Early childhood teachers’ views about and practices with differentiated instruction in the primary years programme

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2015
Özkanoğlu, Özden
The aim of this study was to investigate the views and practices of early childhood teachers on differentiation. In order to explore the research questions, 19 pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers of an International Baccalaureate (IB) world school in Turkey were interviewed about differentiation, their written curriculum documents were analyzed, and the classrooms were observed. This study was designed and conducted as a qualitative case study. As the case, an authorized International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme school was chosen since differentiation is one of the significant teaching and learning approaches of this program. Data were collected from the participants’ perspective, in a naturalistic setting and over five months. For data analysis, raw data turned into descriptive statements, and they were interpreted as detailed descriptions through related literature. The findings of this study revealed that early childhood teachers implementing differentiation believe in the benefits approach and have a positive attitude towards it; meanwhile, they reflect this in their practices. Early childhood teachers mostly use ‘process’ to be differentiated and ‘readiness’ to be considered for children’s variety. Furthermore, the study revealed that early childhood teachers have some challenges in terms of planning, time management and classroom management. Also, teachers need more training on and experience with differentiated instruction in order to implement it effectively. Furthermore, Turkish Early Childhood Education Program was compared with the general principles of differentiation and it was found that the program is suitable for implementation of differentiated instruction.

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Citation Formats
Ö. Özkanoğlu, “Early childhood teachers’ views about and practices with differentiated instruction in the primary years programme,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2015.