All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Lois M Christensen

Advisory Committee Members

Kay Emfinger

Grase Jepkemboi

Lynn Kirkland

Kathleen Martin

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2012

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education

Abstract

The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore how 10 kindergarten teachers reflected developmentally appropriate beliefs in practice at urban public schools in the north of Jordan and at kindergarten classrooms in central Alabama. Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) is a research-based framework for early childhood education that focuses on vital development of the child as a human being and the educative practice that promotes child development as described by National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). DAP was first outlined in 1987, and expanded in 1997, to include cultural and contextual influences. DAP was revised again in 2009 (Copple & Bredekamp, 2009). The participants in this multiple case study included 10 kindergarten teachers. Five kindergarten teachers from international sites volunteered after being identified as a purposeful group to participate in this study. This multiple case study sought to answer the research central question, how do 10 kindergarten teachers reflect developmentally appropriate beliefs through teaching practice at urban public schools in the north of Jordan and in central Alabama? The central research questions was followed by five research sub-questions. Data were collected through classroom observations, teacher interviews, and documentary materials. The interviews were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. Interview transcripts, observations, and field notes were analyzed to provide a rich, thick description (Geertz, 1973). Data analysis followed the procedures outlined by Stake (2006) and was conducted on two levels, within-cases and across cases. Within-case analysis revealed that while sub-themes varied by case, the themes that were identified from the two cases regarding the explored DAP beliefs and practice by the kindergarten teacher included: (a) beliefs guide practice; (b) enhanced learning and development; (c) ensured success; (d) achieved challenges; and (e) reflected upon obstacles to DAP. Lessons learned from this study may be transferable to other kindergarten teachers interested in improving DAP practice (Lincoln & Guba, 1985).

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