03 SES 05.5 PS, Posters on Curriculum Related Issues
General Poster Session
Introduction and Contribution
The aim of this study is to understand preschool teachers’ practices of creating caring classrooms, and how they interpret practices from the perspectives of value of caring in Taiwanese cultural contexts. The study is a continuation of previous international studies on values education in Nordic and Asian Countries (Gunnestad, Mørreaunet & Onyango, 2015；NordForsk, 2019；Tang & Chong, 2007). Values education is embedded in the curriculum of Nordic countries, but remains a need to practice and research (Sigurdardottir & Einarsdottir, 2016). Meanwhile, practice and research in relation to values education from early childhood teachers’ perspectives is suggested in Asian area. Values are understood as core beliefs that play as guides to individual behaviors. The purpose of values education is to prepare children’s knowledge of values to which they belong (Thornberg, 2008). Some findings show that values related to social skills, democracy, and caring (Einarsdottir et al., 2015); some shows that disciplinary is the one (Fugelsnes, et al, 2013); others identified that values related to moral views or becoming democratic citizenship (Tang & Chong, 2007). This difference implies that diverse system, life or cultural perspectives influence the values (Sigurdardottir & Einarsdottir, 2016). In this study, we chose to focus on value of caring because it reflects a fundamental belief in Taiwanese culture. In addition, the findings of the teachers’ perspectives of caring in our study will lead to the discussion with other European researchers’ research of teachers’ consensus about values (Sigurdardottir & Einarsdottir, 2016).
A social-cultural perspective (Vygotsky, 1978) is the theoretical framework of this study. The perspective emphasizes that individuals’ learning and understanding of a concept are constructed through their interaction with a lived relational phenomenon. Findings of past relevant studies already indicated that teachers’ implementation of classroom practice is contingent on cultures, time, context and changes of culture (Gomez, Allen & Clinton, 2004). The changes are resulted from people’s social participation and creation on cultural meanings. Part of Taiwanese cultures is derived from Confucianism, which emphasizes a social-relationship-oriented and the value of caring. With time changes and the globalizations, teachers’ perspectives and practices of caring value in Taiwanese cultural contexts need to be examined. Researchers have increasingly insisted that finding what values sustain and change in culture, and how values influence teachers’ educational practices in contemporary times should be addressed. (Hsu & Hwang, 2015).
Based on a socio-cultural perspective and the needs of research regarding to teachers’ perception of values education, the research questions of this study are: (1) what the teachers’ practices and challenges are regarding to the creation of caring environment in daily school life, (2) what the preschool teachers’ perspectives of value of caring are, and (3) What the influential experiences that guide teachers’ perspectives are and what the connection between the experiences and culture is.
The contribution of this study includes: (1) it aims to shed light on what practices of caring preschool classrooms are in a non-European cultural contexts, (2) it is hoped this study will elucidate how Chinese caring culture and teachers’ perspectives influence each other and shape the preschool educational practices in Taiwan, (3) it also aims to elicit discussion among international scholars or teacher educators about preschool teachers’ views of caring in different regions. The content of discussion will shed light on educators’ plans for teachers’ professional development in the area of values education. In summary, this study is a critical expansion of other researchers’ work related to values education and cultural studies in the era of globalization.
Data collection takes place in two preschool classrooms in Taipei, Taiwan with 4 teachers. The teachers’ are from two schools respectively and the schools’ location are all in Taipei urban area. Teachers in these two schools have participated in teacher professional development workshop continually and rigorously. Data has been collected through several resources based on narrative inquiry (Clandinin & Connelly, 1990). Narrative inquiry is a collective term that captures experiences of individuals or cases over time, and takes account of the relationship between individual experience and cultural context. In the study, data resources are from the followings. (1) Participant observation document the classroom settings, caring practices and provide a foundation for interpreting other data. (2) Other data is collected though teachers’ background information, teachers’ weekly self-reported paper, teachers’ interviews and researchers’ notes. There are 3-4 times interviews with each teacher respectively. Data is analyzed by the narrative and thematic analysis during the study. The different approaches and peer debriefing during the study also allow the researchers to triangulate data and increase the trustworthiness of the study. Ethical issues related to key principles of beneficence, informed consent, as well as confidentiality are to be raised at all stages of research.
There are five areas of focus that have emerged which will be presented and discussed with references to the research data. (1) Respecting to the important daily routines or activities reflecting caring classrooms. (2) Respecting to the teachers’ perspectives of value of caring and challenges of implementation for values education. (3) Respecting to cultural influences on the teachers’ perspectives. (4) Respecting to the teachers’ similar and different voices of caring. (5) Recommendation from the study process and results to preschool teacher’s professional development and teacher education.
Connelly, F. M., & Clandinin, D. J. (1990). Stories of experience and narrative inquiry. Educational researcher, 19(5), 2-14. Fugelsnes, K. Rothle, M., & Einarsdottir, J. (2013). Values at stake in interplay between toddlers and teachers. In O.F. Lillemy, S. Dockett, & B. Perry (Eds.), Varied perspective on play and learning: Theory and research on early years education (pp.109-125). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing. Gomez, M. L., Allen, A. R., & Clinton, K. (2004). Cultural models of care in teaching: A case study of one pre-service secondary teacher. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20(5), 473-488. Gunnestad, A., Mørreaunet, S., & Onyango, S. (2015). An international perspective on value learning in the kindergarten–exemplified by the value forgiveness. Early Child Development and Care, 185(11-12), 1894-1911. Einarsdottir, J., Purola, A. M., Johansson, E. M., Broström, S., & Emilson, A. (2015). Democracy, caring and competence: Values perspectives in ECEC curricula in the Nordic countries. International Journal of Early Years Education, 23(1), 97-114. Hsu, S. & Hwang, T. (2015). Finding a new identity for teachers. In S. Hsu & Y. Wu (Eds.), Education as cultivation in Chinese culture (pp. 241–259). Singapore: Springer. NordForsk. (2019). Retrieved January 31, 2019, from https://www.nordforsk.org/en/programmes-and-projects/projects/values-education-in-nordic-preschools-basis-of-education-for-tomorrow Sigurdardottir, I., & Einarsdottir, J. (2016). An action research study in an Icelandic preschool: Developing consensus about values and values education. International Journal of Early Childhood Education, 48(2), 161-177. Thornberg, R. (2008). Values education as the daily fostering of school rules. Research in education, 80(1), 52-62. Tan, C., & Chong, K. C. (2007). Critical perspectives on values education in Asia. Singapore: Pearson. Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society. The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
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