An Investigation into the Perceptions of Nursery School Directors and Teachers Towards Use of An Assessment Instrument in Early Childhood Education/Care Evaluations of Nursery School Quality in Taiwan

Author: Chen, Wen-ling

Advisor: ,Thomas D. Yawkey, Committee Chair,Jamie M. Myers, Committee Member,Roger C. Shouse, Committee Member,Edgar P. Yoder, Committee Member

Educational level: Doctor of Philosophy

Discipline: Curriculum and Instruction

University: Pennsylvania State University

Abstract: This study examines perceptions of directors and teachers regarding nursery school assessment instrument application, and the interrelationships of government, directors, teachers, parents, and children to an open systems model. The study¡ås survey includes participants, 39 directors and 39 teachers, who have experience in being assessed by the 2002 Kaohsiung City Nursery School Assessment initiative, have at least four-year¡ås teaching experience. All participants completed a nursery school assessment instrument survey which contained 106 questions related to critical issues of Early Childhood Education.A gap exists between the bases of "formally important," which is the governmental evaluation standard for nursery schools and "informally important" which is what directors and teachers actually think about their schools' situations regarding a nursery school assessment instrument. More nursery schools utilized packaged instructional materials a main part of curricula, and applied self-designed activities as a minor part of curricula. The teaching of Chinese phonetic signs (97.4% of schools) and writing (88.5% of schools) was widely adopted in the respondents¡å schools. Eight-six percent of participants did not agree with prohibiting talent lessons in nursery schools. An open systems model explains that nursery schools¡å directors and teachers understand the external demands that influence schools¡å operation. These governmental requirements result in personal views which contrast with the formal criteria. Directors¡å and teachers¡å teaching experience significantly and positively affected confidence in professional capability. Curriculum adoption and documentation confidence has a significantly relationship to the school size. The school size also has effects on directors¡å and teachers¡å confidence with regard to the nursery school assessment instrument, as well as on the outcome of the 2002 Kaohsiung City Nursery School Assessment. The scores of nursery schools assessments could depend greatly on the completion of documentation which is directly related to the school size.In addition to the better known nursery school assessment, the survey is an important predictor of feasible Assessment Instruments. The data recommends that government officials, professional authorities and practitioners should encourage teaching of Chinese phonetic signs, writing, talent lessons, and packaged instructional materials; emphasis in evaluation should be on process quality instead of passively excluding these activities. Moreover, program evaluation should focus on observation of real situations and process quality than mostly examining documentation. Further studies might conduct a longitudinal study on learning of Chinese phonetic signs, writing, and talent lessons between nursery schools and elementary schools to investigate whether they have a longitudinal effect on children¡ås academic development. Furthermore, additional research should employ efficient training of assessing members and decreasing the relevance gap, if any, among assessing members, directors, and teachers.

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Keywords: , Government Regulations, Three Systems Models, Assessment Instruments, Early Childhood Curriculum, High-quality Nursery Schools, Early Childhood Education


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