How Do Children Learn? Beliefs and Practices Reported by Kindergarten Teachers in Singapore

Ching Ting Tan,Nirmala Rao
page. 81~112 / 2017 Vol.11 No.3


This study explored the curriculum-related beliefs and practices reported by Singapore kindergartenteachers at a time when concerted efforts are being made to promote children’s holistic developmentthrough a child-centered curriculum that emphasizes active learning through play and interaction. Aquestionnaire was administered to a sample of 167 teachers of 4- to 5-year-olds. Factor analysesrevealed three reliable factors for teachers’ beliefs and four factors for their classroom practices.Teachers endorsed philosophies in child-centeredness and teacher-centeredness but there was strongerendorsement of child-centered approach. Correlation and regression analyses conducted revealedsome relationships between beliefs and reported practices as well as associations of beliefs andpractices with certain personal and kindergarten factors. Overall, beliefs in child-centeredness andteacher-centeredness predicted interactive academic activities, and beliefs in teacher-centerednessinfluenced reports of engaging in structured academic and teacher-led activities after controlling fordemographic and contextual variables.

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