The purpose of this action research study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a year-long implementation of the Reggio Emilia approach on transitional kindergarten (TK) programs of a large public school district in southern California. Teachers in 3 TK classrooms had received training from the trainer (researcher for this study) on Reggio approach prior to the onset of the school year and the beginning of this research study. The study used a multi-site case study design involving three teachers, three principals, and three parents drawn from three schools. Data was collected through interviews, an observational checklist, field notes, and reflective journal entries in three phases of the study: before, during, and after the school year.
Relevant documents were also collected during each phase. Results of the year-long research documented some improvements in teaching strategies and classrooms managements as well as factors that pose challenges to implementing the Reggio approach in TK programs: (a) teachers’ lack of in-depth knowledge of the Reggio approach, (b) high teacher-child ratio of TK classrooms, and (c) utilization of a hybrid curriculum that unsuccessfully attempted to merge California preschool learning foundation and the kindergarten common core standards. Other important challenges included lack of family involvement, high demand on academics that ignored inquiry-based learning, focus on imagination, and the whole child approach, which were the hallmarks of the Reggio philosophy. Children’s formal assessment based on school district’s benchmarks and mandates also contradicted Reggio’s emphasis on authentic assessment through documentation.
|Commitee:||An, Shuhua, Palma, Jennifer|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 55/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Early childhood education|
|Keywords:||California, Reggio approach, Transitional kindergarten|
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