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Title:An Analysis of One Early Childhood Teacher's Beliefs About the Events of Her Classroom
Author(s):Myers, Barbara Rosa Kimes
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Curriculum and Instruction
Abstract:The purpose of this case study was to illuminate one early childhood teacher's understandings of events related to her classroom. This work is grounded in the assumption that early childhood teachers hold beliefs about the events of their own classrooms and that they can make these explicit. It is one more in a line of research studies that have helped us to understand teaching through the examination of teachers' thoughts as well as actions.
The second-grade teacher studied was viewed as exemplary by both her principal and the superintendent of a predominantly white, middle-class, suburban school district. Her experiences as a university instructor, a school board member and parent, as well as her ability to clearly articulate her own observations and understandings, made her an inviting subject for the research.
Four general categories, each with a number of subcategories, emerged from the data. Evident were the teacher's beliefs about (a) teachers, (b) children, (c) parents, and (d) curriculum. The data presentation chapters provide a literary description of events relating to the four categories.
A general theme which flowed throughout the data was the teacher's conceptualization of "the enterprise." This enterprise involved the teacher's view of herself as part of a group of persons sharing an investment in something of significance--the school. The group encompassed the school's principal, teachers, supportive staff, and some part-time specialists.
Three issues and their resolutions that were found in the teacher's understandings about events related to her classroom were also evident in her conceptualization of the enterprise. These were the issues of power, purpose, and support. Resolution of these issues was sustained through the teacher's thoughts and actions reflecting a valuing of persons (a) being comfortable, (b) avoiding conflict, and (c) adhering to an authority model.
Persons becoming familiar with this case study can relate it to their own understandings of what it is like to be a teacher in the real world of a primary grade. A matrix presents topics in the teacher's beliefs and indicates relevant issues within her understandings of the enterprise. Questions inviting further research are gleaned from the contents of the matrix.
Issue Date:1984
Description:179 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8422784
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1984

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