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A Comparative Study about Early Childhood Teachers’ Preparation and Role in England and Kuwait

NOOR, SUAD,ABDULKAREEM,TBAIE (2017) A Comparative Study about Early Childhood Teachers’ Preparation and Role in England and Kuwait. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The purpose of this study was to discuss the interconnection between the knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and practices of early childhood teachers and trainees during the classroom practice of teachers and preparation of student teachers. The aim of this study was therefore to increase our understanding of how knowledge, beliefs and attitudes of the participants intersect to inform their teaching practices, and to draw some conclusions that could be used to further development of early years teachers.
The notable feature is that this study is a comparative one. The researcher chose two countries where early childhood education and its teacher training programmes were being implemented, although in different ways. England and Kuwait are two contrasting countries from different global regions and having different religious and cultural contexts. The study also explored how far the English experience has potential to inform the development and improvement of Kuwaiti early childhood teacher education and training programme. This issue was examined in detail in different teacher training institutes located in England and Kuwait.
To study such highly complex processes a multi-method approach was utilized by using a naturalistic or interpretative methodology. The researcher used Bereday’s comparative methodology to investigate the juxtaposition of these two early years education systems and teacher training programmes. To achieve the research objectives, a qualitative approach along with documentary analysis was employed. All semi-structured interviews were taped and transcribed. The data were coded and recorded several times using the comparative process.
The evidence presented in the results supports the arguments that teachers' knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes do underpin their classroom practice and that there are factors that constrain or support teachers in their efforts to teach according to their knowledge and beliefs about learning and teaching. The data analysis in both countries revealed some similarities and differences, which exist between teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and classroom practice with regard to early years teacher education and training. The research revealed that trainee teachers’ knowledge, belief and attitude were closely linked, although their knowledge developed as a result of their learning, but beliefs they brought remain stable.
Based on the analysis of the findings, this research theorizes that early years education and its teacher education are developed when teachers and trainees are provided with pedagogical content knowledge, and beliefs to improve the capabilities of early years teachers, and opportunities to interpret pedagogical knowledge, beliefs and attitudes into classroom practices to make the most of their capabilities. The findings revealed that teachers’ and trainee teachers’ knowledge, beliefs and attitudes are interlinked. Although trainee teachers’ knowledge developed as a result of their learning, some of their beliefs about Early Childhood Education (ECE) in general seemed to remain stable over the period of their university course. The findings showed that trainee teachers’ built their teaching identities on the wider social-cultural purposes of education in English and Kuwaiti societies, which reflected expectations of their roles in society. The study also identified other important differences as between the two early childhood education approaches and teacher training systems, namely in terms of: the governmental vision, educational policies, institutional provision, teacher training curricula, traditional disparities and theoretical reinforcement.
In summary, this thesis examined the role of early childhood teachers’ knowledge, beliefs and attitudes about learning/teaching process and the relationship to classroom practice. It critically explored the impact that a range of factors have on teachers’ ability to implement practice that was consistent with their stated beliefs. This research also revealed how questionable it can be to merely state what the similarities and differences really are between two early childhood teacher education systems. However, various constraints related to the university context, to the nursery/kindergarten context and to the social-cultural context influenced their preparation as teacher, especially in State of Kuwait.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Comparative Study; Early Childhood Education: Teacher Training; & Teachers Performance in Pre-school settings
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:20 Apr 2017 08:18

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