‘What are the goals of kindergarten?’ Consistency of teachers’ and parents’ beliefs about kindergarten goals


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Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.37291/2717638X.202341231

Keywords:

Teachers’ and parents’ beliefs, Early childhood education, Kindergarten goals, Curriculum, COVID-19

Abstract

The teachers’ perceptions of the curriculum or their beliefs about how children learn can influence the quality of the teaching activity and its final outcome. Furthermore, the importance of an extended cooperation and mutual understanding between the actors involved (kindergarten teachers – parents) seems to be a crucial issue in order to establish a supportive framework. The research is structured in two dimensions. We seek the beliefs of kindergarten teachers (K-teachers) and parents, as well as their mutual perceptions of each other’s beliefs, i.e., K-teachers for parents and parents for K-teachers, about the importance of kindergarten goals. The study was conducted in Greece, specifically in the region of Central Macedonia, in June 2021, after the re-opening of schools due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A sample of 330 K-teachers and 419 parents from public and private schools responded to closed-ended questionnaires, rating –on a 5-point Likert scale- the importance of 14 Kindergarten goals. We found that K-teachers generally underestimated parents’ beliefs about kindergarten goals relative to their own beliefs and overestimated parents’ beliefs about the ‘academic’ curriculum goals; a trend that was not confirmed by the parallel survey of parents’ beliefs. In contrast, parents appeared to express a more balanced perception between their own beliefs and those they perceived K-teachers to hold. We also found evidence of differentiation between private and public schools. According to the findings, a harmonized perception of kindergarten goals by K-teachers and parents in private versus public schools is apparent.

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2023-02-15

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Oudatzis, N., Tzikas, K., & Poulos, C. (2023). ‘What are the goals of kindergarten?’ Consistency of teachers’ and parents’ beliefs about kindergarten goals. Journal of Childhood, Education & Society, 4(1), 95–113. https://doi.org/10.37291/2717638X.202341231