What predicts preschool teacher beliefs about developmentally appropriate and inappropriate practices?

Çobanoğlu, Rahime
Çapa Aydın, Yeşim
Yıldırım, Ali
The National Association for the Education of Young Children has introduced the notions of Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) and Developmentally Inappropriate Practice (DIP) to define what is good for young learners. The DAP approach emerged as a reaction to DIP that overemphasizes rote learning and whole group instruction of academics in early childhood and fundamentally advocates that children’s age, developmental status, interests and needs, and their social and cultural context be considered in educational processes. As research on teacher thinking has indicated that there is some congruence between teacher beliefs and practices, it is imperative to investigate to what extent early childhood teachers adopt DAP and DIP and which factors predict early childhood teacher beliefs about these approaches. For this end, we collected data from 231 preschool teachers from a metropolitan city in Turkey through Teacher Beliefs Survey, Teacher Efficacy Scale, and Teacher Professional Development Survey. The factor analyses provided acceptable evidence for the construct validity of the scales and the factors were considered reliable considering the Cronbach’s alpha values. In data analysis, we performed two sequential regression analyses to examine the influence of five predictor variables on beliefs about DAP and beliefs about DIP separately. The five predictors included experience in teaching, educational degree, frequency of participation in professional development activities, personal teaching efficacy, and general teaching efficacy. The p-value of significance was adjusted at .025 (.05/2) with Bonferroni correction in this study. The descriptive results indicated that preschool teachers adopted DAP to a high extent; however, they did not completely reject DIP. The sequential regression analyses highlighted that personal teaching efficacy was a significant predictor of teacher beliefs about DAP, while general teaching efficacy significantly predicted teacher beliefs about DIP. Teachers’ experience and educational degree were significantly associated with beliefs about DIP but not with DAP. The frequency of participation in professional development activities had a significant positive relationship with both teacher beliefs about DAP and DIP. Overall, the acceptance of DAP outside the USA may indicate the existence of some core values that define good early childhood education across cultures. As the sources of teacher beliefs about DAP and DIP were distinct from each other, we suggest addressing them separately in research and practice. Keywords: Teacher beliefs, developmentally appropriate practice, preschool education
Citation Formats
R. Çobanoğlu, Y. Çapa Aydın, and A. Yıldırım, “What predicts preschool teacher beliefs about developmentally appropriate and inappropriate practices?,” presented at the Uluslararası Eğitim Programları ve Öğretim Kongresi, (26 - 28 Ekim 2017), Muğla, Türkiye, 2017, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/72308.