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Behind the closed doors of public preschool classrooms: Practices and problem

Conference contribution
Authors Rahime Cobanoglu
Yesim Capa-Aydin
Ali Yildirim
Published in Paper presented at the 29th European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA) Conference, 2019, Thessaloniki, Greece
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies
Language en
Links https://1tmmhf3iii4234y2mw3ve2ow-wp...
Keywords classroom practices, teacher qualifications, preschool teachers
Subject categories Pedagogical Work


The present study sought to examine the classroom practices of a sample of preschool teachers employed in the public educational system of Turkey. As teaching practices make difference in children's developmental gains, it is critical to uncover what happens behind the closed doors of early childhood education (ECE) classrooms. Although many countries extended their efforts to increase the enrolment rate in ECE programs (OECD, 2014), it seems that teaching practices have remained problematic in the field. There is evidence that developmentally appropriate practices are not commonly implemented in ECE programs (Bryant et al., 1991; Dunn & Kontos, 1997). This study is a strand of research on process quality. Process quality in ECE addresses the experiences and interactions of children in classrooms (Dahlberg, Moss, & Pence, 1999). In this qualitative inquiry, data were collected through open-ended classroom observations. We explored the classroom practices of eight teachers that had B.S degrees in an area related to child development and education. The consent of Ministry of National Education was obtained to make class observations in schools. Teachers' participation in research was voluntary. The results revealed that some teacher practices were not developmentally appropriate in the preschool classrooms. There was almost no teacher effort for supporting children's learning during child-initiated activities. The activities that are likely to support children's higher cognitive functioning were scarcely observed in the classrooms. Also, preschool teachers addressed a range of issues regarding the management of children's behaviours. The results provide implications for pre-service teacher education and teacher professional development.

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