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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Philosophy within practice: Relationship between philosophical orientations and teaching styles of faculty in early childhood teacher preparation programs
by Strout, Lisa J., Ph.D., Capella University, 2015, 263; 3746854
Abstract (Summary)

This causal-comparative research study identified the individual adult education philosophical orientations and teaching style preferences of early childhood education faculty members. It also examined the relationship between the educational philosophies, teaching style preferences, and the following demographics: gender, age, academic rank, years of teaching experience, and terminal degree. In addition, this study examined the relationship between theory and practice based on the Principle of Congruity. The concept of adult education philosophical orientations was identified and measured by Zinn’s (2007) Philosophy of Adult Education Inventory (PAEI); the concept of teaching styles was identified and measured by Conti’s (1982) Principles of Adult Learning Scale (PALS); and the Principle of Congruity was identified by Katz (1977). The target population included all higher education faculty members teaching in early childhood teacher preparation programs in college and university settings located in the Northern New England states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont during the 2015 Winter/Spring semester. Purposive sampling was employed and a total of 45 faculty members completed the online survey. The majority (55.6%) of faculty members reported their primary educational philosophy of adult education was progressive, followed by 17.8% identifying with the behavioral orientation. The results also indicated that 62% of the faculty members had an adult educational philosophy that was congruent with their respective teaching style and of the sample (N=45), 57.8% faculty members identified with a learner-centered preference and 42.2% faculty members identified with the teacher-centered approach. Further, the results indicated that 22 (49%) faculty members identified their educational philosophy (progressive, humanistic, and radical/critical) and teaching style preference (learner-centered) were congruent with the Principle of Congruity. Data was analyzed using the Pearson correlation coefficient and ANOVA. Findings suggested there were statistically significant relationships between several of the adult educational philosophies and the overall teaching style; between several philosophical orientations and various factors of the teaching style; as well as between two demographics (age and terminal degree) and various philosophical orientations and teaching style factors. Lastly, the research hypothesis could not be supported and the null hypothesis was retained because no statistically significant relationships were suggested between the progressive and humanistic higher education faculty members and the liberal, behavioral, and radical/critical faculty members in preferences of teaching style.

Indexing (document details)
School: Capella University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Adult education, Early childhood education, Education philosophy
Keywords: Early childhood education, Higher education, Philosophy of adult education, Teacher education faculty, Teaching style
Publication Number: 3746854
ISBN: 978-1-339-40409-7
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