All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Lois M Christensen

Advisory Committee Members

Deborah G Camp

Grace Jepkemboi

Lynn D Kirkland

Katherine G Kirkpatrick

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2013

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to reveal multiple perspectives and thoughts of seven parents and a family member in a Reggio Emilia inspired kindergarten classroom in a southeastern state of the United States regarding pedagogical documentation, an essential tool for teaching practice and reflection. It served to make knowledge construction visible through children's interpretive concrete work. Throughout the study, pedagogical documentation was defined as both a learning process as well as the products of early childhood content. The content were concrete materials in the form of notes, photographs, audio and video recordings, computer graphics, and examples of children's work that were accomplished in the kindergarten context. The process referred to how these materials were implemented and utilized as a means of reflection for teachers, children, and parents regarding children's learning processes and potentials while not explicitly meeting state expectations or standards (Dahlberg, Moss, & Pence, 2007). There is minimal research centered on documentation in Reggio Emilia inspired classrooms from parent(s)' perspectives. Further study to address parents' understandings of pedagogical documentation was needed to fill gaps in the early childhood literature. Participants were purposefully selected. A qualitative research approach using the case study tradition was employed to answer the central question: How do seven parents and a family member characterize pedagogical documentation in a Reggio Emilia inspired kindergarten classroom in a southeastern state of the United States? Using an interpretive and inductive method, the data set was analyzed and coded, identifying themes. The data set included participant questionnaires, interview transcriptions, and observation notes (Bogdan & Biklen, 2007; Lichtman, 2013; Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Six themes that fit the robust data set were distinguished. Rich, thick descriptions (Geertz, 1973) and direct quotes described the participants' understandings and beliefs concerning teaching and learning documentation in the Reggio Emilia inspired kindergarten classroom. From the analyzed raw data, the research questions that guided this study were thoroughly addressed while provoking further questions for thought and study.

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