Approximately 50 states have early learning standards for preschool age children. The intended use of these standards is to inform preschool teachers' instructional practices to assure children make progress toward educational goals. Accountability practices, such as using standards and measuring performance, are not new to the K-12 education system: however, the practices have a shorter history in pre-K education. Because measuring young children's progress may conflict with preschool teachers' beliefs regarding developmentally appropriate practice, preschool teachers are challenged to integrate accountability standards into their practice. This study explored professional development for preschool teachers that addresses this challenge.
Current literature regarding professional development for preschool teachers indicates that coaches can have a positive impact on helping preschool teachers address the challenges they face. Specifically, coaches can provide timely and focused feedback, enable teachers to develop skills to self-regulate their learning, and support teachers to become more mindful practitioners. In these roles, coaches can facilitate a shift in teachers' practice paradigm to accommodate current accountability expectations.
The empirical study was a longitudinal (9-month) qualitative study of how coaches (n = 7) supported preschool teachers (n = 12) in adopting a cycle of intentional teaching associated with accountability expectations. Data collection included a series of three teacher interviews, teacher reflective records, coach's observations of teachers in practice, and researchers observations of coaching conferences between the coach and teacher.
Findings indicated that coaches used authentic materials and resources familiar to teachers as well as timely and focused feedback to help teachers identify gaps between current practices and goal skills. During the same time, the mental models teachers used to guide their practice became more complex and they demonstrated more behaviors consistent with accountability expectations. The findings are discussed in terms of the interrelationships between coaching strategies and changes in teachers' thinking and behaviors, and the power of coaching conversations to support preschool teachers' success serving children in this era of accountability.
|Advisor:||Bell, Alexandra A.|
|School:||University of Connecticut|
|School Location:||United States -- Connecticut|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/10, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Adult education, Early childhood education, Teacher education|
|Keywords:||Coaching, Conversation, Mental models, Preschool, Professional development, Self-regulation|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be