*American and Chinese teachers' beliefs about early childhood curriculum

Jianhong Wang, Purdue University


This study examined the consistency of Chinese preschool teachers' curriculum beliefs and their self-reported practices; similarities and differences between American and Chinese teachers' beliefs; associations between teachers' personal factors and their beliefs; and how personal and social-cultural factors affect teachers' curriculum beliefs. ^ 296 Chinese teachers and 146 American teachers completed the Teacher Beliefs Scale (TBS) and the Teachers' Background Information Questionnaire. All Chinese teachers also completed the Instructional Activities Scale (IAS). Ten teachers in each country were interviewed. ^ Principal components analyses revealed 3 reliable factors for both Chinese and American TBS, with similar general factor structures across nations. However, a discriminant analysis produced powerful classification functions with the data, indicating significant differences in teachers' responses from the two nations. Moderate associations were found between Chinese teachers' conceptually related curriculum beliefs and their self-reported practices. Chinese teachers' level of professional training, level of general education, location of school, and class size were related to their beliefs. For American teachers, only the effect of general education level was related to curriculum beliefs. Summary tables and example quotes of the qualitative data from teacher interviews were included, providing support for the quantitative findings. ^




Major Professor: James G. Elicker, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Education, Early Childhood

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