01 SES 12 C, Professional Development and Pre-school Education
Programme development is an ongoing and always an active process, so it needs to be revised regularly considering the needs in the field as well as checking the practice of teachers regularly in order to understand the effectiveness of the developed programme. Therefore, programme developers state that the research are the main focus for them during programme development process (Sarama & Clements, 2019). This is because, programme can not be created randomly (Şıvgın, 2005), and there are always a systematic consideration and development for programmes. Uzun (2007) states that it is important to have sufficient information to address children’s developmental conditions, needs, interest, environmental conditions and abilities as well as knowing about children’s problem solving abilities, who are wherever they are in. This means that programme developers are required to have knowledge on the conditions of children for entire country as having a centralised programme for all.
The Preschool Education Programme in Turkey is for children from 36 to 72 months, which is evolved considering children’s developmental conditions (Atlı, 2013). The latest Preschool Education Programme in Turkey explains its aims that “this programme is developed to support children attending formal preschools, for their best level of healthy development, motor, social, emotional, language and cognitive development as well as self-caring abilities and increasing the readiness of primary school education via enriched learning opportunities” (Ministry of National Education, 2013, p. 14). As a result of these aims, the programme is based on children’s developmental features and needs (Atlı, 2013). Besides this, education programme is explained that programme contains all variety of activities, which are determined by Ministry of National Education, and which are delivered by educational institutions for children, youth and other attainments (Şıvgın, 2005). It should be considered that the implementation of programmes are as important as their development process, because even the well-prepared programme can fail to address its productivity and can be unsatisfying via an insufficient and poor implementation (Can Gül, 2009). This issue was identified in Cömert’s research that the participating teachers were identified as they were teaching without any knowledge about the programme (Cömert, 2003). Thus it is important to provide in sessional courses, seminars etc. about new programme for teachers before it is launched or at the very early days of its launch, and such in sessional courses can be designated considering preschool teachers’ concerns, desires, needs and expectations (Durmuşçelebi & Akkaya, 2011). After this research conducted, two more version of programme were launch. Nevertheless, the conditions can change over years, but constant revise and control the similar contexts are requirement in programme development process. A recent research (Pişgin Çivik, Ünüvar, & Soylu, 2015) on the latest preschool education programme shows that although teachers felt themselves as qualified enough to consider the programme, they were unable to implement because of inadequate size of classroom, high number of children, insufficient number of materials, outdoor areas as well as unfavourable parent approaches to activities and school managers’ negative perspectives into preschool education.
In the light of above aspects, it is important to keep teachers aware of the current conditions of themselves and their colleagues as well as knowing international aspects in their field. This research is designed as follow up group interviews for the working preschool teachers, who attended seminar given by the researcher about international perspectives on preschool education. The main question in the group interviews was ‘to what extend teachers consider and take into account these aims.
This research focused on a group of preschool teachers working in a southern Turkey currently. The data was collected as a part of seminar sessions for working preschool teachers to widen their perspectives in their practice as giving a talk on cross-cultural examples of preschool activities. Considering this aim, each group (are willing to take part) attended group interviews. The aim of this method to collect pure data from teachers as having an open and critical discussion opportunities about preschool education programme. Group interviews provide opportunities for “…interviewing different individuals at different times, the elements of group dynamics and of discussion among the participants are highlighted when a group discussion is conducted” (Flick, 2009, p. 196). In this way, participants’ in depth knowledge about the particular topic can be understood (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2003). Regarding the main topic (as being knowledgeable about the programme), participants had a chance to completely discuss the ways and strategies in order to develop it further (Flick, 2009). “It is also possible to detect how the participants support, influence, complement, agree and disagree with each other, and the relationships between them” (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2011, p. 373). In order to access this level of knowledge, interview questions are designed as unstructured and open-ended so that the aims can be achieved considering the intention of revealing opinion and perspectives of the participants (Creswell, 2003). During group interviews, the researcher has a moderator or facilitator role rather than being interviewer (Bell, 2005). In this case, during data collection, four different group interviews with 40 preschool teachers were met as each group had around ten preschool teachers. Thus in total, 40 preschool teachers participated in this research. The collected data is being analysed via using Nvivo 10 software programme, which is used to transcribe the data and organise them. It is important to claim that these 40 preschool teachers were willing to take part in the group interviews, which was asked during seminar sessions for all teachers, which was organised by Directorate of National Education in southern Turkey.
This research aims to reveal the intention of teachers’ understanding of the programme considering their favourite daily activities and knowing the aims of pre-school education. This research shows that the participating teachers were unable to fully understand the Preschool Education Programme, and they failed to read through all document. In the group interviews, most of the participating teachers claimed that they know the details of the programme, but later it was understood that they have not read the programme. Only a few of them mentioned about briefly skimming over the programme when it was first published. Interestingly, the main points were to be same with the previous Preschool Education Programme published in 2006 although they even did not read in detail the latest updates. Therefore, the participants claimed similar activities as their favourite daily activities (e.g. art- craft activities) and they also failed to explain the main aims of the Preschool Education Programme. As a result of these overall findings, it can be said that although the participating teachers have insufficient knowledge on programme, they can criticise it and fail to implement it. Thus the working teachers are required to attend in-sessional courses on the latest programme as well as informing them about the details of programme and its requirements. Actually, this should have been practiced when the first-time Preschool Education Programme was launched.
Atlı, S. (2013). The Pre-School Education Programmes Implemented in the European Union Countries and Turkey [Türkiye’de ve Avrupa Birliği Ülkelerinde Uygulanan Okul Öncesi Eğitim Programları]. Journal of Educational Policy Analysis, 2(2), 56-76. Bell, J. (2005). Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-time Researchers in Education, Health and Social Science (4th ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press. Can Gül, Ş. (2009). Investigation of Ealy Childhood Teachers' and Student Teachers' Perceptions and Behaviours about Evalucation Aspects of 2006 early Childhood Education Programme [Okul öncesi eğitimi öğretmen ve öğretmen adaylarının 2006 okul öncesi eğitim programının değerlendirme unsuruna yönelik görüş ve davranışlarının incelenmesi]. (Masters), Pamukkale University, Denizli. Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2011). Research Methods in Education (7th ed.). Oxon: Routledge. Cömert, S. (2003). 2002 Yılı Okulöncesi Eğitim Programı Hakkında Öğretmen Görüşleri ve Uygulamaları (Sakarya ili örneği). (Yüksek Lisans), Sakarya Üniversitesi, Sakarya. (148204) Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (2nd ed.). London: SAGE. Durmuşçelebi, M., & Akkaya, D. (2011). Evaluating Teachers' Opinion According to 2006 Preschool Education Programme (Kayseri Sample) [2006 Okulöncesi Eğitim Programının Uygulanmasının Öğretmen Görüşlerine Göre Değerlendirilmesi (Kayseri İli Örneği)]. Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi, 31(2), 255-272. Flick, U. (2009). An Introduction to Qualitative Research (4th ed.). London: SAGE. Gall, M. D., Gall, J. P., & Borg, W. R. (2003). Educational Research: An Introduction (7th ed.). London: Allyn and Bacon. Ministry of National Education. (2013). Preschool Education Programme (Okul Öncesi Eğitim Programı). Retrieved 23 April 2014 http://tegm.meb.gov.tr/dosya/okuloncesi/ooproram.pdf Pişgin Çivik, S., Ünüvar, P., & Soylu, B. (2015). Pre-school Education Teacher's Opinion about the Implementation of 2013 Pre-school Education Program. Procedia: Social and Behavioral Sciences, 174, 693-698. Sarama, J., & Clements, D. H. (2019). From Cognition to Curriculum to Scale. In D. C. Geary, D. B. Berch, & K. Mann Koepke (Eds.), Cognitive Foundations for Improving Mathematical Learning (Vol. 5, pp. 143-173). Denver: Academic Press. Şıvgın, N. (2005). Teachers Perceptions to Educational Programmes Applied in Early Years Settings (Denizli Sample) [Okul öncesi eğitim kurumlarında uygulanan eğitim programına ilişkin öğretmen görüşleri (Denizli ili Örneği)]. (Masters), Pamukkale University, Denizli. Uzun, H. (2007). The Evaluation of Teachers’ Opinions About the Application of Preschool Education Curriculum in Malatya (a research on Kindergarten) [Malatya ilinde okulöncesi eğitim programının uygulanmasında öğretmen görüşlerinin değerlendirilmesi (Anasınıfları üzerine bir çalışma)]. (Master), İnönü University, Malatya.
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