations of physical, logical, and mathematical knowledge (Piaget, 1970), but they lead to the development of the dispositions of a responsible, creative learner. According to Schweinhart and Weikart (1988), teacher-directed instruction on the basic academic skills during the preoperational period makes learning-style demands that are appropriate for children several years older. Early childhood education provides for the development of skills that form the basis of later development, but the basic skills" of the preoperational period are not those of the concreteoperational period. Like Katz, they emphasize the dispositions with which the child approaches learning and activity. In their view, a high-quality early education guides the child into a course of development supported by knowledge, skills, and dispositions that guide learning and social relationships into adulthood" (p. 218) The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) represents state boards of education, which are elected or appointed bodies of lay citizens responsible for setting standards, approving programs,

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and developing policies for public schools. In July 1986, NASBE began a program of technical assistance to help state policymakers plan new early childhood initiatives. The NASBE Task Force addressed a variety 37 of concerns regarding recent trends in teaching, curriculum, and assessment practices in the early grades including increased use of standardized tests for younger children, prevalence of worksheets and workbooks, tracking and retention of children, increased focus on narrowly defined basic skiils, and a segmented and fragmented approach to the teaching of skills and content. Early childhood experts testifying before the Task Force criticized these trends as inconsistent with knowledge of how children learn best in their early years of schooling. The NASBE Task Force report, Right from the Start, seeks to broaden the definition of early childhood issues to promote improvements in kindergarten and the early grades. Its recommendations reflect child development principles: learning occurs best when there is a focus on the whole child; learning for children and adults is interactive; young children learn from concrete work and play; young children are profoundly influenced by their families and the surrounding community (Schultz & Lombardi, 1989). According to Schultz & Lombardi, the NASBE report advances the thinking of public school

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leaders about the importance of viewing early childhood as a continuum from birth through age 8 and is significant as an added endorsement for the major child development principles advocated by NAEYC. Developmentally Appropriate Instructional Methods According to Katz (1990), the younger the children 36 are, the greater the variety of teaching methods and the more informal the learning environment should be. Informal learning environments encourage spontaneous play and cooperative effort. She asserts that preschool and kindergarten experiences require an approach in which children interact in small groups as they work together on projects which help them make sense of their own experience. As described by Connell, in the early childhood period it is primarily not you teach, but you teach that makes for success or failure. More than fifty years of solid child development research tells us strongly that children under a mental age of six years--which many seven-year-olds still are too--are usually still in the learn-by-doing stage. We must question whether or not a kindergarten or first grade (or even a second grade) without a great many lively play activities and interesting projects, and a great deal of quiet conversation among children, is functioning appropriately. (1987, p. 32) According to Katz and Chard (1989), the project approach is a particularly promising strategy for

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39 fostering children's interactions as suggested by research. A project is a group undertaking, usually around a particular theme or topic. A project involves a variety of kinds of work over a period of several days or weeks. A theme of the project may be introduced by the teacher or children or evolve from discussions they have together. Webster describes characteristics of well-designed projects (1990). Such projects (a) promote children's attempts to construct their own understanding and interpretation; (b) include features within the scope of the project that necessitate the use of basic academic skills; (c) encourage children's independent, creative thinking; and (d) are managed in ways that allow for diverse levels of involvement and provide diverse cognitive challenges so that no child fails" (Webster, 1990). Another method of teaching in the primary grades that allows for developmental theory and educational pratice to be integrated is the use of learning centers (Gareau & Kennedy, 1991; York, 1977). A learning center is a clearly defined area of the classroom containing materials selected by the teacher to facilitate the teaching-learning process in which a small group of children, generally from one to six in number, may work independently (York, 1977). Learning centers are

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40 designed to appeal to children's interests and to elicit their active involvement during learning. Learning centers structure the learning environment by the arrangement of space, equipment, and materials through which children are free to move, choose, and busy themselves (Myers & Maurer, 1987). Rather than instructing the entire group of children, the teacher 1s freed to interact with small groups or individual children. According to Myers and Maurer (1987), the learning centers approach is consistent with developmentally appropriate practice by allowing the teacher to consider both the age appropriateness and the individual appropriateness of learning experience. Projects and learning centers provide problem solving situations for young children. Goffin and Tull (1985) maintain that problem solving is distinctly different from academic learning. They view academic skills as representing external knowledge that must be taught. Problem solving opportunities encourage children to create new mental relationships by interacting with the environment. Meaningful problems stimulate children's mental activity as they relate new understandings to previous one. This is consistent with the application of Piaget's ideas to early childhood education. Cognitive development, from a Piagetian

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41 perspective, involves children's interacting with their environment and the creation of increasingly more complex relationships that result in a more complete framework for understanding reality; it is not the accumulation of isolated pieces of information (Goffin & Tull, 1985). Problem solving activities enable children to actively investigate the cause and effects of their actions on the people and objects in their environment; encourage children to elaborate and refine their knowledge; promote initiative, cooperation, independence, curiosity, and a sense of competence as children see the impact of their actions in a challenging and responsive environment (Goffin & Tull, 1985). According to Goffin and Tull, early childhood educators should recognize the possibilities for problem solving in typical classroom activities such as creative dramatics and puppetry, cooking, blockbuilding, carpentry, and art. Such everyday activities can be expanded into problem-solving possibilities by encouraging children to plan, predict possible outcomes, make decisions, and observe the results of their actions. Goffin and Tull also encourage the use of open-ended materials such as blocks, water, sand, wood, and art materials because they respond immediately to children's actions and encourage problem solving by allowing

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42 children to test ideas (p. 30). These authors also point out that the peer interactions inherent in such classroom activities result in opportunities for interpersonal problem solving--encouraging children to consider others' points of view, developing understanding about social interactions, and assuming more responsibility in their relationships with peers. Developmentally Appropriate Assessment in Early Childhood The NAEYC Guidelines for Developmentally Appropriate Practice contain the following statement regarding assessment. Assessment of individual children's development and learning is essential for planning and implementing developmentally appropriate programs, but should be used with caution to prevent discrimination against individuals and to ensure accuracy. Accurate testing can only be achieved with reliable, valid instruments and such instruments developed for use with young children are rare. In the absence of valid instruments, testing is not valuable. Therefore, assessment of young children should rely heavily on the results of observations of their development and descriptive data. (Bredekamp, 1987, pp. 12-13) It is further recommended that decisions that have a major impact on children such as enrollment, retention, or assignment to remedial or special classes should be based on multiple sources of information and should never be based on a single test score. Often intial assessment takes the form of readiness testing with young children or achievement testing with older children. The

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43 results of these tests can be used to exclude children from a program, track them by ability, or otherwise label them. However, no available school readiness test is accurate enough to screen children for placement into programs without a 50% error rate, as reported by Shepard & Smith (1986) Therefore, the results obtained on a single administration of a test must be confirmed through periodic assessment and corroborated by other sources of information to be considered reliable. Recommended sources of assessment information include combinations of: (a) systematic observations by teachers and other professionsals; (b) samples of children's work such as drawings, paintings, dictated stories, writing samples, and projects; and (c) observations and anecdotes related by parents and other family members (Bredekamp, 1987; Meisels, 1989; The National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education, NAECS/SDE, 1991). Further NAEYC and NAECS/SDE recommendations which are most relevant to a discussion of curriculum and instructional practices in the primary grades include (1991, p. 32): 1. Curriculum and assessment are integrated throughout the program; assessment is congruent with and

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relevant to the goals, objectives, and content of the program. 44 2. Assessment results in benefits to the child such as needed adjustments in the curriculum or more individualized instruction and improvements in the program. 3. Children's development and learning in all the domains--physical, social, emotional, and cognitive--are informally and routinely assessed by teachers observing children's activities and interactions and listening to them as they talk. 4. Assessment relies on demonstrated performance during real, not contrived activities--for example real reading and writing activities rather than only skills testing. 5. Assessment utilizes an array of tools and a variety of processes including but not limited to collections of representative work by children (artwork, stories they write, tape recordings of their reading), records of systematic observations by teachers, records of conversations and interviews with child, teachers' summaries of children's progress.

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45 Early Childbood Teacher Certification The Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) have jointly developed guidelines for certification standards for teachers in programs serving children from birth through 8 years of age (1991). Early Childhood Teacher Certification Guidelines recommend the establishment of specialized early childhood teacher certification standards which are "distinctive from, and independent of, existing elementary and secondary certifications" (ATE and NAEYC, 1991, p. 17). These organizations contend that the absence of consistent standards for specialized early childhood certification has led to the lack of adequate preparation programs in early childhood education at the baccalaureate level in many states. The ATE and NAEYC argue that early childhood teachers must be adequately informed about the unique developmental characteristics of young children and the implications for curriculum and instruction" (1991, p. 17). They recommend that this specialized knowledge must be reflected in standards for early childhood teacher certification established by state boards of education and other certifying agencies to ensure that the certified early childhood teacher will demonstrate

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46 professional knowledge, attitudes, dispositions, values, and attitudes regarding growth,development, and learning; family and community relations; curriculum development, content, and implementation; health, safety, and nutrition; field experiences and professional internship; and professionalism. (p. 19) Pressure for Inappropriate Practice and Its Effects Despite the accumulation of theory, research, and teaching experience in favor of instructing children at their level of intellectual, social, and physical maturity, there is not broad acceptance of developmentally appropriate education for young children because developmentally appropriate curriculum and teaching practices contradict much of the pedagogy ln today's schools (Warger, 1988). The paradigm that dominates contemporary American education is behavioral. At the core of the behavioral paradigm are the assumptions that (a) only observable behaviors that can be measured are of value and (b) the basic principles of learning are the laws of classical and operant conditioning. According to this view, each behavior is taught through a stimulus-response pattern. Through an analysis of prerequisite and component skills needed to perform the task, a skill sequence is planned. The teacher identifies the child's entry level skills, then

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47 presents instruction along predetermined lines based upon the skill sequence. The task of the teacher is the transmission of knowledge through direct instruction. According to Schweinhart & Weikart (1988), teacher-directed instruction produces a standard product by relying on the standard practices of lecture, teacher-centered discussions, and paperwork. The teacher provides the stimulus to the child (spoken and written information) and checks to make sure the information has been received through questioning, paperwork, and standardized tests. Willert and Kamii assert that this kind of early direct instruction is based on the erroneous assumption that "children are like empty glasses who learn by having bits of knowledge poured into them and that the sooner we start to fill the glasses, the sooner this process will be completedn (1985, p. 3). Shepard and Smith (1988) contend that the academic demands in the primary grades are higher today than twenty years ago and continue to escalate. They suggest that the downward shift of what were next-grade expectations into the earliest grades results from demands for acceleration from middle-class parents and demand from the public that schools be accountable for preparation in academic skills. promotional gates" at

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46 the third or sixth grade become translated downward into fixed requirements for the end of first and second grade. The increased demand for accountability also results in the increased use of standardized achievement tests, which results in a narrow curricular focus. Kamii (1985) reports that primary grade teachers feel compelled to give phonics lessons because they are expected to produce acceptable test scores. Although many teachers believe that first graders cannot possibly understand missing addends and place value, they feel required to teach this content because it is on the achievement test. NAEYC asserts that wthe trend toward early academics 1s antithetical to what we know about how young children learn" (p. 4, 1986a). Highly formalized activities that occur too early deprive children of time to learn from play, substitute inappropriate symbolic learning for manipulative learning, detach reading from normal language development stifle natural exploration, and increases stress (Elkind, 1987; Kamii, 1985; NAEYC, 1986a). Willert and Kamii (1985) suggest that authoritarian teachers who tell children what to do from one moment to the next thwart children's initiative and curiosity. Katz (1990) states that the risk of early instruction in beginning reading skills is that the amount of drill and

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practice required for success at an early age will undermine children's disposition to be readers. 49 Shepard and Smith (1988) noted that fixed, higher standards cause many more children to fail. They report that policies such as raising the entrance age for kindergarten, readiness screening, and kindergarten retention--which are intended to solve the problem of inappropriate academic demand by removing younger or unready children--have not been effective in reducing the failure rate in kindergarten and first grade. Tbe Relationship Between Beliefs and Practice Curriculum Innovation and Curriculum Design An extensive study of the understandings of teachers under conditions of a change to open and less formal approaches to instruction was conducted by Bussis, Chittenden, and Amarel (1976) They interviewed 60 kindergarten, first, and second grade teachers, then analyzed and categorized their responses into categories representing curriculum, understanding of children's perceptions of the working environment, and perceptions of support from advisers. These researchers made a distinction between the surface content of curriculum and a deeper level of

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organizing content ... with surface referring to the manifest activities and materials in the classroom and the 'deeper level referring to the purposes and priorities a teacher holds for children's learning" (Bussis et al., p. 4). 50 Bussis et al. found that teachers differed significantly in the number of learning priorities held, in their awareness of the existence of these priorities, and in their perceptions of the connection between priorities and the surface content of the curriculum. Another discovery that the researchers made was that a substantial percentage of the teachers held philosophies inconsistent with the open-classroom approach and dealt with the conflict in different manners. One group of teachers behaved in their traditional manner and showed no evidence of changing their surface curriculum in the classroom. Another group of teachers followed the open-classroom program while experiencing a great deal of anxiety and frustration. They encouraged group interaction in their classroom but experienced a fear of management problems. In general, the belief-behavior relationship was stronger for those teachers whose construct systems were clearly formulated and articulated. The researcher concluded that teachers need to have a philosophical

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51 commitment to an innovative program in order for it to work and an ability to see the connection between their priorities for children's learning and the surface curriculum. Bussis et al. also concluded that aides and parents were more influential in shaping teacher behavior than were the principal or school policies (1976). How teachers' beliefs and principles interact with the adoption of an externally imposed novel curricula is the focus of a study by Olson (1981). He investigated the dilemma that teachers face when the beliefs embedded in an innovation are perceived by them to be fundamentally at odds with their perceptions of their roles in the classroom. Olson's study investigates the thoughts and feelings of eight science teachers who attempted to implement the English Schools Council Integrated Science Project (SCISP). The researchers speculated that teacher implementation of SCISP would cause difficulty for the teachers because the curriculum, based on the inquiry approach, emphasized the process of instruction (as opposed to content) and free-ranging discussion periods. This was contrary to the conception of teaching held by the teachers using the curriculum, who were very traditional. To probe for the features of teachers' beliefs of interest to his study, Olson used the Repertory Grid

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52 Technique of Kelly (1955) and found that an important common and underlying construct in the practical language of teachers is that of classroom influence (Olson, 1981, p. 264). This construct conflicted with the new science curriculum that advocated a low influence teaching style, with the teacher as a facilitator of open discussion encouraging students to discover knowledge on their own. Olson found that teachers did not have a language" for explaining the innovations in this program. Consequently they translated the program into their own frame of reference. Teachers resolved the dilemma of dealing with a curriculum which called for low classroom influence in a number of ways. One teacher used openended discussion questions as an opportunity to deliver information through direct instruction. Another teacher used project questions as end-of-chapter, homework-type questions. Discussion periods were viewed by one teacher as a time for students to freely talk without any teacher guidance, thus downplaying the importance of the discussion. For another, discussion lessons were viewed as pure waffle" (Olson, 1981). In summary, Olson found that teaching behavior in the classroom is linked to belief systems about the role of the teacher and appropriate curriculum; teachers' beliefs and principles interact with curricular

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innovations resulting in translations which radically alter the curriculum as practiced. 53 The conclusion drawn from the Bussis et al. and the Olson studies is that when teachers are confronted with a teaching method containing beliefs inconsistent with their own, they tend to return to a practice that is more consistent with their own belief system, thus supporting the contention that beliefs create practice. In a qualitative study to determine the nature of teachers' beliefs and principles regarding curriculum and teaching, Munby (1983) found that teachers were extremely diverse in their beliefs about teaching, including teachers instructing in the same curricular areas. Munby concluded that this diversity of beliefs accounted for the fact that the same curriculum was implemented differently across classrooms. Munby suggests that curriculum designers must consider teachers' beliefs systems in that teachers' beliefs and principles interact with the adoption of curricula. Munby's conclusions are consistent with Roberts's (1980) conception of a "theory-practice interface wherein a teacher's beliefs and principles, together with his perception of the professional context in which he finds himself, interact with the text of curriculum

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54 materials and the embedded views, conceptualizations, and intents of the curriculum developer. Preschool Teachers According to Spodek (1987), teachers actions and classroom decisions are driven by their perceptions and beliefs. They create conceptions of their professional world based upon their perceptions of reality and their beliefs of what is true. nThese understandings, and the thought processes that lead to them, become the basis of the teacher's actions. To understand the nature of teaching one must understand teachers' processes of thinking about teaching, and the belief systems that drive these processes" (p. 197). Spodek (1987) conducted a study designed to examine preschool teachers' thoughts related to decision-making in the classroom. Observations of four preschool teachers were recorded in a notebook. Following classroom visits, observers reviewed recordings and identified the decisions made by the teacher. Descriptions of teacher decisions and their context were presented to teachers in an interview session later that day. Teachers were asked about reasons for their decisions. Interviews were audiotaped and later transcribed. The statements regarding their thoughts

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55 were dichotomized into scientific concepts--statements of what was thought to be true and value beliefsstatements of what was thought to be right. It was found that these preschool teachers generated a greater variety of beliefs and concepts than had primary teachers studied earlier, with fewer of them held in common. Most of the teachers' concerns were with classroom management rather than with achieving the goals of the program. "The fact that so many of the thoughts underlying the teachers' classroom decisions were related to values and were concerned with the process of maintaining classroom activities seems to raise issues about the foundation of early childhood educational practice" (Spodek, 1987, p. 206). Spodek contends that many early childhood educators view the field as a practical application of the scientific field of child development and assume that providing increased knowledge of child develop research and theory will improve the work of the classroom teachers (Caldwell, 1984; Katz, 1984). However, the results of this study indicate that relatively few of the theories used by the teachers were grounded in reliable knowledge of child development. Spodek suggests that the teachers' decisions seem to be based on a form of personal practical knowledge rather than the technical knowledge of child development and

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56 learning theory. He further concluded that the teachers' thinking processes determined the actions that were taken in the classroom. Teacher belief statements provided for an interpretation of events and a way of predicting the consequence of teachers' action. According to Spodek, this is consistent with the concept of theories-in-use as described by Argyris and Schon (1974). nsuch theories determine the internal consistency of the actions of practitioners" (Spodek, 1987, p. 199). The purpose of a study by Verma and Peters (1975) was the development of appropriate and theoretically relevant measures for the naturalistic observation of teacher/child interaction patterns within day care settings and for assessing the beliefs or attitudes held by the observed teachers. The theories of Piaget and Skinner were used as the foundation of the rating instrument developed to measure teachers' beliefs about child development and learning. The resulting Teacher Belief Rating Scale consisted of items representing Operant and Piagetian beliefs. A Teacher Practices Observations Form was developed by formulating observable behavioral categories, each of which correspond to the items on the belief scale. When administered to teachers in programs that were designed to follow either Piagetian or operant principles, the teachers' beliefs and

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57 practices were consistent. However, when the measures were used with 38 day care teachers from a variety of programs, the researchers found that the day care teachers agreed significantly more with Piagetian beliefs than with operant beliefs, but behave in ways more consistent with operant theory than with Piagetian theory. The results indicated that only two of the 38 teachers had practices that were consistent with their beliefs. Gonzalez-Vargas (1984) examined the relationship among three variables: "teacher beliefs regarding child development theories, teacher structure as observed by experts, and teacher structure as perceived by the teachers themselves" (p.2). She defined teacher structure as the manner in which teachers organize the educational setting regarding the day-to-day curriculum, the physical environment and the way they relate to children (p. 6). Gonzalez-Vargas interviewed and observed 34 early childhood teachers. It was predicted that there would be a positive relationship between teacher beliefs and teacher behavior as demonstrated by an agreement between teacher beliefs regarding child development and teacher structure. Results indicated that neither teacher beliefs about child development nor teacher beliefs about

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58 appropriate structure were found to be significantly correlated to teacher structure as observed by experts. Teacher beliefs about child development and teachers' perceptions of their behavior in the classroom were found to be related. This relationship indicated that teachers who showed strong beliefs in favor of behavioristic theory perceived themselves as high structure teachers, teachers who showed preference for maturationist theory perceived themselves as low structure teachers and teachers who expressed beliefs in favor of developmental theory perceived themselves as structured to a degree, but less than that perceived by the teachers in the behaviorist group and more than that perceived by the teachers in the maturationist group. (p. 125) Based upon guidelines outlined in Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth Through Age 8 (NAEYC, 1986a), Hoot, Bartkowiak, and Goupil (1989) developed the REducators' Beliefs Regarding Preschool Programming" to assess knowledge of appropriate practice among educators. Survey items were created to assess beliefs in the sub-areas described in the NAEYC document. These included beliefs concerning: curriculum goals, teaching strategies, guidance of socioemotional development, language/literacy development, cognitive development, physical development, aesthetic development, motivation, parent-teacher relations, assesssment of children, program entry and staffing.

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59 Surveys were returned by 401 elementary and special education administrators, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, primary, intermediate, and special education teachers from a large Northeastern state. Respondents, in general, appeared to have a reasonable knowledge of developmentally appropriate practices and no significant differences were found between groups in the areas of cognitive development, aesthetic development, parentteacher relations and assessment of young children. Significant difference among professional groups were found in the following areas: curriculum goals, teaching strategies, guidance of socioemotional development, language/ literacy development, physical development, motivation, assessment of children, program entry and staffing. A one-way analysis of variance determined these significant difference between subject groups: 1. Elementary administrators, special education administrators, and pre-kindergarten teachers scored significantly higher than elementary teachers. (High scores indicate more developmentally appropriate.) 2. Special education administrators, prekindergarten and special education teachers scored significantly higher than intermediate teachers. 3. Elementary administrators, special education administrators, pre-kindergarten teachers and special

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education teachers scored significantly higher than primary grade teachers. 4. Special education administrators and prekindergarten teachers scored significantly higher than kindergarten teachers. 60 Therefore, with the exception of the prekindergarten teachers, those most likely to fill rapidly developing public school pre-kindergarten positions (primary and intermediate teachers) scored significantly lower than elementary and special education administrators and special education teachers. Hoot et al. refers to data indicating that teachers with more formal background in child development and early childhood education are more likely to carry out appropriate practices whereas teachers whose previous teaching experience was with older children seem to have Ra particularly difficult time 'unlearning' inappropriate methods" (Mitchell & Modigliani, 1989, p. 58). According to Hoot et al., this information becomes increasingly problematic in union states where seniority (rather than competence with a particular age group) is used as teacher selection critiera for early childhood programs. The purpose of a study by Wing (1989) was to examine the relationship between teachers' beliefs, instructional decisions, and preschool children's conception of reading

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61 and writing. Wing summarized two predominant beliefs about reading that teachers often possess. The first, a mastery of specific skills/text-based orientation, reflects the belief that reading ability develops to the extent that students master specific reading skills ... and to the extent that these skills are taught by another person" and that reading consists largely of sounding out words on a page (Leu & Kinzer, 1987, pp. 29-39). The second, a holistic/reader-based" orientation, reflects the belief that "reading ability develops as students engage in meaningful, functional, and holistic experiences with print and that much of their learning takes place in a largely inductive fashion." Also reflected is the belief that readers use background knowledge and the evolving meaning of text to help them make guesses and form expectations for upcoming words" (Leu & Kinzer, 1987, pp. 41-51). Two nursery schools were selected for the Wing study. One school was found to have a mastery of specific skills/text based orientation (Montessori school), and the other was found to have a holistic/reader-based orientation (constructivist school) Three sets of data were collected at each school: director interviews; observations of literacy

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materials, methods, and experiences; and child interviews. The directors' beliefs were found to be highly consistent with the philosophies of their programs. 62 Their beliefs were reflected as a mastery of specific skills/text based orientation (Montessori) or a holistic/reader-based orientation (constructivist school). These orientations were also reflected by the materials and practices in the two programs. From the child interviews, results indicated that these preschool children's conceptions of reading and writing reflected the instructional beliefs and decisions of the nursery school program in which they were enrolled. The children in each school gave at least twice as many responses that reflected their school's orientation toward reading and writing. Wing concluded that the practices of the preschool teacher may influence whether children view reading as sounding out wordsn or as looking at books and whether they view writing as copying letters or as writing a story. Kindergarten Teachers The conflict between knowledge about how children grow and learn and how they are actually being taught is evidenced by the conclusions from a study by Hatch and

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63 Freeman {1988a). They interviewed a kindergarten teacher, a principal, and a central office administrator responsible for kindergarten programs from each of 12 school districts in Ohio. Analysis of interviews led to the identification of two broad generalizations: 1) Kindergarten programs are increasingly academic and skill oriented; and 2) individuals responsible for implementing these programs may not believe that their kindergarten best serves the needs of young children, with the result that these individuals experience philosophy-reality conflicts. {p. 151) Interview questions designed to reveal informants' philosophies of early childhood education were analyzed and classified into three categories according to their perceptions about child development: maturationism, behaviorism, and interactionism. Maturationism, espoused by Gesell and others, stresses the role of genetically controlled biological change in behavior and learning. In contrast, behaviorism, associated with Skinner, emphasizes the importance of environmental factors. Interactionism, also known as cognitive-developmental theory, is based on the work of Piaget and views development as the dynamic interaction of the individual with his or her environment {Hatch & Freeman, 1988a, p. 159). Hatch and Freeman described the majority of kindergartens in this study as skill-based, highly structured, academically focused and based on a direct

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64 instruction model, suggesting a behaviorist orientation to learning and development. No teacher reported using a child-initiated approach. Use of learning centers was limited to a location in the room where teachers provided planned activities that children were assigned to complete (1988a, p. 157). Hatch and Freeman reported that of the 36 individuals interviewed, 27.8% of their subjects communicated beliefs that were classified as maturationist, 27.8% communicated interactionist beliefs, and 44.4% communicated behavioristic beliefs. The researchers described as "surprising" the finding that 55.6% of the subjects held maturationist or interactionist beliefs while working in or supervising programs that were behavioristic in practice. This discrepancy between their own philosophies of education and the realities of classroom practice was labelled a philosophy-reality conflict. This conflict was found to be more prevalent among teachers than principals or central office supervisors. Over 66% of the teachers interviewed expressed rnaturationist or interactionist beliefs; thus they were in conflict between their espoused beliefs about what is appropriate to facilitate learning in young children and their implementation of behaviorist classroom practices; 50% of the principals

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and supervisors held maturationist or interactionist beliefs. 65 In a study by the Oregon Department of Education (Hitz, 1986; Hitz & Wright, 1988), researchers also found educators implementing more academically oriented practices in the kindergarten while espousing more developmentally oriented beliefs. Questionnaires were sent to all elementary principals with kindergartens in their schools, all kindergarten teachers, and a random sample of 325 first-grade teachers. One portion of the survey was designed to determine teacher and educator views regarding kindergarten curriculum and practices. Respondents were asked to express level of agreement or disagreement with twelve statements reflecting one of two views about kindergarten practices: a formal, structured view in which workbooks, teacher-directed activities, and formal testing are emphasized, and a developmental view that emphasizes the teaching of basic skills and concepts through direct experience with objects and people. Principals, kindergarten teachers, and first grade teachers responded more favorably to the statements reflecting a developmental philosophy than to statements reflecting a formal academic approach to teaching kindergarten. They supported the use of dramatic play, open-ended materials, and hands-on activities. They

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66 disagreed with the heavy use of workbook and other seat work activity in the kindergarten program. However, when asked about the degree and direction of change in recent kindergarten practices, the most striking response was the agreement--reported by 61% of the principals, 64%of the kindergarten teachers, and 72% of the first-grade teachers--that emphasis on academic skill development has increased" (Hitz & Wright, 1988, p. 29). Kagan and Smith (1988) examined the relationship between kindergarten teachers' cognitive styles and their tendency to implement a child-centered vs. a teacherstructured approach to kindergarten. Fifty-one kindergarten teachers completed self-report instruments assessing cognitive style, teaching ideology, classroom behavior, and occupational stress. In addition, outside raters recorded two kinds of teacher behavior: verbal interactions, and 'mapping' data indicating the positions of teacher and students within the classroom (p. 26). Two inventories were used to measure teachers' cognitive styles: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Myers & McCaulley, 1985) and the Inquiry Mode Questionnaire (Harrison & Bramson, 1977). Teaching attitudes towards structuring a kindergarten class were assessed with the Teacher Belief Rating Scale (Verma & Peters, 1975), a self-report instrument designed to evaluate the beliefs

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67 of early childhood teachers in terms of two developmental theories: Piagetian vs. operant. Evaluations of teachers' classroom behaviors were made using the Teacher Structure Checklist (Webster, 1972). To analyze the data collected with these instruments, bivariate relationships among all variables were evaluated with Pearson correlations. Scores on the Teacher Belief Rating Scale, the checklist measuring teachers' perceptions of their own classroom behavior, and their actual behavior as evaluated by observers using the Teacher Structure Checklist were all highly interrelated. Teachers who endorsed child-centered attitudes used less teacher-structure and more child focus in their classes. Endorsement of child-centered beliefs was also related to a number of observational measures --use of relatively little criticism, the tendency to work and to communicate with individual children or with small groups rather than with the entire class. Thus a confluence of self-report, third-party and observational data appeared to define the childcentered kindergarten. (Webster, 1972, p. 30) With respect to scores on the Inquiry Mode Questionnaire and measures of teacher attitude or behavior, high scores on the Idealist scale were consistently associated with behavior and attitudes characteristic of a child-centered approach to kindergarten; scores on the Pragmatist and Realist scales were positively related to behavior characteristic of a

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66 teacher-centered approach. Kagan and Smith inferred from this data that the use of more teacher structure in class was regarded by teachers as a more immediately pragmatic method of classroom management (p. 33). Due to high positive correlation among teachers' beliefs, self-reported classroom behaviors and outside raters' reports of classroom the researchers suggested two generalizations: First, kindergarten teachers did appear to operationalize their beliefs about the best way to teach young children. Secondly, teachers were quite accurate in their own perceptions of the classroom environment they created. (Webster, 1972, p.33) Using the NAEYC Position Statement of Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Programs for 4-and 5-Year Olds (NAEYC, 1986b), Charlesworth, Hart, Burts, and Hernandez developed a questionnaire to obtain information regarding teachers' beliefs and practices. The questionnaire contained two subscales: the Teacher Beliefs Scale (TBS) containing 30 items regarding teachers' beliefs and the Instructional Activities Scale containing 31 items designed to inventory actual instructional practice. The items represented several areas of kindergarten instruction as specified in the NAEYC guidelines: curriculum goals, teaching strategies, guidance of socioemotional development, language development and literacy, cognitive development, physical

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development, aesthetic development, motivation, and assessment of children (Charlesworth, Hart, Burts, & Hernandez, 1990, pp. 12-13). 69 The questionnaire was administered to 113 kindergarten teachers in four southern states. Respondents were asked to provide demographic information regarding their education and teaching experience and to estimate the percentage of influence each of the following have on their planning and implementation of instruction: parents, parish or school system policy, principal, teacher (themselves), state regulations and other teachers. They were asked to assign the percentages so that the sum of all six categories was 100% (Charlesworth et al., 1990, p. 12). Classroom observations were used to validate the accuracy of individual teacher's questionnaire responses, using the Checklist for Rating DeveloPmentally Appropriate Practice in Kindergarten Classrooms, a 27 item observational instrument. Items were constructed corresponding to the NAEYC guidelines for children ages 5 to 8 (Bredekamp, 1987). Areas included were curriculum goals, teaching strategies, integrated curriculum, guidance of socioemotional development, motivation, parent-teacher relations, evaluation, and transitions (Charlesworth et al., 1990, p. 15).

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70 Correlational analyses were used to determine the relationships between teacher's perceptions of their own beliefs and practices. Developmentally appropriate beliefs were moderately correlated with developmentally appropriate practices a stronger relationship was found between teacher's developmentally inappropriate beliefs and inappropriate practices .71. .000). Charlesworth et al. suggested that the moderate nature of the correlations between beliefs and practices may be related to the availibility of the appropriate activites. They noted that in some kindergarten classrooms teachers may make appropriate activities available each day but limit access. For example, students may have to finish a mountain of workbook and worksheet activities before having an opportunity to go to the centers where they can explore more appropriate materials. Thus only the more capable, faster workers have access to these materials. In other classrooms appropriate materials are used, but only in large group activities. This usually means waiting for everyone to complete a task before moving on to the next, again placing a limitation on access. Teachers responses to the inappropriate items may be better predictors of what is really going on in their classrooms than their responses to the appropriate items. (p. 30) Responses to the question about influence on teacher planning and implementation of instruction varied among teachers. The teachers who had the strongest appropriate beliefs and who offered appropriate activities most frequently felt they had greater control over their

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71 planning and implementing of instruction. Teachers who had more developmentally inappropriate beliefs and practices viewed outside forces such as principals and parents as having more influence on their planning and instruction. Charlesworth et al. (1990) speculated that the more strongly appropriate teachers may have educational backgrounds which were more child development oriented, may be people with stronger self concepts who stand up for their beliefs, or may have a better articulated theory underlying their practices while teachers with less appropriate beliefs and practices may rely more on opinion in forming their implicit theories and thus turn to outside forces as the determinants of their instructional programs (p. 32). Some of the more inappropriate teachers we visited told us that they 'know better' but that the parents and/or principal demanded that they use inappropriate activities. On the otherhand, we have also talked with teachers who firmly believe that the inappropriate activities and materials are 'appropriate.' Our results support the need for principals and parents to become educated regarding developmentally appropriate educational practices for young children. (Charlesworth et al., 1990, p. 32) In a study utilizing the same Teacher Beliefs Scale, Instructional Activities Scale, and Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Kindergarten Classrooms, researchers explored the relationship between appropriate and inappropriate practices and stress

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behaviors in kindergarten children (Burt, Hart, Charlesworth, Hernandez, Kirk, & Mosley, 1989). 72 Based on the results of analysis of the observational checklist for rating developmentally appropriate classrooms, two classes were selected: one represented a developmentally appropriate kindergarten setting and the other a developmentally inappropriate kindergarten setting. These two teachers were then asked to complete the Teacher Beliefs Scale and Instructional Activities Scale. The 37 children in these two classes were observed using a classroom child stress behavior instrument. Items selected for this observational tool were derived from an extensive review of literature that documents manifestations of stress in child behaviors. Results indicated that children in the developmentally inappropriate class exhibited significantly more stress behaviors than did children 1n the developmentally appropriate class; males exhibited more total stress behaviors than females. According to Burt et al. (1989, p. 9), these findings provide empirical data to support the position of Elkind (1986), Schweinhart and Weikart (1988), Gallagher and Cache (1987), and Shepard and Smith (1988) who have warned of the negative consequences of inappropriate practices. Differences were also found between the two classes in

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73 time devoted to various activities, with the more appropriate classroom exhibiting more center activities, group stories, and transition activities while the inappropriate classroom had more whole group and workbook/ worksheet activities. Burt et al. suggest that these findings are what one would expect based on the NAEYC guidelines (Bredekamp, 1987) and help confirm the validity of the teacher questionnaires and the classroom observation scale in identifying appropriate and inappropriate classrooms. Building on the work of Bussis, Chittenden, and Arnerel (1976), Halliwell (1980) identified and analyzed the meanings that three kindergarten teachers attached to the curriculum and activities in their classrooms. To arrive at the constructs that these kindergarten teachers held, Halliwell observed the classrooms and interviewed the teachers. The teachers were provided with opportunities in the interviews to clarify their reasons for and the meanings of the activities and interactions which took place in their classroom. Halliwell found that the teachers were guided by the district curriculum guide. However, the three teachers differed in the amount of emphasis they attached to the guide and in the emphasis placed on different areas of the guide. Each teacher responded to her perception of

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74 the needs of the group of children with whom she was working. A teacher mainstreaming handicapped children into classroom activities showed special concern that these children participate and feel a successful part of the group. Her priorities included helping children to enjoy school, to get along with others, and to experience academic growth. A second teacher wanted her program to be responsive to individual children's interests. Her priorities were to help children to get along with one another and to develop thinking skills in the areas of reading, writing, math, and social studies. The third teacher wanted to encourage children to care about themselves and others, to feel responsible for their own learning, and to acquire a broad base of concepts and skills. Halliwell concluded that these teachers' constructs illuminated the reasons for their own particular actions and for the development of particular activities and interactions in their respective classrooms. She determined that the consistency of teaching practice in each of these classes could be understood in terms of each teacher's particular constructs.

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75 Primary Teachers Working with a sample of 182 teachers from Goodlad's study of schooling (1983), Bauch examined the degree to which the instructional beliefs of teachers influence their behavior in the classroom. Bauch's theoretical conceptions described belief systems as a psychological filter which selectively attends to and admits information from the environment. The individual's beliefs are viewed as predispositions to action, in that beliefs screen the information available for the formation of attitudes, which influence intentions, which are the basis for decisions that lead to related behavior (1984, pp. 2-3). The model of beliefs used by Bauch assumes that an individual's beliefs are organized around underlying points of reference which represent something that is important to an individual--criterial referents. Bauch's study attempted to identify from among two belief referents (teacher control and student participation), the degree to which one or both was held, and the extent to which they seemed to influence classroom teaching behavior and student perceptions of the classroom environment (Bauch, 1984, p. 4). Bauch explored elementary school teachers' beliefs using a paper-and-pencil inventory, the Teacher Beliefs Inventory. She assessed teacher practice through

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76 questionnaires, interviews, and direct observation of instruction using a modified version of the Stallings Classroom Observation Instrument. Basing her judgments on the belief dimensions of teacher discipline and control and student participation, Bauch labeled teachers as controllers (scoring high on teacher control, but low on student participation), strategists (high on both), laissez-faire (low on both), or relators (low on teacher control and high on student participation). Bauch's discussion of the results focused on the two groups of teachers for whom one of the constructs was criterial: controllers and relators. Bauch found that teachers' instructional beliefs were generally consistent with their teaching behaviors. Controller teachers were found to express both in belief and practice classroom curriculum and instructional behavior different from relator teachers. Controllers tended to employ lecturing, writing, and test-taking as their primary methodology. Controller teachers reported that they were more influenced by curriculum guides, standardized test results, textbooks, and commercial materials than by student background and preferences in planning for teaching. In contrast, relators tended to promote student self-direction through such activities as class discussions, dramatizations, projects, and

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77 experiments. In planning for teaching, relators considered student preferences, interests, and abilities and evaluated students based on student projects, reports, and performances. Bauch (1984) attributed the difference in belief systems to the philosophical presuppositions held by each group of teachers. Each group was seen as having different assumptions about human nature, the locus of culture, and the center of values (society vs. individual) (p. 20). Spodek and Rucinski attempted to arrive at teachers' constructs, as theory-in-use,a by asking them to respond to actions that take place in their classroom (1984). Observations of ongoing classroom activities were recorded from three first grade classrooms. Observers reviewed the notes taken during observations and identified decisions that were made by each teacher. Descriptions of the teachers' actions and their contexts were abstracted. Teachers were interviewed about the decision situations. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed, wherein statements of beliefs were identified by researchers. Statements of beliefs were edited and presented to the teachers for confirmation or modification. Statements were organized into ten content areas and statements of belief about values (representing

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78 the oughts and shoulds of education) were separated from beliefs about fact (descriptive of attributes of schools, teachers, children, parents and other adults and the relationship between such attributes) (Spodek & Rucinski, 1984, p. 15). Although there was a great deal of differences in the number of statements generated by each teacher, the proportion of value-oriented belief statements to technically-oriented statements was nearly identical among the three teachers: 60% technical or Rfact" beliefs and 40% value beliefs (p. 16). Researchers were also able to identify three categories which generated the highest number of beliefs for each teacher (classroom management, learning, instructional practices). Spodek suggests that since these three categories predominated in the statements of all three teachers, they may reflect the focus of teaching in the primary classroom. The prevailing perception was that a class needs to be well managed for any teaching to occur. Once management is accounted for, the focus of the teacher is on instruction and learning--the prime role of the school. Teacher beliefs are related to the purposes of primary education and what teachers need to do to achieve these purposes (1984, p. 23). Spodek further asserts that the manner in which these beliefs were generated, focusing on theories-in-use rather than

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79 espoused theories, lead them to be consistent with each teacher's practice (p. 22). In presenting background to their study, Regan and Weininger (1988), acknowledge that a recurring debate in kindergarten and primary education is the kind of program appropriate for these early school years. Recently, lack of agreement concerning the what" and how" of early school experience has been complicated by demands for accountability," "excellence, and getting back to the basics" (p. 2). According to Regan and Weininger, child centered education has become the target of critics who claim that basics" have been abandoned in the primary school years. Regan and Weininger (1988) suggest that supporters of child centeredness often have difficulty defending what is both a philosophy and a particular approach to classroom practice ... Teachers committed to the ideas that education should be responsive to children's needs, and that children should feel and be involved in their own education, are sometimes less certain of what this commitment means with respect to program design and teacher role in the classroom ... As a result, they fall prey to critics who suggest a lack of focus or goals and call for programs directed toward more standardized and measurable outcomes. (p. 2) In this study, videotapes were made of exemplary child centered practice and the teachers involved were asked to describe and explain what was happening in the

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60 illustrations selected. The objective was to develop a means for illustrating what exemplary child centered practice looks like and to allow teachers to share their goals and how they went about achieving these goals. The six teachers chosen were committed to a child centered approach. Criterion for determining child centered practice was evidence that the program of activities, experiences and teacher-child interactions in the classroom was continually responsive to, and adapted for, the needs of children in that particular setting at that particular time" (Regan & Weininger, 1988, p. 3). Teachers were asked to describe, in writing, "the beliefs that explain and guide your practice. Regan and Weininger explained that the concept of "beliefs was chosen in exploring teacher thoughts about their practice for two reasons. First, this concept as discussed by Sigel (1987) was seen as meeting the purposes of the investigation. Sigel refers to beliefs as truth statements held by an individual derived from many sources, which are at the core of much of our actions (Sigel, 1987, p. 216). According to Regan and Weininger (1988), their observations suggest that what guides practice in a setting is a combination of the teacher's assumptions regarding how children develop and learn and his/her educational values, which are continually

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61 influenced by teaching experience. A second reason for choosing the construct beliefs" was the researchers' judgment that asking teachers to identify 'beliefs' rather than 'theories' and 'goals and objectives' might produce a more personal and valid expression of what was at the core of their thinking (p. 4). In their analysis of primary teachers' written responses, Regan and Weininger organized teacher wbelief" statements into three categories: (a) assumptions about child development and learning, (b) principles of practice--articulating program goals and guidelines, and (c) practice prescriptions--specifics associated with daily classroom activities and teacher-child program interactions. Based on their own analysis of the videotapes and the written responses of graduate students who were asked to identify beliefs about children, teaching, and educational goals reflected in the videotape and the teacher descriptions of the setting, Regan and Weininger concluded that education that is responsive to children, engaging them in their own learning and promoting their sense of self worth is not without focus or direction when guided by teachers able to successfully combine a sense of educational purpose and sensitivity to children. (1988, p. 9)

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62 Principals/Imolications for Supervision Nespor (1987) suggests that to understand teaching from teachers' perspectives we have to understand the beliefs with which they define their work. She asserts that teaching takes on different meanings for different teachers, and failure to recognize this impairs any attempt to make sense of what teachers do in the classroom or why they do it. If the ultimate goal of research on teaching is to shape, direct, or improve the practices of teachers, then the reasons that teacher have for acting as they do--reasons which make them more or less amenable to advice and training--must be examined" (Nespor, 1985, p. 3). According to Munby (1983), because teaching events occur in very particular contexts, any attempt to improve a teacher's practice must consider the un1queness of the context and the individual teacher. This includes obtaining knowledge about the nature of the beliefs and principles teachers hold. Munby refers to clinical supervision (Cogan, 1973; Goldhammer, 1969) as an option which allows the supervisor to address teacher behaviors and the beliefs or principles which influence teacher behavior. one could say that one of the many demanding tasks to be handled by the clinical supervisor is that of

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83 having the teacher face and evaluate his or her beliefs (Munby, 1983, p. 10). Expanding on this idea, Kaplan-Sanoff (1980) asserts that teachers who can identify their theoretical assumptions and classroom strategies related to child learning are better able to make daily educational decisions based upon a rational and consistent framework of beliefs. In addition, teachers who are able to explain their goals and how their strategies will achieve these goals can justify their teaching positions to principals and parents and are more likely to receive their support. Kaplan-Sanoff contends that teachers should be able to identify their own teaching behavior and their ideal teaching beliefs. Teachers and supervisors can then identify the difference between actual classroom behavior and theoretical teaching beliefs and work toward making practices and beliefs more congruent. With respect to knowledge and beliefs concerning developmentally appropriate practice, Hatch and Freeman (1988a) reported that 50% of principals and supervisors in their study held maturationist or interactionist beliefs even though the majority of the kindergartens in their schools operated according to a behaviorist orientation to learning and development--highly

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64 structured, skill-based, academically focused and based on a direct instruction model. The researchers labelled this discrepancy between philosophies of education and the realities of classroom practice a philosophy-reality conflict. This conflict was even more prevalent for the kindergarten teachers; 66% of whom expressed maturationist or interactionist beliefs. In a study by Hoot, Bartkowiak, and Goupil (1989), principals were found to have a better knowledge of developmentally appropriate practice at the kindergarden level than primary and intermediate teachers. They suggested that an explanation for this finding might be that administrators somehow manage to keep up with current information in their fields through journals or workshops. These researchers expressed an interest in research to see if these administrators managed to support the implementation of appropriate programs based on their beliefs, citing a number of obstacles to such implementation by administrators. As they cited, Administrators, even more so than teachers, are pressured to ensure that children learn in their programs. Parents exert heavy pressure on administrators. Commercial curriculum developers influence administrators to purchase kits or textbooks that they claim will help children excel. But most importantly, public school administrators are required to implement various policies mandated by the local school system or state. (Bredekamp, 1987, p. 84)

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85 Brousseau and Freeman (1987) discuss the various panels and commissions such as the National Commission on Excellence in Education (1983) which have dramatized the problem of educational ineffectivenss and call for reforms to improve education. They cite Odden (1984) who points out that the recommendations suggested by these commissions generally focus on what might be called the "'hardware of educational excellence' (i.e., programs, standards, and requirements), and seem to propose 'reform by addition.' What may be more important to school improvement is reform by reallocation and internal change" (Odden, 1984, p. 312). Similarly, Goodlad (1983) argues that developing the capacity of each school to change and improve may be the only effective strategy for reforming education. According to Brousseau and Freeman (1987), a first step toward understanding how to affect the process of schooling is to understand the values and beliefs underlying those processes. They further assert that a clear description of the educational beliefs of a school's staff is an important contribution in efforts to understand a teaching culture, the importance of which is supported by Deal (1985), who states unless local educators understand and reckon with the existing culture of each school, the introduction of commissions' recommendations or characteristics of

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86 effectiveness will probably not work; it may even do more harm than good (p. 604). Teacher Education According to Mayer (1985), teacher education in America has always had a tendency to be practice-oriented as opposed to theory-oriented. He cites research which suggests that the beliefs teacher hold are an important determinant of teaching behavior and that those teachers who do operate from beliefs and theory are in fact more effective teachers than those who operate at a more concrete level (Brown, 1969; Buchman, 1983; Olson, 1981). Mayer argues that findings from research on teacher beliefs justify devoting more time in teacher education to the issue of teacher beliefs. When educators contemplate reforms in teacher education curricula, they often think in terms of changes that will upgrade teacher candidates' professional knowledge or teaching skills. However, some educators believe that when attention centers on efforts to improve the way prospective teachers will ultimately act in their classrooms, it is apparent that teacher education must also consider educational dispositions and beliefs (Brousseau & Freeman, 1987; Katz & Raths, 1985).

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67 Nespor contends that even prospective teachers have conceptual systems--no matter how implicit and unsystematized these may be--for making sense of, evaluating, and justifying the things that go on in classrooms (1985, p. 3). Nespor sees two responses possible to deal with the influence of beliefs in defining and shaping tasks in teaching. One would be to transform teaching into a set of well-defined tasks by teaching prospective teachers recipe-like pedagogical methods and closely monitoring the performance of teachers. Another response would be to try and change or shape teachers' beliefs. This would require assisting teachers and prospective teachers to become consciously aware of their beliefs, and as Fenstermacher (1979) suggests, presenting objective data on the adequacy or validity of their beliefs. Fenstermacher contends that teachers' beliefs and practices will be transformed only if alternative or new beliefs are available to replace the old. He argues, there is a critical difference between studying what makes teachers effective and teaching teachers to be effective (1979, p. 175). According to some, this implies that teacher education must build or displace existing systems of beliefs and knowledge held by prospective teachers (Feiman-Nemser & Floden, 1986; Floden, 1985; Nespor, 1985). Lortie

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68 (1975) explains the existence of beliefs about education in preservice teachers as a process of internalizing the modes of practices of their own teachers while they were students in his words, an apprenticeship-ofobservation as students. In a study designed to determine faculty definitions of desirable teacher beliefs, Brousseau and Freeman (1987, 1988) administered a modified version of the nMSU Educational Beliefs Inventory to instructors in five undergraduate teacher education programs offered by Michigan State's College of Education. This instrument consists of statements that are intended to reflect a representative sample of beliefs for each of Schwab's (1958) four commonplaces of schooling (students, curriculum, social milieu, and teachers) plus a fifth category designed to capture beliefs about pedagogy. The results indicated that faculty did not always agree on the ways in which a particular belief should be shaped. There were also significant differences in the extent to which beliefs were handled across courses in the program. Faculty members reported they were far more likely to emphasize beliefs with which they wanted graduates to agree than issues on which they felt students should adopt their own informed positions. Faculty members typically reinforced (rather than challenged) prevailing

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89 educational beliefs of entry-level teacher candidates: faculty members were more likely to emphasize issues on which they and their students already agreed than beliefs on which there was a conflict between students' initial position and those which the faculty viewed as desirable. The researchers concluded that teacher preparation programs have a limited influence on teachers' orientations and beliefs due to a lack of agreement among program faculty as to the ways in which beliefs should be shaped and the failure of the faculty to challenge inappropriate prevailing beliefs or to encourage students to form their own opinions on certain educational issues. Providing students with a sound understanding of theory is one aim of teacher education. Of the theories which describe human growth and development, three major approaches to developmental psychology have most influenced early childhood education: behaviorist, developmental, and maturationist (Kolhberg, 1968; Maier, 1969; Seaver & Cartwright, 1977). Because students entering teacher education programs have their own personality patterns and styles of interacting with people, they will generally agree more consistently with one of the developmental theories than with the others (Gonzalez-Vargas, 1984). Some educators propose exposing students to a comprehensive view of philosophical and

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90 developmental perspectives to encourage students to clarify and modify their own views (Kaplan-Sanoff, 1980; Seaver & Cartwright, 1977). Kaplan-Sanoff proposes that the goal of teacher education should be to produce graduates who are able to articulate and defend their own beliefs about the teaching-learning process. Teachers should have a sound understanding of principles of child development and learning theory and articulate those beliefs in terms of educational goals. Accordingly, their teaching can be purposefully directed towards developing an educational program and goals consistent with the ability and need levels of the children (Brandt & Gunter, 1981; Kaplan-Sanoff, 1980). Teacher education programs need to integrate philosophy, theory and practice in such a way as to encourage prospective teachers to develop a rationale for their actions and decisions (Gonzalez-Vargas, 1984 ; Seaver & Cartwright, 1977) Cohen, Peters, and Willis (1976) investigated the effects of four different models of early childhood education on the preferences, beliefs, and behaviors of student teachers. They operationally defined beliefs as the more deeply held feelings about the early childhood education process; those feelings which were not so deeply ingrained were categorized as preferences.

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Beliefs were felt to be basic to the student teacher's orientation toward preschool education. 91 Fifty-five beginning and 25 advanced undergraduate women students at Pennsylvania State University were randomly assigned to one of four models of early childhood education programs maintained by the university: a precision-positive model based on operant theory (PP); a cognitive-developmental model based on Piagetian theory (CD); a responsive environment model based on the theories of Piaget, Montessori, and O.K. Moore as they are integrated into a variation of the New Nursery School curriculum of Nimnicht, McAfee, and Meir (RE) ; and a day care model based on a whole child approach to early childhood care (DC) (Cohen, Peters, & Willis, 1976, p. 15). Three measures were administered prior to practicum assignment and readministered after completion of student teaching practicum: (a) a program preferences questionnaire wherein students were asked to rate their preferences for each program on a 7-point scale from strongly desired to strongly opposed, (b) a Teacher Beliefs Rating Scale consisting of 24 Likert-type items derived from both Piagetian and operant learning theory, and (c) a Teacher Behavior Observation Form to observe

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student teacher interactions with children in the early childhood program (Verma & Peters, 1975 ) 92 It was hypothesized that student teachers would change their preference for particular program models in favor of the program model to which they were assigned. This was found to be true for the Cognitive-Developmental and Responsive Environment programs. However, the Precision Positive model was the least preferred by all students, including those students who were assigned to that program. Overall, student teachers showed stronger beliefs in the Cognitive-Developmental model than in the Precision Positive model. A significant main effect indicated that beliefs in both models which were expressed after the practicum were less than those expressed before the practicum. This finding was contrary to the hypothesis that no change would occur in beliefs The behaviors of the student teachers in the Precision Positive and Cognitive-Developmental programs were found to be consistent with the theoretical rationale underlying each program The researchers concluded that both preferences and beliefs of student teachers may be altered by the influence of a student teaching practicum. They caution that care must be taken in teacher training programs to be certain that beliefs which are subject to change do not change in such a way

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as to decrease the flexibility of the teacher to modify his or her behaviors in future teaching situations (Cohen, Peters, & Willis, 1976, p. 20). Importance of Congruency Between Beliefs and Practice 93 Dobson and Dobson have argued that beliefs-practice congruency is an element of good teaching; teachers function more effectively and real improvement in schooling occurs only when teachers are experiencing beliefs-practice congruency (1983). Several educators speak to the importance of consistency of theoretical or conceptual basis with instructional methods so that specific objectives are logically related not only to the rationale but also to the content of the curriculum and the evaluation scheme (Katz, 1977; Mori & Neisworth, 1983; Moyer, 1986; Spodek, 1978). Katz (1977) suggests that the actions of mature professsionals are guided by a set of internalized personal beliefs. Dobson and Dobson state that a set of beliefs enables a teacher to order priorities, establish goals, identify activities, analyze conflicting proposals, and convert controversy into meaningful school experiences (1983, p. 22). According to many early childhood experts, theories help professionals understand children's behavior, serve

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94 as a basis for selecting and evaluating methods and activities, bring meaning to program design and provide the intellectual content for professional training of teachers (Seaver & Cartwright, 1977; Spodek, 1978). According to Seaver & Cartwright, developmental theory provides a general context in which one can view individual acts and behavior. It simultaneously allows for a description of current events and a prediction of the direction of later development. Realization of the general goal of facilitating children's development depends on the availability of a comprehensive framework for decision making. When an explicit theoretical basis is present for a program, both the content of the curriculum for children and the methods of implementing the program are seen as logical extensions of the assumptions given in the developmental theory. (1977, p. 324) Dobson and Dobson speak to the results of teaching without a theoretical framework. Teaching practice without the support provided by a well-developed philosophy (set of beliefs) proceeds at random, blindly. Teaching without purpose becomes mere activity to 'get things done' with little consideration of means-end compatibility. Our culture seems to encourage a pragmatic approach toward almost every activity. Teachers are part of the culture and tend to reject philosophy and approach each task without concern for keeping their beliefs-practice consistent and harmonious. (1983, p. 21) Lack of Congruency Between Teacher Beliefs and Practice Many studies have found the relationship between teacher beliefs and teacher practice to be incongruent. Data analysis and researcher supposition suggest that the

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95 reasons for these findings include influences upon the teacher by external environmental factors and influences within the teacher. The external environmental influences include (a) expectations of principals, other teachers, parents, and the general public (Duffy, 1981; Hatch & Freeman, 1988b; Hoot et al., 1989; Hyson, Hirsh-Pasek, & Rescorla, 1989; Moyer, 1986; Shepard & Smith, 1985, 1988); (b) accountability mandates from the district and state requiring measurement of student achievement (Bredekamp & Shepard, 1989; Duffy, 1981; Hatch & Freeman, 1988b; Hoot et al., 1989; Shepard & Smith, 1985); (c) published materials such as basal textbooks and curriculum guides (Duffy, 1981; Duffy & Anderson, 1984; Hatch & Freeman, 1988b; Hoot et al., 1989; Kamii, 1985; Mayer, 1985); (d) student characteristics (Duffy, 1981; Duffy & Anderson, 1984; Hatch & Freeman, 1988b; Mayer, 1985 ; Shepard & Smith, 1985); and (e) working conditions such as material shortages (Gonzalez-Vargas, 1984) and shortage of time (Hitz, 1986). The influences within the teacher include: (a) teachers' actions based upon personal values and experiences rather than theory (Spodek, 1988); (b) teachers' actions influenced by conflicting values and beliefs (Berlak, Berlak, Bagantos, & Midel, 1975;

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96 Pearson, 1985 ) ; and {c) teachers' uncertainty of how to translate beliefs into practice or link psychological theories to educational practice {Hitz, 1986; Kamii, 1985; Regan & Weininger, 1988; Seaver & Cartwright, 1977) Hatch and Freeman {1988a) reported discrepancies between the educational philosophies of teachers, principals, and central office personnel and actual classroom practices. In analyzing interviews from 36 respondents, the researchers suggested several sources of pressure which resulted in this "philosophy-reality conflict": {a) changing characteristics of children, {b) expectations of parents, (c) accountability to the district and state, (d) expanded reliance upon published materials, and {e) expectations of the general public {p. 146). Reaching a similar conclusion, Moyer states meeting the demands of parents, the administration, and the public sometimes seems to conflict with what teachers know is best for young children {1986, p. 327). In a four-year study examining whether teachers use implicit theories of reading to select certain instructional alternatives over others, Duffy and Anderson {1984) found some congruence between teacher practices and their belief systems about reading.

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97 However, the relationship was not strong. The researchers concluded that teachers make decisions for a variety of reasons. While some of the teachers' decisions reflected implicit beliefs about reading, many reflected beliefs about the nature of instruction and classroom life--classroom management and routine, amount of assistance and structure needed by low or high ability pupils, and the social/emotional characteristics of students (1984, p. 102). Teaching context (grade level and/or ability of pupils) was found to be more influential than any particular theoretical belief. In addition, instruction appeared to be based more on the basal textbook than the espoused theoretical orientation of the teacher: almost all the teachers used the basal in the standard manner. In a study of kindergarten retention practices, Shepard and Smith (1985) identified pressures felt by kindergarten teachers to engage in certain classroom practices. Teachers indicated pressure was caused by the extreme diversity in ability levels of the students in the kindergarten. Teachers also felt pressure in the form of increased emphasis on academic achievement in the kindergarten. The source of this pressure included parental expectations for student progress, expectations for student performance by first grade teachers, and

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district guidelines specifying the distribution of instructional time in the classroom (pp. 172-176). 98 In an article entitled How Best to Protect Children from Inappropriate School Expectations. Practices. and Policies, Bredekamp and Shepard (1989) noted that often teachers are prevented from doing what is best for children by pressure to produce specified scores on standardized tests. They claim that high stakes testing" is a reality in primary schools today. Testing is referred to as high stakes because test results are used to determine promotion or retention, are used to evaluate teachers and administrators, affect the allocation of resources to school districts, and influence changes in the curriculum (p. 14). According to Bredekamp and Shepard, indicative of the high stakes nature of the testing of young children are commercial publishers who produce curriculum kits on test-taking skills for pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first graders or sponsor cAT Academies to prepare kindergarteners to take the required California Achievement Test, or publish books like Tbe Baby Boards: A Parents' Guide to Preschool and Primak School Entrance Tests (Robinson, 1988) as cited in Bredekamp and Shepard (1989, p. 15).

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99 According to Spodek (1988), teachers' actions and classroom decisions are driven by their perceptions and beliefs. They create conceptions of their professional world based upon their concept of that reality; teachers interpret their perceptions in terms of the theories they hold implicitly. These interpretations then become the basis for teachers' decisions and actions in the classroom. However, as discovered by Spodek, relatively few of the theories used by the teachers were grounded in reliable knowledge of child development. Rather, the teachers' decisions were often opportunistic and seemed to be rooted in a form of personal practical knowledge rather than the technical knowledge of child development and learning theory" (1988, p. 27). In a study of three British primary schools, knowledge of how teachers constructed their own teaching behavior was gained through extended observation and inverviews with teachers (Berlak, Berlak, Bagantos & Midel, 1975). Teachers were given an opportunity to explain reasons for their behavior. It was concluded that the observed inconsistencies in teachers' behavior in the classroom were due to complex and conflicting values and meanings. Rather than respond to a consistent set of beliefs, these teachers often held contradictory beliefs. Thus, their decisions took the

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100 form of resolving dilemmas, often in terms of a particular situation (Berlak et al., 1975, p. 240). In a similar study involving observation and interviews with teachers, Pearson (1985) also found an incongruency existed between teachers' described beliefs and their actual behavior associated with these beliefs. Pearson suggested that an apparent reason for this discrepancy was due to the fact that the incongruent beliefs were in conflict with other congruent and more relevant beliefs. Teachers' classroom behavior thus reflected their choice to teach the most relevant beliefs, sacrificing total consistency between belief and behavior (p. 142). In a study of issues in kindergarten education, researchers found educators implementing academically oriented practices in the kindergarten while espousing more developmentally oriented beliefs (Hitz, 1986). Analysis of questionnaire responses revealed an interesting perception of the source of pressure to push the kindergarten curriculum toward more of an academic emphasis. The pressure may be more imagined than real since both principals and teachers seem to agree on basic curriculum issues. Lack of communication between teachers and district administrators and parents may cause each group to see the other as the source of 'pressure.' (Hitz, 1986, p. 4)

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1 0 1 Hitz offered several explanations for this discrepancy between espoused educator beliefs and classroom practices. These included lack of time (a 2 1/2-hour kindergarten day) which predisposed teachers to use workbooks and other direct instruction approaches perceived to be more efficient ways to teach basic skills, the teachers' uncertainty of how to translate a developmental approach (use of dramatic play, open-ended materials and activities) into teaching practice meeting district objectives, and the difficulties in documenting student achievement without the concrete products that workbooks and tests produce (Hitz, 1986, p. 4). Seaver and Cartwright (1977) and Kamii (1985)contend that often a conceptual link is needed between theory and practice. When early childhood educators speak of child development, they are referring not to descriptive or explanatory theories but to a philosophy or an approach to education. This philosophy may be excellent, but it represents an intuitive leap from psychological theories to educational practice, without precise theoretical links between the two. (Kamii, 1985, pp. 3-4)

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CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Introduction This chapter describes the methods used to conduct the study. It is divided into the following four sections: 1) summary of research questions and methods 2) descriptions of subjects 3) instrumentation 4) research procedures Summary of Research Questions and Methods The research questions were investigated in the following ways: 1. To what extent are the espoused beliefs of primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators consistent with the NAEYC guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice for 6 to 8 year olds? Data were collected by administering the Teacher Beliefs Scale to first and second grade teachers, a corresponding version entitled Principal Beliefs Scale to principals of elementary schools, and an Educator Beliefs Scale to faculty members of early childhood and elementary education programs (see Appendix A).

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103 Data were computed as total scale means. Belief Scale means above 3.0 were considered to be more developmentally appropriate than inappropriate and thus consistent with NAEYC guidelines. 2. Is there a difference in the beliefs of primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators regarding appropriate primary curriculum and instructional practices? Data were computed as total scale means. Differences in beliefs between the three groups of educators were investigated with a one-way analysis of variance. Data analysis tested the null hypothesis that there is no significant difference between the beliefs of teachers, principals, and teacher educators. 3. What is the relationship between developmentally appropriate and inappropriate beliefs? Comparing means on the inappropriate belief items and means on the appropriate belief items of the Teacher Belief Scale, a correlational analysis was used to test the null hypothesis that there is no significant relationship between appropriate and inappropriate beliefs. 4. To what extent are primary teachers implementing practices which are consistent with the NAEYC guidelines for developmentally appropriate instructional practices for 6 to 8 year olds? Data were collected through a self-report questionnaire administered to all first and second grade teachers (the Instructional Activities Scale) and through

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104 observation of a subsample of twenty primary teachers using the Checklist for Rating DeveloPmentally Appropriate Practice in the Early Childbood Classroom (see Appendices B and D). Data for the Instructional Activities Scale were analyzed according to the mean scores which indicate the self-reported availability of each classroom activity. Data from the Instructional Activities Scale and the Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice were reported as mean scores, with mean values of 1 representing highly inappropriate practice and mean values of 5 representing highly appropriate practice. 5. What is the relationship between appropriate classroom intructional practice and inappropriate instructional practice? The relationship between appropriate practice items and inappropriate practice items on the Instructional Activities Scale was investigated with correlational analysis to test the null hypothesis that there is no significant difference between appropriate and inappropriate instructional practice items. 6. What is the congruence between the beliefs of primary teachers and their teaching behavior in the classroom? Data analysis tested the null hypothesis that there is no significant relationship between teacher beliefs and classroom teaching behavior. Relationships among the

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105 variables were evaluated with Pearson correlations comparing mean scores on the Teacher Beliefs Scale with those on the Instructional Activities Scale and the Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice. A dependent t-test was used to investigate differences between beliefs and behaviors on the and lAS. 7. Is there a difference in the level of developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices between those primary teachers with certification in early childhood education and those primary teachers with elementary education certification only? Teachers were divided according to information provided on the cover sheet of the questionnaire regarding background as to level of certification. Differences in level of developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices as a function of certification level were analyzed with multivariate analyses of variance. Data analysis tested the null hypothesis that there is no significant difference between those teachers with certification in early childhood education and those teachers with elementary certification only in the level of their developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices.

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106 Description of Subjects Subjects were selected from a sample of first and second grade teachers from public schools in Denver and three surrounding counties (Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas). Twelve urban and twenty suburban schools were selected through random sampling, resulting in a final sample pool of 211 primary teachers. Self-administered questionnaires were mailed to the principal and each first and second grade teacher in the selected schools. Questionnaires were returned by all 32 of the principals and by 142 of the teachers. From this group, a subsample of 20 primary teachers was randomly selected for classroom observation. Teacher educators were selected from faculty members in teacher education certification programs approved by the Colorado State Department of Education. Seven university and seven colleges were included in this group. Questionnaires were sent to all 65 faculty members at the early childhood or elementary education level. Questionnaires were returned by 45 of these 65 faculty members.

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107 Instrumentation The Teacher Questionnaire Data on beliefs regarding developmentally appropriate practice in the primary grades and the actual classroom practices of primary teachers were collected using The Teacher Questionnaire, an instrument that was devised by Charlesworth, Hernandez, Kirk, Hart, and Burts (in press). The content of this instrument was based on the definition of developmentally appropriate and inappropriate practices established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (Bredekamp, 1987). The Teacher Questionnaire contains three sections. In the first section, respondents provided demographic information regarding their education and teaching experience. The second and third sections of the questionnaire consists of two subscales: the 36-item Teacher Beliefs Scale and the 33-item Instructional Activities Scale (IAS). The items included represent several areas of primary instruction as specified in the NAEYC guidelines (Bredekarnp,l987) :curriculum goals, teaching strategies, integrated curriculum, guidance of social-emotional development, motivation, parent-teacher relations, evaluation, and transitions. Each item

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108 is a statement (e.g. It is important for children to learn through active exploration) that the respondent rates on a 5-point Likert scale from not important at all to extremely important. items describe an activity (e.g. playing with games and puzzles; using flashcards with sight words and/or math facts). The respondent rates the frequency of availability of each activity his/her classroom along a 5-point scale from almost never (less than monthly) to very often (daily). For the purposes of this study, the wording of four Beliefs items and six Activities items was revised slightly to be more consistent with instructional activities usually offered in the primary grades. For example, building with blocks was revised to playing with rnanipulatives such as pegboards, puzzles, and/or legos. The order of presentation of the Teacher Belief Scale and the Instructional Activities Scale was randomized across all teachers in the study. To figure total scale means, scoring of items on both measures related to inappropriate practice was reversed so that high scores indicate more appropriate beliefs and practices. For example, the activity circling, underlining, and/or marking items on worksheets is considered to be an inappropriate instructional activity for the primary grades, according to the NAEYC

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109 guidelines. It is developmentally appropriate practice for a teacher to circle number 1 for this item on the indicating that this activity is offered less than monthly in the classroom. When interpreting total scale means, the instruments are designed so that a total scale mean near 1 represents inappropriate practice and a mean value near 5 represents highly appropriate practice Therefore, when figuring a total scale mean on items relating to inappropriate practice, each score of 1 is changed to 5 and each score of 2 is changed to 4 so that high scores indicate more appropriate beliefs and practices. In an earlier study, the Teacher Beliefs Scale and the Instructional Activities Scale demonstrated good psychometric properties (Charlesworth, Hart, Burts, Mosley, and Thomasson, in press). To assess the factorial validity of the measures, a factor analysis was conducted by Charlesworth et al. Internal consistency was measured by Cronbach's Alpha. A factor analysis of the Teacher Beliefs Scale produced six reliable factors with Eigen values greater than 1 accounting for 64% of the item variance which, when rotated (varimax) to simple structure, yielded moderate to high item loadings (ranging from .40 to .80)

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1 1 0 on the designated factors (Snedecor & Cochran, 1980) and no substantial cross loadings (see Table 3.1). Four of the six factors were developmentally appropriate beliefs and two were developmentally inappropriate beliefs. The designated teacher descriptors for each of the six factors were: (a) inappropriate activities and materials (basals, workbooks/ditto sheets, flashcards, etc.), (b) appropriate social activities (dramatic play, talks informally with adults, etc.), (c) appropriate individualization (individual differences in development, individual differences in interests, etc.), (d) appropriate literacy activities (see and use functional print, use of invented spelling), (e) appropriate integrated curriculum beliefs (integrated math, health and safety, etc.), and (f) inappropriate structure (evaluation through standardized tests, curriculum as separate subjects). Subscale reliability was assessed by Cronbach's Alpha. Low to moderate levels of internal consistency (McMillan & Schumacher, 1989) were obtained for items comprising these six factors (.84, .77, .70, .60, .66, and .58 respectively).

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---------------------------------------------------Table 3.1 Factor Structure, Eigen Values, Cronbach's Alpha, Means, and Standard Deviations for the Teacher Beliefs Scale Activities Social IndlvlduaiTiitraml Literacy Items Hateri.ols I 11 II I IV X SO I. Inappropriate Activities u (Basal) .78 2.55 1.11 14 l"orkbooks/Ditte Sheets) .14 2.65 .81 15 (P'laehcarde) .12 3.27 1.11 24 (Pdnte .10 2.65 1. 02 4 WOirkSh.) .10 3.03 .84 32 (lle.oding) .70 2.40 .95 11 (Setorkl .61 2. 61 1. 07 22 (llecogniaing Alphabet) 61 3.78 1. 03 17 Oroupl .58 2.93 1. 03 23 (Colore Within Linea) .55 3.34 .92 9 (Selecta own Activity) -.)5 4.21 .78 II. Appropriate Social 28 IDn-tic Phy) .75 4.51 .66 29 (Ta1ka w/Adu1tal 7fi 4.51 .57 31 (Social Skilla .72 4.74 .so 26 IDictatea Stories) 44 4.28 .75 Ill. Appropriate Jndlvidualiaation (Individual differences In Develo.,....nt) .82 4.63 .56 5 (Individual Differences In lntereetel .74 4.35 .69 12 (Active Ewploratlon) .54 4. 67 .57 IV. Literacy Activities 27 (See Use P'unctlonal Print) .14 4.1) .88 30 (Use of Invented Spelling) .12 3.41 1. 13 EIGEN VAWE 7.40 4.41 1. 76 1. 49 CROHBACH'S ALPHA .84 71 70 .60 !--' !--' 1-'

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Table 3.1 (Continued) V. Appropriate Integrated Curriculum Beliefs 33 (Integrated Hath) 34 (Health Safety) 18 (Teacher as Facilitator) 35 (Multicultural Nonsexist) VI. Inappropriate Structure 2 (Evaluation through Standardized Tests) 7 (Curriculum as Separate Subjects) EIGEN VALUE CRONBACH'S ALPHA Integrated Cure. Beliefs v .78 .59 4 6 .45 1. 44 .66 Structure VI .12 .52 1. 31 .58 ----------------------------------Item X 4.15 4.34 4.69 4.13 2. 74 2.03 so .78 .66 54 .75 .85 .97 f-' f-' N

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1 13 In the aforementioned study (Charlesworth, Hart, Burts, Mosley, & Thomasson, in press), similar analyses were conducted for the Instructional Activities Scale. The factor analysis produced eight reliable factors containing Eigenvalues from 1.11 to 5.34 accounting for 65% of the item variance which, after rotation, yielded item loadings (ranging from .30 to .84) on the designated factors and no substantial cross loadings (see Table 3. 2) Four factors included developmentally appropriate activities and four factors consisted of developmentally inappropriate activities. The designated factor descriptors for this measure were: (a) appropriate literacy (plays games, listening to records, etc.), (b) inappropriate literacy activities (flashcards, handwriting on lines, ability level reading, etc.), (c) inappropriate learning (rote counting, reciting alphabet, etc.), (d) creative exploratory learning (exploration, creative writing, etc.), (e) appropriate integrated curriculum practices (integrated math, child coordinated activity, etc.), (f) planned multicultural and outdoor activities (multicultural and nonsexist, planned outdoor) (g) inappropriate management and

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Table 3.2 Factor Structure, Eigen Values, Cronbach's Alpha, Means, and Standard Deviations for the Instructional Activities Scale Activities Inappropriate Lea
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Table 3.2 (Continued) v. Appropriate Jnte9rated Curr. Practice )4 (Inte9cated Hath) )) CDrawin9, Paintin9 6 Art Medial 32 (Health 6 Safety) 2] (Child Coordinated Activity) VI. Planned Multicultural Outdoor Activitiea lO (Multicultural Nonaeaietl 2t (Planned outdoor) VII. Inappropriate Hana9e .. nt Guidance Technique 25 (Loaa of Privelevel 24 (JIIewardal 27 CUae of laolation) VIII. Inappropriate Tranaitional Activity 20 CSittin9 15 ln.) 21 (Waitin9 5 in. I ltlOIUf VALU8 CJIIONBACN'S AI.PHA ____________ ___________ ... Inte9rtedCur-L------.tUTtlcultuliar-Hanaqe-nt/ ----reileher---olrected Item Practices Outdoor Guidance Learnin9 V VI VII Vlll X 51> .76 .56 .51 .44 .H .56 .H .68 .61 .79 .61 1.63 1.40 1.27 1.11 .!>7 .H .60 4. 50 7J 4.52 .u 3. 85 ., 4.03 1.04 3.82 l.ll 3.56 1.0, 3.!14 1.2, 4.28 .9J 2. 75 1. 4) 3.09 1.28 2.03 1.14 1-' 1-' \)1

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116 guidance techniques (loss of privilege, rewards, etc.), and (h) inappropriate transitional activity (sitting 15 minutes, waiting 5 minutes). Low to moderate levels of internal consistency were obtained for items comprising these eight factors as measured by Cronbach's Alpha (.79, ,79, .72, .62, .66, .57, .56, and .60 respectively). The Charlesworth and Hart et al. (in press) study concluded that the factors which emerged from both scales were fairly strong and independent and the factors were also conceptually logical, that is, the item clusters fit the NAEYC (1987) appropriate/inappropriate guidelines. Ten classrooms identified through the questionnaire as being more appropriate than inappropriate and 10 classrooms identified as being more inappropriate than appropriate were observed using the Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice in the Early Childhood Classroom. Observations in these 20 classrooms validated the accuracy of the Teacher Questionnaire (Charlesworth and Hart et al., in press). The 10 classrooms identified as most developmentally appropriate through the questionnaire were also rated as most appropriate by independent observers.

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1 1 7 Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Classrooms Supplementary data on teachers' practices were collected by observing a subsample of twenty primary teachers using Tbe Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childbood This 24-item observational instrument was developed to determine the accuracy of individual teacher's questionnaire responses (Charlesworth, Mosley, Burts, Hart, Kirk, & Hernandez, in press). Items were constructed corresponding to the NAEYC guidelines for children ages 5-to-8 (Bredekamp, 1987). Areas included were curriculum goals, teaching strategies, integrated curriculum, guidance of social-emotional development, motivation, and transitions. An attached interview includes three questions related to parent-teacher relations and evaluation and provides open-ended clarification questions for any of the observation items which could not be rated due to lack of information. Each item in the observation instrument is rated by observers on a 5-point Likert Scale,the most appropriate practice descriptors are listed under point 5 and the most inappropriate under point 1. Thus a total scale mean near 1 represents inappropriate practice and a mean value near 5 represents highly appropriate practice.

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118 Below each item there was a space for examples observed or explanatory comments from teacher interviews which provided the rationale for the rating given. Construct and content validity for this instrument derives from the widely accepted definition of developmentally appropriate practice as explained in the NAEYC Guidelines (Bredekamp, 1987), the document from which items on this instrument were developed. In order to provide further content validity for this measure, the researcher presented the instrument to a panel of judges with extensive background in early childhood education who were very familiar with the NAEYC Guidelines (faculty members at Metropolitan State College) to see if they concurred that items listed on each end of the continuum discriminate between appropriate and inappropriate practice as defined by the NAEYC document (see Appendix E) All judges agreed in general with the item descriptors; none were substantially changed or deleted by them. Some suggestions were made to add to the list of descriptors to make more concrete distinctions; these were added to the instrument if two out of the three faculty members made similar suggestions. No interobserver reliability data were provided by Charlesworth and Hart et al. (in press). For this study, it was considered important that interobserver

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11 g reliability be established before the instrument was used for data collection (see section on Observer Training in this chapter) Interrater reliability was figured by means of Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient. Overall results of reliability were as follows: Observer A and Observer B = .84; Observer A and Observer C = .81; and Observer Band Observer C = .79. This was deemed to be an acceptable level of interobserver reliability (McMillan & Schumacher, 1989) and data collection commenced. Research Procedures The following sections list in numerical order the steps taken in the administration of each of the instruments and the training of observers. Administration of the Teacher Questionnaire to PrimarY Teachers and Principals 1. Letters explaining the study and requesting district participation were sent to districts in the Denver metropolitan area (see Appendix F) 2. School district research administrators were contacted by telephone regarding their willingness to participate in the study. All but two of the districts contacted agreed to participate.

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120 3. After receiving district approval, the researcher sent letters to 70 principals explaining the nature of the study, how it would be conducted, the time involved, and the person to contact with questions (see Appendix G) Principals were asked to return an enclosed postcard indicating their willingness to participate in the study (see Appendix H). Of the 70 principals contacted, 32 agreed to participate. For those principals who declined to participate in the study, the reason given was almost universally that of time pressure and teacher involvement in various committees and projects in addition to their classroom responsibilities. The 38 schools which chose not to participate did not appear to be systematically different from the participating sample schools as they were randomly distributed geographically throughout the school districts included in the study and they were a mix of urban and suburban schools. Therefore, the researcher decided not to pursue statistical comparisons between those schools which participated in the study and those which did not. 4. A packet of teacher questionnaires was mailed to the 32 participating principals. Principals were asked

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to distribute the questionnaires to all the first and second grade teachers in their school. 121 5. First and second grade teachers were asked to complete the Teacher Beliefs Scale and the Instructional Activities Scale. Of the 211 teachers to whom questionnaires were sent, 142 responded, a response rate of 67%. 6. Principals were asked to complete a version of the Teacher Beliefs Scale wherein the cover sheet requesting background information had been adapted for use with principals and the title had been changed to Principal Beliefs Scale. Of the 32 principals to whom questionnaires were sent, all responded, a response rate of 100%. 7. To promote a good return rate, included with each questionnaire was a teabag and a note inviting the respondent to relax with a cup of tea while completing the surveys (see Appendix I). 8. Postage paid return envelopes were enclosed with each survey. 9. Each survey contained a cover sheet explaining that the confidentiality of the respondent was guaranteed (see Appendix J)

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Administration of Educator Beliefs Scale to Teacher Educators 1. From a list of approved teacher certification programs provided by the Colorado State Department of 122 Education, the researcher identified early childhood and elementary education programs located in the state of Colorado. 2. The researcher called each program identified to obtain names of all teacher education faculty members. 3. Ninety-three teacher education faculty members were mailed a questionnaire. This questionnaire was a version of the Teacher Beliefs Scale wherein the cover page requesting background information had been adapted for use with teacher educators rather than teachers and the title had been changed to Educator Beliefs Scale. 4. Postage paid return envelopes were enclosed with each survey. 5. Each survey contained a cover sheet explaining that the confidentiality of the respondent was guaranteed. 6. Of the 93 teacher educators contacted, 28 explained that they did not feel qualified to complete questionnaires because they were involved in secondary education exclusively or that they were only teaching assistants whose names were mistakenly given to the

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researcher as faculty members. Of the 65 qualified teacher education faculty members, 45 returned questionnaires, a response rate of 69%. Administration of the Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice in the Early Childhood Classroom 1. A sub-sample of 20 teachers who returned questionnares was randomly selected for classroom observation. 123 2. Principals of those teachers were contacted by telephone to explain the procedure for this part of the study and request permission to observe. 3. Selected teachers were mailed an informed consent letter (see Appendix K) 4. Site observation appointment contacts were made by the observer two weeks before the actual visit, followed by a confirmation call a day or two before the visit. 5. Each classroom was visited on two occasions for a 2-3 hour period each within a 2-week period during April of 1992. After their first visit to each program the observers were asked to complete a tentative version of the Checklist, and then to complete the final rating form after the end of their last visit. This helped observers identify items which might have been overlooked

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during the first visit, or about which observers were initally uncertain. 124 The observation form allowed room for examples or explanatory comments under each item. At the end of each observation, any item which was not rated due to lack of information was presented as an open-ended clarification question in an interview with the teacher. The questions regarding parent involvement and evaluation were also asked at this time. 6. As an incentive to grant permission for observation their classrooms, teachers received a gift certificate to a bookstore or a teacher-supply outlet. Observer Training 1. Observers were chosen from undergraduate students in early childhood and elementary education who had taken a course taught by the researcher entitled Developmental Educational Psychology. During this course, students received training in methods and procedures in observation, recording skills, and maintaining confidentiality. Course requirements included several observations in elementary schools. The researcher selected three students who had demonstrated outstanding performance in this course to be trained as observers.

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125 2. The team of three observers was trained over a 3-week period to conduct the classroom observations. The first training session was led by the investigator to acquaint observers with the instrument and the procedures of the study. Observers read and discussed the sections on primary grades in the NAEYC Guildelines with the researcher. Each item on the Checklist was discussed, clarifying item descriptors and referring back to a section of the NAEYC Guidelines when needed. 3. The second and third training sessions were devoted to practice in the use of the Checklist. Observers conducted pilot observations at a college laboratory preschool/ kindergarten classroom to practice and establish interobserver reliability. The master teacher in this classroom was observed simultaneously by the three observers who independently rated each of the Checklist practices observed. The first practice observation was devoted to achieving a high level of understanding and agreement on the item descriptors and rating of the practices observed. By consensus, some item descriptors were added to the observation form to make each end of the rating continuum more distinct and mutually exclusive. In order to come to consensus in the meaning and scoring of the interview questions, the investigator acted as teacher, role-playing various

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responses to the questions. These responses were then rated by the observers. 126 During the second practice observation, observers independently rated the classroom practice without conferring with one another or the researcher. The master teacher was interviewed by one of the observers, and her responses were independently rated by all three observers. Inter-rater reliability statistics reported earlier in this chapter were figured based upon this final practice observation. 4. After the sample of 20 randomly selected teachers was chosen, observers were assigned to observe teachers based on geographical proximity and time availability. Observers A and B rated seven teachers each and observer C rated six teachers. 5. When doing classroom observations, observers were blind as to the results of the teacher questionnaire.

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This was a descriptive study examining the classroom practices of first and second grade teachers and the espoused beliefs of primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators concerning developmentally appropriate curriculum and instructional methods in the primary grades. The study also examined differences in level of developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices between teachers certified in early childhood education and those certified in elementary education. This chapter is a description of the statistical analyses and the findings. The chapter begins with a description of the demographic data. The following four sections describe the results according to the research questions. The first section examines (a) the extent to which educator beliefs are consistent with NAEYC guidelines, (b) differences in beliefs of teachers, principals, and teacher educators, and (c) the relationship between developmentally appropriate and inappropriate beliefs. The second section examines (a) the extent to which the classroom practices of primary teachers are consistent with NAEYC guidelines and (b) the relationship between appropriate practice and

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128 inappropriate practice. The third section examines the congruence between teacher beliefs and their teaching behavior. The fourth section examines the degree of developmentally appropriate practice as a function of early childhood or elementary certification. Demographic Data Primary Teachers The sample response rate of 142 is 67% of the 211 first and second grade teachers sampled. These teachers represented 32 urban and suburban public schools in a large metropolitan area. In the final sample, 72 (50.7%) of the teachers had bachelor's degrees as the highest degree earned; 69 (48.6%) had master's degrees (see Table 4.1). Table 4.1 Highest Degree Earned-Primary Teachers Degree n Bachelor's 72 Master's 69 Doctorate 0 Missing 1 Total 142 % 50.7 48.6 .7 100.0

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One teacher (.7%) reported teacher certification with endorsement in early childhood, 24 (16.9%) with endorsement in early childhood and elementary, 102 (71.8%) had certification with elementary endorsement only, 14 (9.9%) reported teacher certification with elementary and special education, and one teacher (.7%) reported secondary certification (see Table 4.2). Table 4.2 Teacher Certification Endorsement Endorsement n % Early childhood 1 .7 Early childhood special education 0 Early childhood and elementary 24 16.9 Elementary only 102 71.8 Elementary and special education 14 9.9 Other 1 .7 Total 142 100.0 129 The number of years of teaching experience ranged from 1 to 31. The mean number of years of teaching

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130 experience at the primary level was 9.6 years (see Table 4. 3) Table 4.3 Years of Teaching Experience Level n Mean Number of Years of Experience First or second grade 137 9.6 Third, fourth, or fifth grade 73 4.9 Secondary 2 2.5 Principals All 32 principals returned questionnaires regarding their beliefs about practice in the primary grades. Twenty four (75%) of the principals had master's degrees as the highest degree earned; seven (21.9%) had doctorate degrees (see Table 4.4).

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131 Table 4.4 Highest Degree Earned--Principals Degree % Bachelor's 0 Master's 24 75.0 Doctorate 7 21.9 Missing 1 3.1 Total 32 100.0 All 32 principals had Type D certification. When asked to indicate previous or other certification, one principal (3.1%) reported certification in early childhood, three (9.4%) had both early childhood and elementary certification, 21 had elementary only (65.6%), and one reported elementary and special education (3.1%) (see Table 4.5).

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Table 4.5 Princioal Certification Endorsement Other Tban IYoe D Endorsement n Early childhood 1 Early childhood special education 0 Early childhood and elementary education 3 Elementary only 21 Elementary and special education 1 Other 6 Total 32 % 3.1 9.4 65.6 3.1 18.8 100.0 All 32 principals had Type D Administrator Certification. Other category included Elementary and secondary, Secondary, Superintendent, or failed to indicate certification other than Type D. Teacher Educators 132 Of the 65 belief scales sent to faculty members in early childhood and elementary education programs in the state of Colorado, 45 questionnaires were returned, a response rate of 69%. Ten of the teacher educators held master's degrees as the highest degree earned (22.2%); 34 had doctorate degrees (75. 6%) (see Table 4. 6).

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133 Table 4.6 Highest Degree Earned--Teacher Educators Degree n % Bachelor's 0 Master's 10 22.2 Doctorate 34 75.6 Missing 1 2.2 Total 45 100.0 When asked to indicate the type of education program at which they were a faculty member, 10 indicated their program included early childhood and elementary certification (22.2%) and 34 (75.6%) indicated they were involved in elementary certification (see Table 4.7).

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134 Table 4.7 Type of Education Program at Wbich Teacher Educator Is a Faculty Member Program Early childhood and elementary Elementary Missing Total n 10 32 1 45 % 22.2 75.6 2.2 100.0 Early childhood and elementary category includes early childhood special education (2 cases). Elementary category includes elementary and middle school (1 case) and elementary and secondary (5 cases). In the following sections, data were analyzed and reported according to the research questions. Espoused Beliefs 1. To what extent are the espoused beliefs of primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators consistent with the NAEYC guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice for 6 to 8 year olds? Data from the Teacher Beliefs Scale, Principal Beliefs Scale, and Teacher Educator Beliefs Scale were analyzed according to the mean scores by which educators

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rated the degree of importance of each belief item and according to total scale means. Individual Items from Beliefs Scale 135 Belief scale items were rated on a 5-point Likert scale from not important at all to extremely important. The combined mean scores for teachers, principals, and teacher educators ratings of the importance of each separate belief item are reported in Appendix L. According to the design of the instrument, ratings 3.0 and below for appropriate belief items and 3.0 and above for inappropriate belief items are considered to be developmentally inappropriate and inconsistent with the guidelines devised by NAEYC. Using these standards, the degree of importance attributed by all three groups of educators was consistent with NAEYC guidelines for 33 belief items relating to integrated curriculum, childinitiated activity, hands-on exploration of concrete materials, social interaction, responsiveness to individual differences, guidance of social-emotional development, motivation, input from parents, and evaluation techniques. The degree of importance attributed by educators to the following belief items was inconsistent with NAEYC guidelines: (a) importance of children forming letters correctly on a printed line (teachers only) (b)

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136 importance of 6 year olds learning to read (teachers and principals), and (c) importance of planned activities for outdoor time (teachers, principals, and teacher educators). (See Appendix L.) Total Scale Means To figure total scale means, scoring of items related to inappropriate practice was reversed so that high scores indicate more appropriate beliefs (see section on Instrumentation in chapter three) Thus a mean value of 1 represents consistently inappropriate beliefs and a mean value of 5 represents highly appropriate beliefs. Mean Beliefs Scale scores for each group were more appropriate than inappropriate. Mean scores for primary teachers ranged from 2.67 to 4.97 with a group mean of 3.97. Mean scores for principals ranged from 3.31 to 4.67 with a group mean of 4.17. For teacher educators, the range was from 3.44 to 4.81 with a group mean of 4.19. Overall, educators studied in this sample do espouse beliefs which are appropriate and consistent with the NAEYC guidelines. 2. Is there a difference in the beliefs of primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators regarding appropriate primary curriculum and instructional practices?

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137 Using total Beliefs Scale means, differences in beliefs between the three groups of educators were investigated with a one-way analysis of variance. Data analysis tested the null hypothesis that there is no significant difference between the beliefs of teachers, principals, and teacher educators. The analysis of variance revealed statistically significant differences between the three groups of educators (F = 7.203, df = 2;216, = .0009). Group means and standard deviations are presented in Table 4.8. Table 4.8 Beliefs Scale Means and Standard Deviations for Educator Groups Mean SD Group Primary teachers 3.97 .41 Principals 4.17 .32 Teacher educators 4.19 .36 To determine which differences between means were significant, a Scheffe multiple range test was performed. The results of this analysis indicated that the mean scores of Teachers and Principals were significantly

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138 different from each other, as were the Teacher and Teacher Educator groups ( = .05). Both Principals and Teacher Educators espoused more developmentally appropriate beliefs than Primary Teachers. The only comparison that failed to reach significance was between Principals and Teacher Educators. 3. What is the relationship between developmentally appropriate and inappropriate beliefs? Data from the Teacher Beliefs Scale, the Principal Beliefs Scale and the Teacher Educator Beliefs Scale were figured as separate means for items representing appropriate and inappropriate beliefs, with a mean value of 1 indicating the respondent rated the item as not important at all and a mean value of 5 indicating the respondent rated the item as extremely important in the primary grades. The relationship between appropriate belief items and inappropriate belief items was investigated with correlational analysis. For each group of educators (teachers, principals, and teacher educators) data analysis tested the null hypothesis that there is no significant relationship between appropriate and inappropriate beliefs. The alternative hypothesis was that appropriate and inappropriate belief items would be negatively correlated.

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139 A Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient was used to determine the degree of correlation between the subscale of items representing appropriate beliefs and the subscale of items representing inappropriate beliefs. Results appear in Table 4.9. Table 4.9 Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficients for Scores on Appropriate and Inappropriate Beliefs Subscales Group Primary teachers Principals Teacher educators n 142 32 45 Correlation Coefficient -.48*** -.48** -.38* .005 = .003 = .000 Correlation coefficients were found to be significant for all three groups of educators and in each case the null hypothesis was rejected. For Primary Teachers, Principals, and Teacher Educators there was a negative correlation between developmentally appropriate and inappropriate beliefs.

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140 Classroom Practices 4. To what extent are primary teachers implementing practices which are consistent with the NAEYC guidelines for developmentally appropriate instructional practices for 6 to 8 year olds? Individual Items from the Instructional Activities Scale Self report data from the Instructional Activities Scale were analyzed according to the mean scores rating the frequency of each activity as reported by the primary teachers. Teachers rated the frequency of availability of each activity in his/her classroom along a 5-point scale from almost never (less than monthly) to very often (daily). Results are presented in Appendix M. According to the design of the instrument, ratings 3.0 and below for appropriate instructional activities and 3.0 or above for inappropriate activity items are considered to be developmentally inappropriate and inconsistent with guidelines devised by NAEYC. Using these standards, the frequency with which teachers implemented 25 out of 33 instructional/classroom activities was consistent with the NAEYC guidelines. Within the 25 instructional activities that were consistent with the NAEYC guidelines, developmentally appropriate practices which occurred once a week or more included: (a) children selecting centers, (b) listening to stories read by teacher, (c) doing creative writing,

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141 (d) playing with games, puzzles, and manipulatives, (e) singing or listening to mus1c, (f) social reinforcement, (g) children working together on activities, and (h) math incorporated with other subject areas (see Appendix M). Developmentally inappropriate activities which were reported as occurring less than weekly included: (a) using flachcards, (b) coloring and/or cutting predrawn forms, (c) losing special privileges, (d) using isolation, and (e) competitive math activities (see Appendix M) However, the frequency with which teachers implemented several instructional activities was inconsistent with the NAEYC guidelines. Developmentally appropriate activities which were offered less frequently than desirable according to the guidelines (less than weekly) were: (a) dictate stories to teacher, (b) participating in dramatic play, directed by or made by parents, (c) games/activities (d) specifically planned outdoor activities, and (e) health and safety activities. Developmentally inappropriate activities which were offered more frequently than desirable according to the guidelines (once a week or more) were: (a) practicing handwriting on lines, (b) large group teacher directed instruction, and (c) tangible rewards for appropriate behavior and/or performance (see Appendix M)

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142 Total Scale Means Self report data from the Instructional Activities Scale and observer ratings from the Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice in the Early Childhood Classroom were figured as total scale means. Scoring of items representing inappropriate practice on the IAS was reversed, so that a mean value of 1 represented consistently inappropriate practice and a mean value of 5 represented highly appropriate practice. The 142 survey responses by primary teachers (IAS) yielded a range for the total scale of 2.52 to 4.55, with a mean of 3.48(SD .42). The 20 observations (Checklist) yielded a range for the total scale of 2.42 to 4.33, with a mean of 3.64 (SD .53). Overall, primary teachers reported implementing and were observed to implement instructional practices which were more appropriate than inappropriate according to the NAEYC guidelines. 5. What is the relationship between appropriate classroom instructional practice and inappropriate instructional practice? Data from the Instructional Activities Scale were analyzed by separate mean scores for the items reflecting inappropriate practice and those reflecting appropriate practice, with a mean value of 1 indicating the respondent rated the activity as being implemented less than monthly and a mean value of 5 indicating that the

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143 respondent rated the activity as being implemented daily. The relationship between these means was investigated with correlational analysis to test the null hypothesis that there is no significant relationship between appropriate practice and inappropriate practice items. The alternative hypothesis was that appropriate practice and inappropriate practice would be negatively correlated. For the 142 pr1mary teachers, a Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient was used to determine the degree of correlation between these two sets of data. For the two subscales, the appropriate and inappropriate instructional practice items were found to be negatively correlated = -.21. = .005), thus the null hypothesis was rejected. Congruence of Beliefs and Teaching Behavior 6. What is the congruence between the beliefs of primary teachers and their teaching behavior in the classroom? For the 20 teachers who were observed, relationships among variables were evaluated with Pearson correlations comparing mean scores on the Teacher Beliefs Scale with the scores on the Instructional Activities Scale and the Checklist for Rating Develoomentally Appropriate Practice. Results are reported in Table 4.10.

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144 Table 4.10 Intercorrelations Between Scores on the Teacher Beliefs Scale CTBSl. Instructional Activities Scale CIASl. and Checklist for Rating Deyeloomentally AQpropriate Practice (Checklist) TBS !AS Checklist TBS .7685** .6981** IAS .5402* *.D. = .014 **.D. = .001 Data analysis tested the null hypothesis that there is no significant relationship between the developmental appropriateness of the beliefs of primary teachers and the developmental appropriateness of their teaching behaviors in the classroom. All correlation coefficients were found to be significant and the null hypothesis was rejected. A positive correlation was found between the developmental appropriateness of the beliefs of primary teachers and the developmental appropriateness of their teaching behavior in the classroom. Overall, teachers who espoused more developmentally appropriate beliefs on the reported implementing more developmentally appropriate instructional activities on

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the lAS and were rated as demonstrating more developmentally appropriate activities by observers. 145 For those 21 items on the Teacher Beliefs Scale for which there was a matching item on the Instructional Activities Scale, paired were used to investigate the differences between beliefs and teaching behaviors. Cross-tabulation investigated differences in scatter. Data analysis tested the null hypothesis that there is no significant difference between beliefs of primary teachers and their practices in the classroom. Table 4.11 pairs matching items on the Teacher Beliefs Scale and Instructional Activities Scale according to item number. For the 21 pairwise comparisons, the calculated was significant in 15 cases (see Table 4.12). The following developmentally appropriate classroom activities occurred less frequently than was expected based on teachers' rating of importance to the primary grades: (a) exploration of various art media (drawing, painting, playdough, etc.), (b) exploring animals, plants, scientific equipment (active exploration of concrete materials), (c) doing creative writing, (d) children dictating stories to the teacher, (e) children participating in dramatic play, (f) children conversing

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146 privately with teacher, (g) health and safety activities, and (h) multicultural and nonsexist activities.

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147 Table 4.11 Matching Items on Teacher Beliefs Scale (TBSl and Instructional Activities Scale (IAS) TBS Item Item Description Number Select own activities/areas 5 Explores various art media 6 Works silently, alone on seatwork 8 Exploration of concrete materials 11 Interactions with other children 12 Workbooks/dittos 10 Flashcards 13 Whole group instruction/same activity 33 Authority/extrinsic tangible rewards 17 Authority/punishment and reprimand 22 Color within lines 20 Practice handwriting on lines 28 Read stories to children 24 Children dictate stories 25 Dramatic play 27 Talk informally with adults 29 Inventive spelling 23 Math incorporated with other subjects 32 Health and safety Multicultural/nonsexist Planned outdoor activities 15 34 35 IAS Item Number 2 31 11 9 23 11 7 22 24 25 16 18 5 1 3 19 6 32 30 27 28

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146 Table 4.12 Calculated t-Statistic and Corresoondinq p Leyel for Beliefs/Practice Comparisons Belief/Activity Item Description .t.-value df Select own activities/areas Explores various art media Works silently, alone on seatwork Exploration of concrete materials Interactions with other children Workbooks/dittos Flashcards -1.27 7.51 3.52 12.98 .91 4.89 -3.86 Whole group instruction/same activity 16.51 Authority/extrinsic tangible rewards 9.74 Authority/punishment and reprimand Color within lines Practice handwriting on lines Read stories to children Children dictate stories Dramatic play Talk informally with adults Inventive spelling Math incorporated with other subjects Health and safety 3.81 4.19 2.54 -.65 12.26 19.49 2.89 -3.70 -.68 13.17 140 .206 140 000*+ 140 .001*+ 141 000*+ 139 .363 140 000*+ 139 000* 140 000*+ 139 000*+ 139 139 139 141 138 140 141 139 141 140 .000*+ .000*+ .012 .515 .000*+ .000*+ .005*+ .000* .496 .000*+

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Multicultural/nonsexist Planned outdoor activities = .005 or less 9.58 -.91 149 138 .000*+ 137 .366 + Indicates cases wherein teachers' beliefs tend to be more developmentally appropriate than their classroom activities.

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150 The following developmentally inappropriate classroom activities occurred more frequently than was expected based on teachers' rating of importance to the primary grades: (a) circling, underlining, and/or marking items on worksheets, (b) using flashcards, (c) large group teacher directed instruction, (d) tangible rewards for appropriate behavior and/or performance, (e) losing special privileges (trips, recess, free time, parties, etc.) for misbehavior, and (f) coloring and/or cutting predrawn forms. In those cases, the null hypothesis was rejected and it was found that there 1s a significant difference between the beliefs of primary teachers and their teaching behaviors in the classroom. An examination of the scatter plots indicates that in 13 out of the 15 cases for which there was a difference between beliefs and practices, teachers' beliefs tend to be more developmentally appropriate than their classroom activities (see Table 4.5). For example, although most teachers rated dramatic play as very important in the primary grades, most teachers presented an opportunity for children to engage in dramatic play only rarely (monthly) or sometimes (weekly). Overall, primary teachers who espoused more developmentally appropriate beliefs implemented more developmentally appropriate activities. However, there

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1 5 1 were differences between specific beliefs regarding the importance of certain instructional activities and the frequency with which teachers implemented these activities. Degree of Developmentally Appropriate Practice as a Function of Early Childbood or Elementary Certification 7. Is there a difference in the level of developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices between those primary teachers with certification in early childhood education and those primary teachers with elementary education certification only? Teachers were divided according to information provided on the cover sheet of the questionnaire regarding background as to level of certification. Differences in level of developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices as a function of certification level were analyzed with multivariate analyses of varlance. Data analysis tested the null hypothesis that there is no significant difference between those teachers with certification in early childhood education and those teachers with elementary certification only in the level of their developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices. The multivariate test for a main effect by certification level was significant = 3.16, df = 2;139, p = .045). The univariate F test for this main

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152 effect indicates that there was a significant difference in scores on the lAS but not on the based on certification level (f = 5.63, df = 1;140, =.05). Although there was no difference in the developmental appropriateness of their beliefs about curriculum and instructional practices, teachers with early childhood certification tended to indicate that they offer more developmentally appropriate activities (lbE) than teachers with elementary certification only.

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CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY AND INTERPRETATION This chapter begins by reviewing the background and purpose of the study. The research questions are restated and the research design is summarized. The findings are then discussed as they relate to the research questions and as they compare to the findings presented in the literature review. Next, the implications for educational practice and policy and suggestions for future research are presented. The theoretical model for interpreting the research on teacher beliefs and behavior which underlies this study is integrated throughout the discussion of findings and implications. Summary of the Study Background Early education today is influenced by two dominant educational philosophical and psychological perspectives: the behavioristic-learning theory perspective based on the work of Skinner, and the developmental perspective, incorporating the work of Piaget and Dewey (Seefeldt, 1976). The behaviorist perspective currently dominates the curricula of the public schools as demonstrated by

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academic, teacher-directed large-group instruction, careful sequencing of skills, systematic use of reinforcement, use of workbooks, and much drill and practice. According to many early experts in early childhood education, this perspective, along with a recent emphasis on back to basics and improved standardized test scores, results in many elementary schools narrowing the curriculum and adopting instructional approaches that are incompatible with current knowledge about how young children learn and develop (Bredekamp, 1987, p. 62). 154 Experts in early childhood education advocate a developmental-interactive perspective as appropriate for children 6 through 8 years of age, reflected in a childcentered integrated curriculum designed to develop skills in all developmental areas through active involvement with other children, adults, and materials in the environment. Teachers guide children's learning experiences by extending children's ideas, responding to their questions, engaging them in conversation, making suggestions, and encouraging and challenging their thinking (Bredekamp, 1987; NAEYC, 1988).

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155 Purpose This was a descriptive study designed to examine the classroom practices of first and second grade teachers and the espoused beliefs of primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators concerning developmentally appropriate curriculum and instructional methods 1n the primary grades. The purpose of this study was to: 1. Identify the degree to which the beliefs of primary teachers, elementary school principals, and early childhood teacher educators are congruent with the NAEYC guidelines for appropriate/inappropriate curriculum and instructional practices for 6 to 8 year olds. 2. Identify the degree to which primary teachers' practices are congruent with the NAEYC guidelines for appropriate/ innappropriate instructional practices for 6 to 8 year olds. 3. Compare the congruence between the beliefs of primary teachers and their teaching behavior in the classroom. 4. Compare the level of developmentally appropriate practice between those primary teachers with a certification in early childhood education and those primary teachers with elementary certification.

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156 Sample Subjects were selected from a sample of first and second grade teachers in public schools in Denver and three surrounding counties (Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas). Twelve urban and 20 suburban schools were selected through random sampling, resulting in a final sample pool of 211 primary teachers. Self-administered questionnaires were mailed to the principal and each first and second grade teacher in the selected schools. Questionnaires were returned by all 32 of the principals and by 142 of the teachers. From this group, a subsample of 20 primary teachers was randomly selected for classroom observation. Teacher educators were selected from faculty members 1n teacher education certification programs approved by the Colorado State Department of Education. Questionnaires were sent to 65 faculty members at the early childhood or elementary education level. Questionnaires were returned by 45 of these faculty members. Research Questions and Methods Data were analyzed according to the research questions. 1. To what extent are the espoused beliefs of primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators

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157 consistent with the NAEYC guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice for 6 to 8 year olds? Data were collected by administering the Teacher Beliefs Scale to first and second grade teachers, a corresponding version entitled Principal Beliefs Scale to principals of elementary schools, and an Educator Beliefs Scale to faculty members of early childhood and elementary education programs. The items included represent eight areas of primary instruction as specified in the NAEYC guidelines (Bredekamp,l987) :curriculum goals, teaching strategies, integrated curriculum, guidance of social-emotional development, motivation, parent-teacher relations, evaluation, and transitions. Each item is a statement (e.g. It is important for children to learn through active exploration.) that the respondent rates on a 5-point Likert scale from not important at all to extremely important. Data were computed as total scale means. Beliefs Scale means above 3.0 were considered to be more developmentally appropriate than inappropriate and thus consistent with NAEYC guidelines. 2. Is there a difference in the beliefs of primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators regarding appropriate primary curriculum and instructional practices? Data were computed as total scale means. Differences in beliefs between the three groups of educators were investigated with a one-way analysis of

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158 variance. Data analysis tested the null hypothesis that there is no significant difference between the beliefs of teachers, principals, and teacher educators. 3. What is the relationship between developmentally appropriate and inappropriate beliefs? Comparing means on the inappropriate belief items and means on the appropriate belief items of the Teacher Beliefs Scale, a correlational analysis was used to test the null hypothesis that there is no significant relationship between appropriate and inappropriate beliefs. 4. To what extent are primary teachers implementing practices which are consistent with the NAEYC guidelines for developmentally appropriate instructional practices for 6 to 8 year olds? Data were collected through a self-report questionnaire administered to all first and second grade teachers (the Instructional Activities Scale) and through observation of a subsample of twenty primary teachers using the Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice in the Early Childhood Classroom. items describe an activity (e.g. playing with games and puzzles; using flashcards with sight words and/or math facts). The respondent rates the frequency of availability of each activity in his/her classroom along a 5-point scale from almost never (less than monthly) to very often (daily)

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159 The Checklist is a 24-item observational instrument developed to determine the accuracy of individual teacher's questionnaire responses (Charlesworth, Mosley, Burts, Hart, Kirk, & Hernandez, in press). Items were constructed corresponding to the NAEYC guidelines for children ages 5-to-8 (Bredekamp, 1987). Areas included were curriculum goals, teaching strategies, integrated curriculum, guidance of social-emotional development, motivation, and transitions. An attached interview includes three questions related to parent-teacher relations and evaluation and provides open-ended clarification questions for any of the observation items which could not be rated due to lack of information. Each item in the observation instrument was rated by observers on a 5-point Likert Scale,the most appropriate practice descriptors are listed under point 5 and the most inappropriate under point 1. Data for the Instructional Activities Scale were analyzed according to the mean scores which indicate the self-reported availability of each classroom activity. Data from the Instructional Activities Scale and the Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice were reported as mean scores, with mean values of 1 representing highly inappropriate practice and mean values of 5 representing highly appropriate practice;

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160 means above 3.0 were considered to be more developmentally appropriate than inappropriate and thus consistent with NAEYC guidelines. 5. What is the relationship between appropriate classroom instructional practice and inappropriate instructional practice? The relationship between appropriate practice items and inappropriate practice items on the Instructional Activities Scale was investigated with correlational analysis to test the null hypothesis that there is no significant relationship between appropriate and inappropriate instructional practice items. 6. What is the congruence between the beliefs of primary teachers and their teaching behavior in the classroom? Data analysis tested the null hypothesis that there 1s no significant relationship between teacher beliefs and classroom teaching behavior. Relationships among the variables were evaluated with Pearson correlations comparing mean scores on the Teacher Beliefs Scale with those on the Instructional Activities Scale and the Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice. A dependent was used to investigate differences between beliefs and behaviors on the TBS and ,lAS. 7. Is there a difference in the level of developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices between those primary teachers with certification in early

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childhood education and those primary teachers with elementary education certification only? Teachers were divided according to information provided on the cover sheet of the questionnaire regarding background as to level of certification. 161 Differences in level of developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices as a function of certification level were analyzed with multivariate analyses of variance. Data analysis tested the null hypothesis that there is no significant difference between those teachers with certification in early childhood education and those teachers with elementary certification only in the level of their developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices. Summary and Discussion of the Findings Findings are summarized and discussed according to the research questions. 1. To what extent are the espoused beliefs of primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators consistent with the NAEYC guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice for 6-8 year olds? The Beliefs Scale means for each group of educators were more appropriate than inappropriate. Overall, the educators studied in this sample espoused beliefs which were appropriate and consistent with NAEYC guidelines: they placed a high degree of importance upon direct

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162 experience, child-initiated activity, responsive adults, and social interaction in the primary grades. Only three belief items out of 36 had mean scores which were inconsistent with NAEYC guidelines: (a) importance of children forming letters correctly on a printed line (teachers only), (b) importance of 6 year olds learning to read (teachers and principals), and (c) importance of planned activities for outdoor time (teachers, principals, and teacher educators). Items (a) and (b) above could be interpreted as an expectation that all children achieve certain academic skills by the same predetermined chronological age rather than respecting each child as a unique person with an individual pattern of growth and allowing children to move at their own pace in acquiring skills. Such expectations violate the concept of developmentally appropriate practice which is based upon knowledge of the typical development of children within a certain age span (age appropriateness) as well as the uniqueness of the individual (individual appropriateness). Perhaps the importance attributed to 6 year olds learning to read and form letters correctly on a line is reflective of the pressure of parental expectations mentioned by other researchers as an influence on beliefs and practices (Duffy, 1981; Hatch & Freeman, 1988b; Hoot

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163 et al., 1989). However, it should be noted that several teachers and principals wrote in at their own level next to the item rt is for 6 year olds to learn to read, which could suggest a recognition of the developmental stages of reading (emergent, early, fluent) as !earning to read" and therefore important for all 6 year olds. It is interesting to note that all three groups of educators devalued the importance of planned activities for outdoor time. According to the NAEYC position statement, outdoor activities should be planned daily so that children can develop large muscle skills, learn about outdoor environments, and express themselves freely. Outdoor time is viewed as an integral part of the curriculum which requires planning, not as simply recess or a time for children to release pent-up energy (Bredekamp, 1987). Perhaps educators view planned outdoor activity as out of their realm, belonging more under the domain of the physical education teacher. Viewing outdoor activity as recess or not part of a teacher's responsibility violates the NAEYC definition of developmentally appropriate curriculum as providing for all areas of a child's development and dismisses the premise that

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164 development in one domain influences and is influenced by development in other domains. Two beliefs for which the mean scores were near 3.0 could be of concern: (a) the importance of instruction in recognizing single letters of the alphabet and phonics, isolated from words and (b) the importance of flashcards (numbers, letters, and/or words). Mean scores near 3.0 indicate that for many teachers, the degree of importance attributed to these items was inappropriately high according to the NAEYC guidelines. Both of these belief items represent what Leu and Kinzer (1987) called a mastery of specific skills/textbased" orientation to reading. Most early childhood educators favor more of a "holistic/reader-based" orientation reflecting the belief that reading ability develops through meaningful, functional, and holistic experiences with print wherein technical skills or subskills are taught as needed to accomplish the larger goals of communication through reading and writing, not as the goal itself. 2. Is there a difference in the beliefs of primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators regarding appropriate primary curriculum and instructional practices? Both principals and teacher educators were found to espouse more developmentally appropriate beliefs than primary teachers. This finding could be interpreted as

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165 the result of practice shaping beliefs, an explanation which is supported by several studies. Regan and Weininger (1988) suggest that teachers' assumptions regarding how children learn and their educational values are continually influenced by teaching experiences. Sigel (1985) contends that the source of beliefs is personal experience; individuals may adopt beliefs because they have been useful in their personal experience. Spodek (1988) discusses implicit theories about child development and instruction that teachers develop from their personal experience which differ from explicit theories taught in education and child development courses. Thus, the more developmentally appropriate beliefs of principals and teacher educators may be based more upon explicit developmental theory, whereas the beliefs of teachers are influenced over time by their personal experiences and the realities of daily classroom life. 3. What is the relationship between developmentally appropriate and inappropriate beliefs? For primary teachers, principals, and teacher educators, there was a negative correlation between developmentally appropriate and inappropriate beliefs. This finding provides support for the content validity of the Beliefs Scale.

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166 4. To what extent are primary teachers implementing practices which are consistent with the NAEYC guidelines? Overall, primary teachers reported implementing and were observed to implement instructional practices which were more appropriate than inappropriate according to the NAEYC guidelines. The data indicate that the primary teachers in this sample utilize many instructional activities reflective of a developmental-interactive perspective as demonstrated by the frequency of developmentally appropriate practices in their classrooms: (a) children selecting centers, (b) listening to stories read by teacher, (c) doing creative writing, (d) playing with games, puzzles, and manipulatives, (e) singing or listening to music, (f) social reinforcement, (g) children working together on activities, and (h) math incorporated with other subject areas. However, some caution must be used in interpretation of the data based on teacher self report regarding the frequency of the availability of activities. Charlesworth et al. (1990) noted that in some kindergarten classrooms teachers may make appropriate activities available each day but limit access to students who have finished a considerable amount of workbook activites first, or teachers may use appropriate materials but in large groups wherein the children must wait for everyone to complete a task before moving on to the next. They go so far as to suggest that

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167 teachers' responses to the inappropriate items may better indicate what is really going on in their classrooms. In the present study, only three developmentally inappropriate activities were offered more frequently than desirable according to the guidelines (once a week or more) : (a) practice handwriting on lines, (b) largegroup teacher directed instruction, and (c) tangible rewards for appropriate behavior and/or performance. However, it is important to note instructional activities for which the mean scores were nearly at the level considered undesirable: (a) children reading in ability groups, (b) use of worksheets, and (c) copying from the chalkboard. Taken together, the frequency of these developmentally inappropriate activities suggests the influence of the behaviorist perspective which dominates much of the curricula of public schools (academic, teacher-directed large-group instruction, careful sequencing of skills, systematic use of reinforcement, use of workbooks and much drill and practice), even for teachers who attempt to implement a developmentalinteractive approach overall. The explanation for this may be found in previous work which noted that teachers perceived use of workbooks and direct instruction approaches as more efficient ways to teach basic skills (Hitz, 1986; Kagan & Smith, 1988) and teacher uncertainty

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of how to translate a developmental approach into teaching practices meeting certain district objectives (Hitz, 1986). 168 Developmentally appropriate activities which were offered less frequently than desirable according to the guidelines (less than weekly) were: (a) children dictate stories to the teachers, (b) participation in dramatic play, (c) games/activities directed or made by parents, (d) specifically planned outdoor activities, and (e) health and safety activities. The relative infrequency of children dictating stories, participation in dramatic play, and health and safety activities may be attributed to a lack of time (several teachers wrote in not enough time" next to these items) or insufficient respect for instruction that is cognizant of the whole child. The relative infrequent use of games/activities directed or made by parents could indicate insufficient regard for parents as partners in the educational process. In addition to the reasons previously speculated with regards to teachers' beliefs about the importance of planning for outdoor activities, the researcher has observed teachers using outdoor time as a break during which they may supervise but not actively engage in interaction with the children.

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5. What is the relationship between appropriate classroom instructional practice and inappropriate instructional practice? 169 Appropriate and inappropriate instructional practice items were found to be negatively correlated. This finding provides support for the content validity of the Instructional Activities Scale. 6. What is the congruence between the beliefs of primary teachers and their teaching behavior in the classroom? A positive correlation was found between the developmental appropriateness of the beliefs of primary teachers and the developmental appropriateness of their teaching behavior in the classroom. Overall, teachers who espoused more developmentally appropriate beliefs on the reported implementing more developmentally appropriate instructional activities on the IAS and were rated as demonstrating more developmentally appropriate activities by observers. However, there were differences between specific beliefs regarding the importance of certain instructional activities and the frequency with which teachers implemented these activites. In 87% of the cases for which there was a difference between beliefs and practices, teachers' beliefs tended to be more developmentally appropriate than their classroom activities.

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170 A similar finding was reported in two related studies on kindergarten, where researchers found educators implementing academically oriented practices in the kindergarten while espousing more developmentally oriented beliefs (Hatch & Freeman, 1988a; Hitz, 1986) Hatch and Freeman called this a philosophy-reality conflict--a conflict between their espoused beliefs about what is appropriate to facilitate learning in young children and their implementation of behaviorist classroom practices. Using the terms of the model proposed by Argyris and Schon (1974), the primary teachers in the current study demonstrated a lack of congruence between their espoused theory and their theories-in-use. One's espoused theory is that to which one gives allegiance and communicates to others. The theory that actually governs one's actions is one's theory-in-use, which may or may not be compatible with one's espoused theory. Congruence exists when one's espoused theory matches the theory-in-use, that is, one's behavior fits their espoused theory of action. Although determining the reasons for the lack of congruence between teacher beliefs and teacher practice is beyond the scope of the present study, previous research suggests that the reasons for such incongruence

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17 1 include influences upon the teacher by external environmental factors and influences within the teacher. The external environmental influences include (a) expectations of principals, other teachers, parents, and the general public (Duffy, 1981; Hatch & Freeman, 1988b; Hoot et al., 1989; Hyson, Hirsh-Pasek, & Rescorla, 1989; Moyer, 1986; Shepard & Smith, 1985, 1988); (b) accountability mandates from the district and state requiring measurement of student achievement (Bredekamp & Shepard, 1989; Duffy, 1981; Hatch & Freeman, 1988b; Hoot et al., 1989; Shepard & Smith, 1988); (c) published materials such as basal textbooks and curriculum guides (Duffy, 1981; Duffy & Anderson, 1984; Hatch & Freeman, 1988b; Hoot et al., 1989; Kamii, 1985; Mayer, 1985); (d) student characteristics (Duffy, 1981; Duffy & Anderson, 1984; Hatch & Freeman, 1988b; Mayer, 1985 ; Shepard & Smith, 1985); and (e) working conditions such as material shortages (Gonzalez-Vargas, 1984) and shortage of time (Hitz, 1986). The influences within the teacher include: (a) teacher's actions based upon personal values and experiences rather than theory (Spodek, 1988); (b) teacher's actions influenced by conflicting values and beliefs (Berlak, Berlak, Bagantos, & Midel, 1975; Pearson, 1985 ); and (c) teachers' uncertainty of how to

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172 translate beliefs into practice or link psychological theories to educational practice (Hitz, 1986; Kamii, 1985; Regan & Weininger, 1988; Seaver & Cartwright, 1977) 7. Is there a difference in the level of developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices between those primary teachers with certification in early childhood education and those primary teachers with elementary education certification only? Although there was no difference in the developmental appropriateness of their beliefs about curriculum and instructional practices, teachers with early childhood certification tended to indicate that they offer more developmentally appropriate activities than teachers with elementary certification only. Apparently, teachers with early childhood certification were able to translate their professional knowledge and beliefs regarding growth, development, and learning into more developmentally appropriate instructional practices. This finding supports the recommendation of the Association of Teacher Educators and NAEYC for the establishment of specialized early childhood teacher certification standards for teachers in programs serving children from birth through 8 years of age which are separate from existing elementary certification (ATE and NAEYC, 1991).

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173 Implications for Educational Practice and Policy Four findings of the present study suggest implications for educational practice and policy: (a) while educators studied in this sample espoused beliefs which were appropriate and consistent with NAEYC guidelines overall, teacher educators and principals espoused more developmentally appropriate beliefs than primary teachers, (b) while primary teachers reported implementing and were observed to implement instructional practices reflective of a developmental-interactive perspective overall, the frequency of some developmentally inappropriate activities suggests the influence of the behaviorist perspective which dominates much of the curricula of public schools, (c) when there was an apparent lack of congruence between teacher beliefs and practice, teachers' beliefs tended to be more developmentally appropriate than their classroom activities, and (d) teachers with early childhood certification offered more developmentally appropriate activities than teachers with elementary certification only. The following three sections discuss the educational practice and policy implications for primary teacher education, the role of the principal, and changes at the school, district, and state level.

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174 Primary Teacher Education In order to improve the way prospective teachers will ultimately implement practice in their classrooms, teacher education programs must consider the educational beliefs of prospective teachers. The existence of beliefs about education in preservice teachers has been documented by other researchers, and explained as a process of internalizing the modes of practices of their own teachers while they were students (Lortie, 1975) or as a means for interpreting, evaluating, and justifying classroom events (Nespor, 1985). It is necessary, therefore, to assist prospective teachers to become consciously aware of their implicit beliefs, to encourage education students to form their own opinions on educational issues, to present objective data on the adequacy or validity of their beliefs and opinions, and to actively challenge any inappropriate prevailing beliefs. One can assume that teacher educators endeavor to g1ve preservice teachers a sound understanding of child development and cognitive developmental theory. However, teachers may not be able to derive from theory a coherent framework to guide everyday practice, as suggested by the findings of this study. The challenge to teacher educators is to ensure that teachers are able to

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175 translate developmentally appropriate beliefs into educational goals and teaching practices consistent with the development and abilities of primary grade children. Teachers should have a sound understanding of principles of child development and learning theory and be able to articualte those beliefs in terms of educational goals. Kaplan-Sanoff (1980) proposes that the goal of teacher education should be to produce graduates who are able to articulate and defend their own beliefs about the teaching-learning process so that their teaching can be purposefully directed towards developing an educational program and goals consistent with the ability and need levels of children. According to Seaver and Cartwright (1977), teacher education programs need to integrate philosophy, theory and practice in such a way as to encourage prospective teachers to develop a rationale for their actions and decisions. The question remains as to the best method to integrate philosophy, theory, and practice. Spodek (1987) contends that many early childhood educators view the field as a practical application of the scientific field of child development and assume that providing increased knowledge of child development research and theory will improve the work of classroom teachers. However, the results of a study by Spodek indicate that

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176 relatively few of the theories-in-use used by teachers were grounded in reliable knowledge of child development. Spodek suggests that the teachers' decisions seem to be based on a form of personal practical knowledge rather than the technical knowledge of child development and learning theory. The importance of practicality was found in other studies which noted that teachers perceived use of workbooks and direct instruction approaches as more efficient ways to teach basic skills (Hitz, 1986; Kagan & Smith, 1988). In the present study, teacher educators and principals were found to espouse more developmentally appropriate beliefs than primary teachers. It was suggested that the beliefs of teacher educators and principals may be based more upon explicit developmental theory, whereas the beliefs of teachers are influenced over time by their personal experiences and the realities of daily classroom life. In addition, differences were found between beliefs regarding the importance of certain instructional activities and the frequency with which teachers implement these activites. Teachers' beliefs tended to be more developmentally appropriate than their classroom activites. With regard to practice, teachers with early childhood certification offered more developmentally appropriate activities than teachers with

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elementary certification. These findings along with previous research cited above suggest important implications for teacher education programs. 177 1. Teacher education programs need to consider the existing beliefs of prospective teachers and to challenge developmentally inappropriate beliefs by giving preservice teachers objective data regarding child development and learning in the primary years. 2. Teacher education programs need to assist prospective teachers in making the link between theory and practice so that teachers can translate developmental theory into practical everyday teaching practices. 3. Teacher education programs should provide preservice teachers various opportunities to observe efficient and manageable classrooms utilizing a childcentered approach. Observing such classrooms in operation may encourage beginning teachers to resist the perceived efficiency of the use of workbooks and direct instruction approaches as more efficient ways to teach basic skills. 4. Preservice teachers need training and hands-on practice with child-centered instructional practices in order to operationalize their beliefs--to translate child development principles to classroom practice. Methods of teaching in the primary grades that allow for

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178 developmental theory and educational practice to be integrated include the use of learning centers (Gareau & Kennedy, 1991; York, 1977) and the project approach (Katz & Chard, 1989; Webster, 1990). 5. Early childhood teacher certification standards should be established by state boards of education and other certifying agencies to ensure that certified early childhood teachers in programs serving children from birth through the primary grades understand the unique developmental characteristics of young children and the implications for curriculum and instruction. Such certification should be separate from existing elementary and secondary certifications as recommended by the Association of Teacher Educators and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (1991). Role of the Principal The findings of this study suggest important implications for the role of the principal. Elementary principal certification. Principals need to be knowledgeable about developmentally appropriate practice in the primary grades and use their influence in the hiring, supervision, and inservice training of primary teachers in order to promote developmentally appropriate curriculum and instructional methods for the

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179 primary grades. Therefore, elementary principal certification programs should emphasize the development of children ages 6 to 8 and the instructional methods and curriculum appropriate for these ages as opposed to older elementary school children. Hiring of primary teachers. Knowledge of developmentally appropriate practice for the primary grades rather than other variables such as seniority should take precedence in the selection of primary teachers. Based on the finding that teachers with early childhood certification offered more developmentally appropriate activities than teachers with elementary certification only, principals should strive to hire teachers with early childhood certification for the primary grades. Identifying teachers' beliefs. In order for the primary curriculum to be developmentally appropriate, the beliefs of first and second grade teachers need to reflect a developmentally appropriate (developmentalinteractive) perspective and their classroom behaviors must be consistent with this perspective. Since the belief-behavior relationship has been found to be stronger for teachers whose construct systems are clearly formulated and articulated (Bussis et al., 1976), principals need to assist primary teachers in identifying

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180 their educational beliefs and philosophical foundations. Kaplan-Sanoff (1980) asserts that teachers who can identify their theoretical assumptions and classroom strategies related to child learning are better able to make daily educational decisions based upon a rational and consistent framework of beliefs. Teacher supervision and inseryice training. Identifying teachers' espoused beliefs should be the first step towards enhancing teacher effectiveness. Principals must then assist teachers in identifying any differences between actual classroom behavior (theoriesin-use) and theoretical teaching beliefs (espoused beliefs) and work toward making practices and beliefs more congruent. Argyris and Schon (1974) point out that this is not an easy task because individuals develop a repertoire of devices by which they avoid recognizing incongruity in their theories-in-use. Principals must facilitate the process of modifying teachers' theories-in-use by encouraging opportunities for self-examination and selfimprovement. This could include granting release time for teachers to attend workshops, to read and discuss research, to observe other teachers, and to engage in peer coaching. Principals also need to provide school

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161 time for teachers to share curricular and instructional ideas with one another. In addition, principals need to be willing to offer in-class support. According to Cogan (1973), it 1s 1n the classroom, at the point of application, that new methods of teaching break down (i.e. altering theoriesin-use) Teachers need the continuing collaboration of expert supervisors in order to unlearn safe and comfortable ways of teaching and replace them with new developmentally appropriate patterns of behavior. School. District. and State Level Implications One of the most critical policy implications is the willingness of districts and states to empower principals and teachers to implement curricular goals, instructional activities, and evaluation methods which are developmentally appropriate for the primary grades. Teachers function more effectively when they are experiencing beliefs-practice congruency. When there is consistency between the theoretical or conceptual foundation and instructional methods, then specific objectives and learning activities can be logically related to the rationale, to the content of the curriculum, and to the evaluation scheme.

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162 Teachers need to be supported by their principal and district and state policy in order that their practices can be congruent with their developmentally appropriate beliefs. Primary teachers in this study held beliefs reflecting the developmental-interactive perspective advocated by experts in early childhood education as appropriate for children 6-8 years of age: child-centered integrated curriculum designed to develop skills through active involvement with other children, adults, and materials in the environment. However, according to their self-reports, teachers are not implementing instructional activities designed for active, experiential learning entirely consistent with their espoused beliefs regarding the importance of these activities. Although rating fairly high overall in the developmental appropriateness of instructional activities utilized, teachers reported teacher-directed large-group instruction, systematic use of reinforcement, and use of workbooks which is more consistent with a behavioristlearning theory perspective. Results of this study support the contention that the behaviorist-learning theory perspective which dominates upper grades, along with recent emphasis on back to basics, demands for acceleration from parents, and improved standardized tests scores results in teachers adopting instructional

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183 approaches that are incompatible with research-supported knowledge about how young children learn and develop. To counteract these influences, ways need to be found to support the efforts of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education to promote appropriate curriculum content and assessment in the early grades and to set forth professional guidelines in teacher training and program development. School and district leyel imPlications. Often, district policy determines curriculum development, textbook selection, grouping and tracking policies, personnel policies, and resource allocation, with the standardization of these practices across all schools. Teachers and principals then assume the role of implementing a set of procedures designed elsewhere. If accountability to the district and state and reliance upon district curriculum guides contributes to the reported discrepancies between the educational philosophies of teachers and principals and actual classroom practice (Hatch & Freeman, 1988a, 1988b; Hoot et al., 1989), then principals and teachers need to be empowered through site-based management to implement a developmentally appropriate primary program in each

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184 school. While being required to meet broad district goals and performance measures, schools should have the authority to determine their own instructional policies, to decide how best to group students for instruction, to organize instructional time, and to select and use textbooks and other instructional materials which are consistent with developmentally appropriate beliefs about how young children learn and prosper. State level implications. Several researchers suggest that the lack of congruence between teacher beliefs and practice can be attributed in part to accountability mandates from states requiring measurement of student achievement (Bredekamp & Shepard, 1989; Duffy, 1981; Hatch & Freeman, 1988b; Hoot et al., 1989; Shepard & Smith, 1985). Throughout the primary grades, most schools assess achievement using standardized tests that often do not reflect current theory and research about how young children learn, according to the NAEYC position statement on standardized testing of young children 3 through 8 Years of age (NAEYC & NAECS/SDE, 1991). While current research on reading instruction stresses a whole language/literacy approach emphasizing comprehension and integrating oral language, writing, reading, and spelling in meaningful context, standardized tests of reading achievement measure isolated skill acquisition related to

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165 phonics and word recognition. While current theory of mathematics instruction accentuates the child's construction of number concepts through hands-on experiences, achievement tests measure knowledge of numerals. As a result, the use of standardized testing may have led to the adoption of inappropriate teaching practices so that children will perform sufficiently on standardized tests. Therefore, it is recommended that the assessment of young children follow the NAEYC's position statements on guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice. Because reliable, valid instruments developed for use with young children are rare, group-administered, standardized, multiple-choice achievement tests should be restricted before third grade. Programs which are mandated to use a standardized test of children's progress for program evaluation or accountability purposes should employ a sampling method to eliminate the need to subject all first and second grade students to a testing procedure. Testing of young children must recognize individual diversity (gender, culture, socioeconomic status). Standardized tests should be avoided in multicultural/multilingual communities if they are not sensitive to cultural diversity or bilingualism.

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186 To evaluate the effect of a program on children's development and learning, multiple sources of assessment information should be used, including nonstandardized assessments such as systematic observation, checklists, anecdotal records, and samples of children's work. Using such an assessment system also allows accountability to focus primarily on how well schools produce desired results framed in terms of individual school goals, which is compatible with site-based management approaches. Suggestions for Future Research While there is considerable research on beliefs about developmentally appropriate practice at the preschool and kindergarten level, relatively little research centers on developmentally appropriate practice in the primary grades. A wealth of information could be tapped by further researching the beliefs and practices of primary teachers and elementary school principals. In the present study, when there was a lack of congruence between teacher beliefs and practice, teachers' beliefs tended to be more developmentally appropriate than their classroom activities. An extensive qualitative investigation could give insight as to the reasons for such apparent incongruence. The

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187 investigation might include in-depth interviews with primary teachers to elicit: (a) teachers' beliefs about how children learn and developmentally appropriate practice in the primary grades, (b) reasons why teachers implement particular instructional activities, (c) their explanations for any apparent lack of congruence between beliefs and practice, and (d) teachers' perceptions of what they need in order to practice what they believe. Participant observation including extensive observation and interaction with primary teachers in the context of the classroom could generate valuable information for follow-up interview questions. In addition, review of documents (lesson plans, worksheets, workbooks, report cards) and artifacts (classroom materials, sketches of classroom lay-out) could provide a source of information and questions. In the present study, principals were found to have more developmentally appropriate beliefs about curriculum and instruction than primary teachers. How can principals use their position to promote developmentally appropriate primary programs? It would be useful to investigate schools with known developmentally appropriate curriculum and instruction practices in the primary grades and determine how principals at those schools are able to support implementation of appropriate

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1BB pr1mary programs despite acknowledged pressure from parents, commercial curriculum developers, district and state mandates, and primary teachers themselves. Indepth interview questions could include the principals' responses to recommendations made in this study regarding the role of the principal: developmental theory and practice included in elementary principal certification programs, screening and hiring of primary teachers, principals striving to identify teacher beliefs, and primary teacher supervision and inservice training. It would be informative to conduct a study similar to the present study which focuses on the beliefs of parents and policymakers (legislators, school board members, state board of education members) regarding developmentally appropriate practice for the primary grades. It is important that those persons make decisions regarding primary education based upon the most current knowledge of teaching and learning as derived from theory, research, and practice. The present study examined levels of developmentally appropriate beliefs and practices as a function of early childhood or elementary certification level. Other variables of interest which could be examined in future studies include years of teaching experience (primary teachers), years of experience as part of a teacher

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189 education faculty, and demographic differences in school populations (culture, socio-economic status, educational aspirations of parents). On a broader scale, it would be worthwhile to compare the developmental appropriateness of the primary programs between schools following a district-specified curriculum and schools designing their own curriculum through site-based management. Investigation of these research ideas would enhance our understanding of the factors which influence teachers' behavior in the classroom and contribute to the knowledge base that will allow educators to optimally provide for the needs of primary grade children.

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APPENDIX A Teacher Beliefs Scale Please respond to the following items by circling the number that most nearly represents YOUR PERSONAL BELIEFS about the importance of that item in the primary grades. 1 2 3 4 5 Not important at all Not very important Fairly important Very important Extremely important 1. As an evaluation technique in the primary grades, standardized group tests are __________ __ 1 2 3 4 5 2. It is for primary grade activities to be responsive to individual differences in interest. 1 2 3 4 5 3. It is that each curriculum area be taught as separate subjects at separate times. 1 2 3 4 5 4. It is for teacher-pupil interactions in classrooms to help develop children's self-esteem and positive feelings toward learning. 1 2 3 4 5 5. It is for children to be allowed to 6. 7. select many of their own activities from a variety of learning areas that the teacher has prepared (manipulatives, writing, science center) 1 2 3 4 5 It is for children to explore and experiment with various art media and forms of music/movement. 1 2 3 4 5 As an evaluation technique in the primary grades, teacher observation is 1 2 3 4 5 8. It is for students to work silently and alone on seatwork. 1 2 3 4 5

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191 1 2 3 4 5 Not important at all Not very important Fairly important Very important Extremely important 9. It is for primary grade activities to be responsive to individual differences in development. 1 2 3 4 5 10. Workbooks and/or ditto sheets are primary grades. 1 2 3 4 5 to the 11. It is for children to learn through active exploration with concrete materials. 1 2 3 4 5 12. It is for students to learn through interaction with other children. 1 2 3 4 5 13. Flashcards (numbers, letters, and/or words) are _________ to the primary grades for instructional purposes. 1 2 3 4 5 14. The basal reader is _________ to the reading program. 1 2 3 4 5 15. In teaching health and safety, it is to include a variety of activities throughout the school year. 1 2 3 4 5 16. As an evaluation technique in the primary grades, performance on worksheets and workbooks is 1 2 3 4 5 17. It is for teachers to use their authority through treats, stickers, and/or stars to encourage appropriate behavior. 1 2 3 4 5 18. It is for children to be instructed in recognizing the single letters of the alphabet and phonics, isolated from words. 1 2 3 4 5

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192 1 2 3 4 5 Not important at all Not very important Fairly important Very important Extremely important 19. It is for children to be involved in establishing rules for the classroom. 1 2 3 4 5 20. It is for children to color within predefined lines. 1 2 3 4 5 21. In terms of effectiveness, it is for the teacher to move among groups and individuals, offering suggestions, asking questions, and facilitating children's involvement with materials and activities. 1 2 3 4 5 22. It is for teachers to use their authority through punishments and/or reprimands to encourage appropriate behavior. 1 2 3 4 5 23. It is for children to experiment with writing by inventing their own spelling. 1 2 3 4 5 24. It is for children to have stories read to them individually and/or on a group basis. 1 2 3 4 5 25. It is _________ for children to dictate stories to the teacher. 1 2 3 4 5 26. It is for children to see and use functional print (telephone books, lists, magazines, etc.) and environmental print (cereal boxes, potato chip bags, etc.) in the primary grades. 27. It is play. 1 2 3 4 5 _________ for children to participate in dramatic 1 2 3 4 5

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193 1 2 3 4 5 Not important at all Not very important Fairly important Very important Extremely important 28. It is for children to form letters correctly on a printed line. 29. It is adults. 1 2 3 4 5 for children to talk informally with 1 2 3 4 5 30. It is to provide many opportunities to develop social skills with peers in the classroom. 1 2 3 4 5 31. It is for 6 year olds to learn to read. 1 2 3 4 5 32. In the primary grades, it is that math be integrated with all other curriculum areas. 1 2 3 4 5 33. In terms of effectiveness, it is for the teacher to talk to the whole group and make sure everyone participates in the same activity. 1 2 3 4 5 34. In the classroom setting, it is for the child to be exposed to multicultural and nonsexist activities. 1 2 3 4 5 35. It is activities. that outdoor time have planned 1 2 3 4 5 36. Input from parents is 1 2 3 4 5

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APPENDIX B Instructional Activities Scale Please respond to the following items by circling the number that most nearly represents how often your children participate in the following activities, on the average. 1 Almost Never (less than monthly) 2 Rarely (monthly) 3 Sometimes (weekly) 4 Regularly (2-4/week) 1. dictate stories to teacher 1 2 3 4 5 5 Very Often (daily) 2. children selecting centers (art, book, math, science, writing, etc.) 1 2 3 4 5 3. participating in dramatic play 1 2 3 4 5 4. children reading in ability level groups 1 2 3 4 5 5. listening to stories read by teacher 1 2 3 4 5 6. doing creative writing (combining symbols/ invented spelling and drawing) 1 2 3 4 5 7. using flashcards with sight words and/or math facts 1 2 3 4 5 8. playing with games and puzzles 1 2 3 4 5 9. exploring animals, plants, scientific equipment (scales, thermometers, gears) 1 2 3 4 5 10.singing and/or listening to music 1 2 3 4 5

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195 1 2 4 5 Almost Rarely 3 Sometimes Regularly Very Often Never (less (monthly) (weekly) (2-4/week) (daily) than monthly) 11. circling, underlining, and/or marking worksheets 1 2 3 4 5 12. creative movement 1 2 3 4 5 13. cutting their own shapes from paper 1 2 3 4 5 items on 14. playing with manipulatives such as pegboards, puzzles, and/or legos 1 2 3 4 5 15. social reinforcement (verbal praise, approval, attention, etc.) for appropriate behavior and/or performance 1 2 3 4 5 16. coloring and/or cutting predrawn forms 1 2 3 4 5 17. math manipulatives and math games 1 2 3 4 5 18. practicing handwriting on lines 1 2 3 4 5 19. conversing privately with teacher 1 2 3 4 5 20. copy1ng from the chalkboard 1 2 3 4 5 21. sitting for longer than 5 minutes between activities 1 2 3 4 5 22. large group teacher directed instruction 1 2 3 4 5 23. children working together on activities 1 2 3 4 5

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196 1 2 3 4 5 Almost Rarely Sometimes Regularly Very Often Never (less (monthly) (weekly) (2-4/week) (daily) than monthly) 24. tangible rewards for appropriate behavior and/or performance 1 2 3 4 5 25. losing special privileges (trips, recess, free time, parties, etc.) for misbehavior 1 2 3 4 5 26. games/activities directed by or made by parents 1 2 3 4 5 27. multicultural and nonsexist activities 1 2 3 4 5 28. specifically planned outdoor activities 1 2 3 4 5 29. competitive math activities to learn math facts 1 2 3 4 5 30. health and safety activities 1 2 3 4 5 31. drawing, painting, working with playdough, and other art media 1 2 3 4 5 32. math incorporated with other subject areas 1 2 3 4 5 33. using isolation (standing in the corner or outside of the room) to obtain child compliance 1 2 3 4 5

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APPENDIX C Teacher Background Information Form Research study identification number Name School ________________________________________ Highest degree College or university ________________________ __ Please check which of the following best describes your teacher certification: ____ Teacher certification with endorsement in early childhood ____ Teacher certification with endorsement in early childhood special education ____ Teacher certification with endorsement in early childhood gng elementary endorsement ____ Teacher certification with elementary endorsement only ____ Other: Please describe: Please indicate the number of years you have taught at any of the following levels: First or second grade __ __ Third, fourth, or fifth grade Secondary __ __ Please return this background information form and the two questionnaires in the enclosed envelope within two weeks. Thank you for your cooperation. Suzanne Adams, M.A. W.Michael Martin, Ed.D. School of Education University of Colorado at Denver

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Principal Background Information Form Research study identification number Name School ________________________________________ Highest degree earned ________________________ __ College or university ________________________ ___ Please check of the following which describes your current any previous certification: Teacher certification with endorsement in early childhood ____ Teacher certification with endorsement in early childhood special education ____ Teacher certification with endorsement in early childhood gng elementary endorsement ____ Teacher certification with elementary endorsement only ____ Type D Administrator certification ____ Other: Please describe: Please return this background information form and the Principal Beliefs Scale questionnaire in the enclosed envelope within two weeks. Thank you for your cooperation. Suzanne Adams, M.A. W. Michael Martin, Ed.D. School of Education University of Colorado at Denver 198

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199 Teacher Educator Background Information Form Research study identification number Name College or University at which you are a faculty member ______________________________________________ ___ Highest degree earned ________________________ __ College or university ________________________ __ Please check which of the following best describes the teacher certification program in which you are involved: ____ Teacher certification with endorsement in early childhood ____ Teacher certification with endorsement in early childhood special education ____ Teacher certification with endorsement in early childhood elementary endorsement ____ Teacher certification with elementary endorsement only ____ Other: Please describe: Please return this background information form and the Teacher Educator Beliefs Scale questionnaire in the enclosed envelope within two weeks. Thank you for your cooperation. Suzanne Adams, M.A. W.Michael Martin, Ed.D. School of Education University of Colorado at Denver

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APPENDIX D Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childbood Classrooms Based on S. Bredekamp (Ed.) (1987) Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs serving children from birth through age 8 (exp. ed.). Washington, D.C.: National Association for the Education of Young Children. Sections on Preschool and Primary Grades, ages 3-8. School _____________________ Principal ____________________ Teacher Ages of children __________ __ Number of children in room Number of adults ____ __ Observed/rated by __________________ ___ Date(s) Time(s) Activities Five points are listed for rating each item. Under 5 the most appropriate practice indicators are listed, under point 1 the most inappropriate practice indicators are listed. Point 5 indicates close to 100% appropriate, point 4 indicates more appropriate than inappropriate. Point 3 indicates a fairly even split between appropriate and inappropriate. Point 2 indicates more inappropriate than appropriate. Point 1 indicates close to 100% inappropriate. Below each item there is a space for a brief description of what you observed or found out by questioning the teacher that underlies your rating. Developed by Rosalind Charlesworth, Jean Mosley, Kiane Burts, Craig Hart, Lisa Kirk, and Sue Hernandez, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Adapted for use with first and second grades by Suzanne Adams, University of Colorado at Denver.

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201 CURRICULUM GOALS 1. Range of Curriculum Areas for Which Program is Designed 5 . 4 . . . 3 .physical .social .emotional .intellectual .learning how to learn Description: 2 . .narrow focus .intellectual emphasis .discrete academic skills emphasis 2. The Place of Children's Self-esteem, Sense of Competence, and Positive Feelings Toward Learning in the Curriculum and Instruction. 5 . 4. 3. .Each child is given an equal amount of positive attention .Teacher speaks with individual children often .Teacher listens to children with attention and respect .Teacher responds to children's questions and requests Description: 2 .Children who conform or disrupt receive more attention .Children are given attention according to their level of academic performance 3. View of Growth and Development. 5. 4 .Work is individualized .Children move at their own pace 3 . 2 .Evaluated against a group norm .Everyone is expected to achieve the same narrowly defined skills 1 1 1 .Teacher accepts and provides for different levels of ability, development, and learning styles .Everyone does the same thing at the same time Description:

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202 TEACHING STRATEGIES 4. The Emphases in the Curriculum 5. 3. Learning occurs through projects and learning centers .Children's ideas are extended, questions are encouraged, and interests are developed .All subjects are integrated into units Description: 2 1 .Curriculum is divided into discrete subject and time units .Emphasis on reading first and math second .Social studies, science, and health are included only if time permits .Art, music, and physical education are taught once per week by specialists. 5. Organization of the Curriculum 5 4 3. Activities center on topics such as in science or social studies .Topic activities include story writing and story telling, art, discussion, hearing stories and books, role-playing, reading, and cooperative activities .Skills are taught as they are needed to complete a task Description: 2 .Teacher directed reading groups .Uses lecturing to the whole group at all times .Paper and pencil exercises, workbooks and worksheets predominate .Projects, learning centers and play are offered if time permits or as a reward for completing work 1

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203 6. Teacher Preparation and Organization for Instruction 5. .Learning centers are set up which provide opportunities for writing, reading, math language games, and dramatic play 2 .Space is arranged to accomodate children individually, in small groups, and in large group .Little time for enrichment activities .May be interest centers available for children who finish their seatwork early. .May be centers where children complete a prescribed sequence of activities within a controlled time period Description: 7. Instructional Activities. 5. 4. .Children work and play cooperatively in groups well as alone .Projects are self selected with teacher guidance .Activity centers are changed frequently .One or more field trips .Resource people visit .Peer tutoring .Peer conversation Description: . 2 .At all times, children work silently on their worksheets or workbooks .Little, if any, peer help is permitted .Penalties for talking 8. Learning Materials and Activities 5 4 3 2 . Concrete, real, and relevant .Limited primarily to to children's lives books, workbooks, pencils .Blocks, cards, games, arts .Permanent desks that and crafts materials, are rarely moved woodworking, tools, books, .Mostly large group pencils., science equipment instruction .Flexible work spaces (tables, .Playful activity only may be rearranged as needed when work is done Description: 1 1 1

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204 INTEGRATED CURRICULUM (Note: If you reach the end of your observations and any areas cannot be rated due to lack of information, arrange to meet with the teacher and ask the open-ended clarification questions. Use the descriptors as probes if necessary.) 9. Language and Literacy. 5 4 .. 3 .. 2 Technical skills are taught .Teaching is geared to as needed passing standardized .Generous amounts of time are tests provided to learn through: .Reading taught through literature and nonfiction skills and subskills reading; drawing; dictating as a discrete subject and writing stories; bookmaking .Silence is required and library visits .Language, writing, and .Daily reading aloud by teacher spelling instruction .Subskills such as letters and focus on workbooks phonics are taught individually .Teaching focuses on and in small groups reading groups with .Literacy is taught through other children having content areas such as science seatwork to keep busy and social studies .Phonics instruction .Children's invented spellings stresses learning rules are accepted not relationships .Everyone must complete same basals no matter what their abilities .Everyone knows who is in the slowest reading group .Acceptable writing has correct spelling and standard English Description: (Clarification:Describe your language and literacy program.) 1

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205 10. Math 5 . . 4 .Children encouraged to use math through exploration, discovery, and solving meaningful problems .Integrated with other areas .Skills acquired through play, projects .Math manipulatives are used .Math games are used 2 . . .Taught as separate separate .Taught at a scheduled time each day .Focus exclusively on textbook, book, practice sheets, and drill .Seldom any hands on activity 1 .Must finish work in order to use games and manipulatives or no math manipulatives at all Description: (Clarification: Describe your math program.) 11. Social Studies 5 4 . 3 . . . 2 . . 1 .Themes may extend over a .Included occasionally if period of time reading and math done .Learned through playful .Mostly related to activities, discussion, trips, holidays visitors, writing, reading, .Brief activities from the social skills development, social studies textbook (planning, sharing) or commercially developed .Art, music, dance, drama, newspaper (Weekly Reader) woodworking, and games are and doing dittoed incorporated seatwork Description: (Clarification: Describe your social studies program.)

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206 12. Science. 5 . . . 4 . 3 2 1 .Discovery, build on the children's natural interest .Projects are experimental and exploratory, encourage active involvement of every child .Plants, pets, and other science items (magnets, magnifying glasses, books about Earth, etc.) in the classroom .Through projects and field trips children learn to plan, apply thinking skills, hypothesize, observe, experiment, verify .Learn science facts related to their own experience .Taught from a single textbook or not at all .Complete worksheets .Watch teacher demonstrations .No field trips .Materials in science center rarely changed Description: (Clarification: Describe your science program.) 13. Health and Safety 5 . . . 4 3 . .Projects designed to help children use personalized facts .Children learn to integrate facts into their daily habits .Dictate or write their own plans .Draw and write about these activities .Read about these activities .Enjoy learning because it is related to their lives 2 . .Posters and textbooks used primarily 1 .Once a week lesson or once a year unit on health Description: (Clarification: Describe your health and safety curriculum.)

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207 14. Art, Music, Movement, Woodworking, Drama, and Dance. 5 . 4 . .Integrated throughout the day; planned and spontaneous .Specialists work with teachers and children .Children explore a variety of art media and music .Children design and direct their own products and productions occasionally .Teacher encourages dancing creative dramatics, record playing, singing, instruments Description: 2 . 1 .Taught as separate subjects once a week .Specialists do not coordinate closely with classroom teachers .Representational art only .Crafts substitute for artistic expression .Coloring book type activities .Use patterns and cut-outs (Tell me about your program in the arts, such as art, music, movement, woodworking, drama, and dance.) 15. Multicultural Education 5 . 4. . 3 2 . 1 Multicultural focus integrated.Materials and activities into all units or themes lack attention to .Materials and activities are cultural diversity and multicultural and nonsexist nonsexist point of view .Teacher provides both sexes .Ignore multicultural view with equal opportunities to .Supports sexist ideas take part in all activities .Cooks and serves food from various cultures .Celebrates holidays of various cultures Description: (Tell me how you provide for multicultural education in your classroom)

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16. Outdoor Activity 5 . . . 4 . . 3 .Planned daily so children can develop large muscle skills, learn about outdoor environments, and express themselves freely on a well designed playground Description: 208 2 .Limited because it interferes with instructional time .Provided as a time for recess to use up excess energy .Not supervised so children don't participate 1 (Clarification: Describe the focus of your outdoor activity program.) GUIDANCE OF SOCIAL EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT 17. Prosocial Behavior, Perseverence, and Industry 5 ....... 4 ....... 3. .Stimulating, motivating activities are provided that promote student involvement .Individual choices are encouraged when appropriate .Enough time is allowed to complete work .Private time with friend or teacher provided Description: .2 .. 1 .Lectures about the importance of appropriate social behavior .Punishes children who become bored or restless with seatwork and whisper, talk, or wander around .Punishes children who dawdle and do not finish work in alloted time .No time for private conversations .Only the most able students finish their work in time for special interests or interaction with other students

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209 18.Helping, Cooperating, Negotiating, and Solving Social Problems 5. .4. . . 3 2 1 .Daily opportunities to develop social skills such as helping others, cooperating, negotiating, and talking with others to solve problems .Little time to develop social skills mostly independent seatwork and teacher directed activities .Teacher helps children deal with anger, sadness, and frustration .Children are encouraged to talk about feelings .Teacher helps child pinpoint problem, find alternatives, explore solutions .Teacher assists children in solving their own problems; teaches problem-solving skills Description: 19. Guidance Techniques. .Social opportunity is on the playground but no consistent adult is available to provide guidance .Teacher tells child what llQt to do in social interactions .Teacher provides solutions to problems 5 .4. . 3 . .2 1 Positive guidance techniques are used: -Clear limits are set in a positive manner and explained to children -Children are involved in establishing rules -Children involved in problem solving misbehavior -Redirection is used -Meets with child who has problems (and with parentsworks towards home-school cooperation .Recognizes that every infraction doesn't warrant attention and identifies those that can be used as learning opportunities .Teacher is in adversarial role .Emphasis on power to provide rewards and punishments .Maintaining control of classroom is primary goal .Teachers: -enforce rules -give external rewards for good behavior -punish infractions .When there is social conflict, participants are separated and quieted -social issue is avoided .Teacher attitude is demeaning to child .Teacher reprimands child from across the room

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210 .Teacher does not use physical punishment or other negative discipline methods that hurt, frighten, or humiliate children . Teacher speaks privately to child .catch them doing it right reinforcement provided when expectations are met Description: 20. Facilitation of Selfesteem by Expressing Respect, Acceptance, and Comfort for Children Regardless of Their Behavior. 5 4 . 3 . . . 2 . .Children are trusted to made some of their own decisions .Children are encouraged to develop their own self control .Teacher is warm, accepting .Teacher provides nurturance and understanding .Teacher adapts to child's needs .Teacher treats children of all sexes, races, religions, cultures, and capabilities equally with respect and consideration Description: .Teacher screams in anger .Teacher neglects children's individual needs .Physical or emotional pain is inflicted .Criticizes, ridicules, blames, teases, insults, name-calls, threatens, frightens, and/or humiliates .Laughs at children in derogatory manner .Allows students to laugh at each other in a derogatory way 1

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211 21. Internal vs External Sources of Motivation and Rewards for Achievement 5 ...... 4 ...... 3 ....... 2. . 1 .Encourages development of internal rewards and internal critique .Guides children to see alternatives, improvements, and solutions .Guides children to find and correct own errors .Teacher points out how good it feels to complete a task, to try to be successful, to live up to one's own standards for achievement .The reward for completing a task is the opportunity to move on to a more difficult challenge Description: .Uses primarily external rewards and punishment .Corrects errors; makes sure children know right answers .Rewards children with stickers, praise in front of group, holds child up as examples .Motivation is through -percentage or letter grades -stickers -stars on charts -candy -privileges 22. Teacher As a Model for Motivation 5 ....... 4. 3 2 .Through relationship with teacher, child models teacher's enthusiasm for learning, identifies with teacher's conscientious attitude toward work, and gains in self motivation Description: .Children identify with teacher's lack of enthusiasm and interest in his or her work and emulate it 1

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TRANSITIONS 23. Transitions Within the School. 5. .. 4. . .3 .. .Children are assisted in making smooth transitions between groups or programs throughout the day by teachers who: -maintain continuity and predictability -maintain ongoing communication -prepare children for each transition -involve parents -minimize the number of transitions necessary Description: 212 2 . 1 .Day is fragmented among many different groups and programs with little attempt to communicate or coordinate successful transitions 24. Transitions Within the Classroom 5 4 . 3. Transition activities (i.e. special song) .Warning signals are given .Ample time is given .Next activity is instrinsically enticing .New activity is prepared before the transition to avoid waiting .Children are not always required to move as a group from one activity to another .There is a daily schedule which is followed, as possible Description: 2 .Single announcement .Abrupt changes 1 .Wait for all to arrive before begin next activity .Individuals singled out for being slow or distracted

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213 PARENT-TEACHER RELATIONS: INTERVIEW Note: Ask the teacher the open-ended questions. Use the descriptors as probes if necessary. 25. Teacher's View of Parents 5 . . 4 . . 3 . . 2 1 Parents are partners .Periodic conferences are held .Parents are welcome at school .Horne visits by teachers are encouraged .Teacher listens to parents and respects their goals for the child, their culture and Teachers not given adequate time to work with parents .Subtle messages make parents feel unwelcome at school .Parent's role is to their family configuration .Teacher understands that children whose parents are involved, at school or at horne, have greater school success Description: carry out the school's agenda (Tell me how you view the role of parents as they relate to your classroom and your program.) 26. Parent Involvement 1n the Classroom 5. . . 4 . . 3 2 . . . Family members are encouraged .Schedule is too tight to to help in the classroom include parents .Family members are encouraged .Parent participation to help outside the classroom policy is not followed -make instructional materials .Teachers' only contact -help with school-related with parents is learning at horne attending formal PTA .Family members are asked to meetings help with decision-making .Contacts are formal 1 where appropriate through report cards and conferences once or twice during the year Description: (Tell me about parent involvement in your program.)

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214 27. Evaluation Methods. 5 ...... 4 ....... 3 ...... 2. . 1 .Assessment through observation and recording at regular intervals .Written records kept documenting development .Results are used to improve and individualize instruction .No letter or number grades are given; or where letter or number grades are required by the .Regular testing on each subject .Graded tests and/or worksheets sent home or filed after they are seen by children .Teach to test to ease children's stress school or district, the teacher provides comments and descriptors in addition to letter/number grades .Variety of assessment tools and measurements utilized; portfolios Description: (Tell me about your evaluation system. How do you go about assessing the students and how do you use the information?)

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APPENDIX E Letter to Panel of Early Childhood Educators Dear Early Childhood Educator: You are being invited to participate in a study concerning education at the primary level. The purpose of our study is to describe the classroom practices of primary grade teachers and to identify the degree to which the beliefs of primary teachers, elementary school principals, and teacher educators are congruent with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) guidelines for appropriate curriculum and instructional practices for 6 to 8 year olds. In one part of the study, data on teachers' practices will be collected by observing a subsample of twenty primary teachers using the Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Classrooms, a 24-item observational instrument with items constructed corresponding to the NAEYC guidelines for children ages 5 to 8 (Bredekamp, 1987). Areas include curriculum goals, teaching strategies, integrated curriculum, guidance of social-emotional development, motivation, and transitions. An attached interview includes three questions related to parent-teacher relations and evaluation and provides open-ended clarification questions for any of the observation items which cannot be rated due to lack of information. Each item in the observation instrument is rated by observers on a 5-point Likert scale, the most appropriate practice descriptors are listed under point 5 and the most inappropriate under point 1. Construct and content validity for this instrument derives from the widely accepted definition of developmentally appropriate practice as explained in the NAEYC guidelines (Bredekamp, 1987). In order to provide further content validity for this measure, we have elected to ask educators with extensive background in early childhood education to verify that the items listed in each end of the continuum discriminate between appropriate and inappropriate practices as defined by the NAEYC document.

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216 We are asking that you take a few moments to read this instrument and comment on the accuracy of the descriptors listed as representing appropriate and inappropriate practice. Please jot any comments directly on the form. If you have any questions concerning this study, please call Suzanne Adams at either of the following telephone numbers: Home: 733-0343 Work: 556-3205 Your participation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for your time in assisting our research endeavor. Sincerely, Suzanne Adams, M.A. W. Michael Martin, Ed.D. School of Education

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APPENDIX F Letter to District Research Administrators January 1992 Dear Administrator: We would like permission to include your school district in our study concerning developmentally appropriate curriculum and instructional methods in the primary grades. Schools in your district were selected from a random sample of public schools in Denver and the surrounding area. We will need a sufficient number of participating schools to result in a final sample pool of approximately 150-200 primary teachers. The purpose of our study is to describe the beliefs of primary grade teachers, principals, and teacher educators and the classroom practices of primary grade teachers. Data will be collected by using a questionnaire based on the definition of developmentally appropriate practices established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. This questionnaire consists of a Teacher Beliefs Scale exploring beliefs about curriculum and practices in the primary grades and an Instructional Activities Scale wherein teachers indicate how often their students participate in certain activities. Completing both questionnaires should take teachers 15-20 minutes. Principals at the selected schools will also be asked to complete a version of the Beliefs Scale. Postage paid return envelopes will be enclosed with each survey. Each survey will contain a cover sheet which explains that the confidentiality of the respondent is guaranteed. Supplementary data on teachers practices will be collected by observing a subsample of twenty primary teachers. Selected teachers will be observed twice for two-hour periods and interviewed regarding their thoughts

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on parent-teacher relations and evaluation. Interview sessions will take less than one-half hour and will be scheduled at the convenience of the teacher. 218 We will be contacting you by telephone questions you might have about this study. participation would be greatly appreciated. very much for your consideration. to answer any Your Thank you Sincerely, Suzanne Adams, M.A. w. Michael Martin, Ed.D. School of Education

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APPENDIX G Letter to Principals January 1992 Dear Principal: You are being invited to participate in a study concerning education at the primary level. The purpose of our study is to describe the beliefs of primary grade teachers, principals, and teacher educators and the classroom practices of primary grade teachers. In this study, principals will be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire concerning their beliefs about curriculum and practices in the primary grades. Completing the questionnaire should take less than 15 minutes. In addition, participating principals will be asked to distribute two questionnaires to each first and second grade teacher in their school: a Teacher Beliefs Scale concerning beliefs about curriculum and practices in the primary grades and an Instructional Activities Scale wherein teachers indicate how often their students participate in certain activities. Completing both questionnaires should take teachers 15-20 minutes. Postage paid envelopes will be enclosed with each survey. Teachers will return surveys directly to Suzanne Adams; you will not be responsible for collecting them. Each survey will contain a cover sheet which explains that the confidentiality of each respondent is guaranteed. Approximately 150-200 teachers will be surveyed. In addition, a randomly selected group of 20 teachers will be asked permission to observe their classrooms. Trained undergraduate elementary education students will observe these classrooms for two 2-hour periods to record classroom activities. Observers will need to meet briefly with these teachers to ask questions regarding parent involvement and evaluation. Each principal and teacher participating in this study will be sent a written summary of the research findings upon completion of the study.

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If you have any questions concerning this study, please call Suzanne Adams at either of the following telephone numbers: Home: 733-0343 Work: 556-3205 220 Regardless of your decision, please complete and return the enclosed postcard. Your participation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for your consideration. Sincerely, Suzanne Adams, M.A. W. Michael Martin, Ed.D. School of Education

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221 APPENDIX H Return Postcard Enclosed to Principals Principal name School name School address I do not agree to participate I agree to participate in this study concerning educators' beliefs about appropriate primary curriculum If you have agreed to participate, please list the names of all of the first and second grade teachers at your school. Suzanne Adams 1266 So. Vine St. Denver, CO 80210

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APPENDIX I Note to Teachers Dear Teacher, 222 I'm asking for a few minutes of your precious time. I know how hectic a teacher's life can be. Please relax and have a cup of tea while you respond to these questionnaires. As a fellow teacher, I thank you. Suzanne Adams

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223 APPENDIX J Informed Consent Letter January 1992 Dear Educator: You are being invited to participate in a study concerning education at the primary level. The purpose of this study is to describe the beliefs of primary grade teachers, principals, and teacher educators and the classroom practices of primary grade teachers. This study has been approved by participating districts and principals. The research is being conducted through the University of Colorado at Denver. Over 200 first and second grade teachers, their principals, and faculty members in teacher education programs are being surveyed. Each participant will be assigned a code number and will be assured complete anonymity. Upon return, the background information form with the identifying number code will be separated from the questionnaires, thus individual names will not be linked with questionnaire responses. Your right to confidentiality is guaranteed. Neither you nor your school will be identified with or associated with the information provided. Therefore, participating in this research poses no risk to you other than taking your time. Your participation is voluntary. Return of the background information form and the questionnaires constitutes your informed consent to participate in the study. Each participant will be sent a written summary of the research findings upon completion of the study. If you have any questions concerning your rights as a participant, please contact the Office of Research Administration, CU-Denver, Box 123, telephone 556-2770. Your participation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for your consideration. Sincerely, Suzanne Adams, M.A. W.Michael Martin, Ed.D.

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APPENDIX K Teacher Observation Informed Consent Letter Dear You are being invited to participate in a study concerning education at the primary level. The purpose of this study is to describe the beliefs of primary grade teachers, principals, and teacher educators and the classroom practices of primary grade teachers. This research is being conducted through the University of Colorado at Denver. Twenty first and second grade teachers who participated in the survey portion of this study were randomly selected for classroom observation. We would like to observe your classroom twice for two-hour periods and ask you questions related to your classroom practice. Observers will be undergraduate students in early childhood and elementary education who have taken a course from Suzanne Adams at Metropolitan State College of Denver entitled Developmental Educational Psychology. They have received training in unobtrusive observation and will not interfere with classroom proceedings. Interview sessions will take less than one-half hour and will be scheduled at your convenience. As before, you will be assigned a code and will be assured complete anonymity. Your right to confidentiality is guaranteed. Neither you nor your school will be identified with or associated in any way with the information provided. Therefore, participating in this research poses no risk to you other than taking your time. Your participation is voluntary, and you may withdraw at any time without prejudice. Feedback will be provided to participants upon the completion of the study. Each teacher will be sent a written summary of the research findings. The researchers will be available to address any concerns throughout the course of the study. If you have any questions concerning this study, please call Suzanne Adams at 733-0343 or 556-3205. If you have questions concerning your rights as a subject, you may direct these to the Office of Research Administration, CU-Denver Box 123, telephone 556-2770.

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225 Regardless of your decision, please complete the attached form and return it in the enclosed envelope. Your participation in this portion of the study would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for your consideration. Sincerely, Suzanne Adams, M.A. W. Michael Martin, Ed.D. School of Education Informed Consent I do or do not (please circle your response) agree to participate in this study concerning classroom practices of primary grade teachers. I understand that I will be observed and interviewed and that my identity will be protected. I also understand that my rights to confidentiality will be guaranteed and that I may withdraw at any time. I understand that if I agree to participate, the researchers will contact me to set up convenient observation and interview dates. Signature If you have agreed to participate, please list your school and home telephone numbers so that we can contact you for appointment times. School ______________ __ Home __________________ Thank you, Suzanne Adams W. Michael Martin

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APPENDIX L Mean Scores Rating Irnoortance of Belief Items by Primary TeachersCTl, Principals CPl, and Teacher Educators CTE) Belief Item T 1. As an evaluation technique in the primary grades, standardized group tests are ____ 1.852 2. It is for primary grade activities to be responsive to individual 4.071 differences in interest. 3. It is that each curriculum area be taught as separate subjects at 1.690 separate times. 4. It is for teacher-pupil interactions to help develop children's 4.915 self-esteem and positive feelings toward learning. 5. It is for children to be allowed to select many of their own activities 3.782 from a variety of learning areas that the teacher prepared. 6. It is for children to explore and experiment with various art media and 4.255 forms of music/movement. 7. As an evaluation technique in the primary grades, teacher observation is 4.676 8. It is for students to work silently and alone on seatwork. 2.486 9. It is for primary grade activities to be responsive to individual 4.507 differences in development. 10.Workbooks and/or ditto sheets are to the primary grades. 2.415 11.It is for children to learn through active exploration with concrete 4.535 materials. Group p TE 1.844 1.933 4.281 4.489 1.375 1.422 4.906 4.756 4.094 3.978 4.375 4.333 4.625 4.733 2.094 2.133 4.688 4.683 1.742 1.867 4.656 4.778

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Belief Item T 12.It is for students to learn 4.511 through interaction with other children. 13.Flashcards(numbers, letters, and/or words) are to the primary grades for 2.786 instructional purposes. 14.The basal reader is ____ to the reading program. 2.355 15.In teaching health and safety, it is to include a variety of 4.028 activities throughout the school year. 16.As an evaluation technique in the primary grades, performance on worksheets and 2.450 workbooks is 17.It is for teachers to use authority through treats, stickers, and/or stars 2.679 to encourage appropriate behavior. 18.It is __ for children to be instructed in recognizing single letters of the 2.814 alphabet and phonics, isolated from words. 19. It is for children to be involved in establishing rules for the classroom. 4.390 20.It is for children to color within predefined lines. 2.113 21.In terms of effectiveness, it is for the teacher to move among groups and individuals, offering suggestions, asking 4.652 questions and facilitating children's involvement with materials and activities. 22.It is for teachers to use authority through punishments and/or reprimands to 2.221 1. 733 encourage appropriate behavior. 23.It is ____ for children to experiment with writing by inventing their own spelling. 4.414 227 Group p TE 4.781 4.578 2.531 2.533 2.188 2.333 3.968 4.311 2.097 2.089 2.387 1.977 2.452 2. 667 4.188 4.136 1. 625 1.644 4.774 4.822 1.645 4.419 4.111

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Belief Item 24.It is ____ for children to have stories read to them individually and/or on a group basis. 25.It is ______ for children to dictate T 4.901 stories to the teacher. 3.857 26.It is for children to see and use functional print (telephone books, 4.401 lists, magazines, etc.) and environmental print (cereal boxes, cookie bags, etc.) in the primary grades. 27.It is for children to participate in dramatic play. 4.106 28.It is for children to form Group p 4.871 4.161 4.313 4.375 letters correctly on a printed line. 3.149* 2.750 29.It is for children to talk informally with adults. 4.394 4.469 30.It is to provide many opportunities to develop social skills with peers in 4.592 4.750 the classroom. 228 TE 4.867 4.156 4.467 4.311 2. 578 4.644 4.711 31.It is read. for 6 year olds to learn to 3.204* 3.063* 2.841 32.In primary grades, it is that math be integrated with other curriculum 3.655 areas. 33.In terms of effectiveness, it is __ __ for the teacher to talk to the whole group and make sure everyone participates in the same activity. 34.In the classroom setting, it is for 2.688 the child to be exposed to 4.444 multicultural and nonsexist activities. 35.It is that outdoor time 3.875 3.978 2.581 2.000 4.594 4.556 have planned activities. 2.246* 2.688* 2.489* 36.Input from parents is 4.599 4.750 4.644 Indicates ratings which do not meet NAEYC guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice.

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APPENDIX M Mean Scores Rating the Frequency of Each Activity Instructional Activity Combined Means Score of 142 Primary Teachers 1. dictate stories to teacher 2. children selecting centers (art, book, math, science, writing, etc.) 3. participating in dramatic play 4. children reading in ability level groups 5. listening to stories read by teacher 2.730* 3.929 2.624* 2.937 4.923 6. doing creative writing (combining symbols/ 4.676 invented spelling and drawing) 7. using flashcards with sight words and/or 2.451 math facts 8. playing with games and puzzles 3.739 9. exploring animals, plants, scientific equipment (scales, thermometers, gears) 3.380 lO.singing and/or listening to music 4.049 11.circling, underlining, and/or marking 2.823 items on worksheets 12.creative movement 3.159 13.cutting their own shapes from paper 3.493 14.playing with manipulatives such as 3.972 pegboards, puzzles, and/or legos 15.social reinforcement (verbal praise, 4.930 approval, attention, etc.) for appropriate behavior and/or performance 16.coloring and/or cutting predrawn forms 2.468

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230 Instructional Activity Combined Means Score of 142 Primary Teachers 17.math manipulatives and math games 4.254 18.practicing handwriting on lines 3.411* 19.conversing privately with teacher 4.155 20.copying from the chalkboard 2.838 21.sitting for longer than 5 minutes between 2.935 activities 22.large group teacher directed instruction 4.162* 23.children working together on activities 4.440 24.tangible rewards for appropriate behavior 3.507* and/or performance 25.losing special privileges (trips, recess, 2.641 free time, parties, etc.) for misbehavior 26.games/activities directed by or made by 2.162* parents 27.multicultural and nonsexist activities 3.647 28.specifically planned outdoor activities 2.341* 29.competitive math activities to learn facts 2.279 30.health and safety activities 2.986* 31.drawing, painting, working with playdough, 3.676 and other art media 32.math incorporated with other subject areas 3.704 33.using isolation (standing in the corner or 1.721 outside of the room) to obtain compliance Note. Indicates ratings which do not meet NAEYC guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice.

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232 Brousseau, B.A., & Freeman, D.J. (1987). Relationships between experience and educational predispositions and beliefs. Research and Evaluation in Teacher Education, OPE Evaluation Series #15. (ERIC Reproduction Service No. ED 281 833) Brousseau, B.A., & Freeman, D.J. (1988). How do teacher education faculty members define desirable teacher beliefs? Teaching and Teacher Education, !(3), 267-273. Brown, B.B. (1969). Congruity of student teachers' beliefs and practices with Dewey's philosophy. Educational Forum, 11(2), 163-168, Buchman, M. (1983). Justification in teacher thinking: An analysis of interview data. (Research Series No. 124.) East Lansing, MI: Institute for Research on Teaching, Michigan State University. Burt, D.C., Hart, C.H., Charlesworth, R., Hernandez, S., Kirk, L. & Mosley, J. (1989). A comparison of the frequencies of stress behaviors observed in kindergarten children in classrooms with developmentally appropriate vs. developmentally inappropriate instructional practices. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 310 857) Bussis, A.M., Chittenden, E.A., & Arnerel, M. (1976). Beyond surface curriculum. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Caldwell, B. (1984). From the president: Growth and development. Young Children, li(6), 53-56. Charlesworth, R., Hart, C., Burts, D., Mosley, J. & Thomasson, R.H. (in press). A school system profile of kindergarten teachers' beliefs and practices. Baton, Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University. Charlesworth, R., Hart, C.H., Burts, D.C., & Hernandez, S. (1990). Kindergarten teachers'beliefs and practices, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 318 571)

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Charlesworth, R., Hernandez, S., Kirk, L., Hart, c., & Burts, D. (in press). Tbe Teacher Questionnaire. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University. 233 Charlesworth, R., Mosley, J., Burts, D., Hart, C., Kirk, L., & Hernandez, S. (in press). Checklist for Rating Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Classrooms. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University. Cogan, M.L. (1973). Clinical supervision. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. Cohen, A.S., Peters, D.L., & Willis, S.L. (1976). The effects of early childhood education student teaching on program preference, beliefs, and behaviors. Journal of Educational Research, 1Q(1), 15-20. Connell, D.R. (1987). The first 30 years were the fairest: Notes from the kindergarten and ungraded primary (K-1-2). Young Children. i2(5), 30-39. Deal, T.E. (1985). The symbolism of effective schools. The Elementary School Journal, 601-620. Dobson, R.L., & Dobson, J.E. (1983). Teacher beliefspractice congruency. Viewpoints in Teaching and Learning. Duffy, G.G. (1981). Theory to practice: How does it work in real classrooms? (Research Series No. 98). East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University, The Institute for Research on Teaching. Duffy, G.G., & Anderson, L. (1984). Teachers' theoretical orientations and the real classroom. Reading Psychology, 97-104. Elkind, D. (1986). Formal education and early childhood education: An essential difference. Phi Delta Kappan, 631-640. Elkind, D. (1987). Miseducation; Preschoolers at risk. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

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