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Title:Educational principles underlying the classroom decisions of two kindergarten teachers
Author(s):Hsieh, Yinghui
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Spodek, Bernard
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Early Childhood
Education, Teacher Training
Abstract:Guided by current conceptions of personal practical knowledge, this study examined the classroom decisions and actions of two experienced kindergarten teachers, Mary and Brenda, through their educational principles. This study conceptualized these two teachers' educational principles, identified the contextual and biographical factors that helped shape these educational principles, and investigated how these educational principles guided their teaching practices.
Qualitative, interpretative methods were employed to investigate the meanings Mary and Brenda constructed around events in their classroom lives. Data were collected through classroom observations, interviews, videotaping, and documents from the sites. The framework for analysis emerged from the data and was tested against further data analyses. The educational principles were inferred from the themes and patterns of the data, and were verified by these two teachers.
This study shows that Mary's and Brenda's educational principles, growing out of past professional and personal experiences, are an amalgam of their purposes, values, and beliefs about teaching and learning, and their images of themselves as teachers. Most of their educational principles are rooted in beliefs related to their views about children's learning and development. Both Mary and Brenda have developed a repertoire of teaching strategies to fit each educational principle. Several biographical factors, including significant people, events, and experiences in their lives, were found to influence many of the educational principles held by these two teachers.
This study suggests that how teachers conduct themselves in the classroom is related to what they think teaching should be. The values and beliefs teachers hold about teaching may or may not be reasonable, justifiable, true, or coherent. It is, therefore, important for teachers to explore the values and beliefs underlying their own teaching, to bring to awareness the reasons for the strategies and options they use, to make conscious the knowledge stored in their heads, and to connect these with the formal bodies of knowledge valued in teacher education.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Hsieh, Yinghui
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9512400
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9512400

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