A Qualitative Study of Early Childhood Educators' Beliefs About Key Preschool Classroom Experiences

Published in: Early Childhood Research and Practice, Vol. 11 No. 1, Spring 2009

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2009

by Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo, Allison Sidle Fuligni, Lindsay Daugherty, Carollee Howes, Lynn A. Karoly

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The aim of the study was to uncover early childhood educators' beliefs about how to best work with children getting ready for kindergarten. The study involved 11 focus groups with providers from three types of early education settings located in Los Angeles County: (1) public center-based programs, (2) private center-based programs, and (3) family child care programs. Results from the qualitative data analyses revealed three types of preschool classroom experiences that participants believed to be important when working with children who are getting ready for kindergarten: (1) types of teacher-child interaction, (2) children's learning environment, and (3) types of learning opportunities. Each of these dimensions was made up of several factors. Although educators from all three types of early education programs mentioned these dimensions, there was variation among the factors that make up each dimension, with differences between and within center type.

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