Frequency of Mainstream Curriculum Models: Investigation of Early Childhood Education Doctoral Dissertation and International Journals in Turkey

Demirtaş İlhan, Seden
Eryiğit, Sümeyra
Erden, Feyza
Problem Statement In general, early childhood education programs aim to provide both improvements in academic skills like language and literacy skills and math and science abilities and wellness in all domains of development for children (Pianta, Barnett, Justice, & Sheridan, 2012). Another goal of preschool education is defined by New and Cochran (2006) as providing a smooth transition from the home environment to primary school. In line with the aims of early childhood education, existing literature confirms the idea that high-quality early childhood educations programs have positive effects on both the development and learning of the children. The long-term effects supported by scientific studies have increased international attention on early childhood education (Australian Center for Education Statistics and Evaluation, 2017). A large body of international studies on the effects of early childhood education shows that children who attend preschool education programs show higher performance in school math, literacy, and intelligence test, and school readiness. Moreover, preschool participation associates with the lower grade retention and special education placement rate (Mitchell, Wylie, & Carr, 2008). In all impact studies show that high-quality early childhood programs are key to reach positive outcomes for children. Typically, early childhood education curriculum models ground on child development theories. Different curriculum models represent how different theories clarify how young children learn and how they need to be taught to learn and develop. These differences also affect how the role of teachers, the classroom atmosphere and children’s learning practices are defined in different curriculum models (Goffin, 2000). A wide variety of preschool education curriculum has been available, but only a few of them are known as they are in used in certain preschool education programs. It is also very important to provide high-quality early childhood education providing a rich education program. Using different educational approaches and curriculum models is one way of providing a rich education program (Kılınç, Karayel, & Koyuncu, 2018). Using different curriculum models provide variety in terms of teachers’ role, environment, materials, and educational activities. These models generally applied in center-based early childhood education schools. The best-known curriculum models provided in different early childhood school settings are The High/Scope Curriculum, Bank Street-The Developmental Interaction Approach, Montessori Method, Reggio Emilia and Waldorf Education (Walsh & Petty, 2007; Goffin, 2000; Lunenburg, 2011). Also in Turkey, to provide holistic development for early childhood education children, a national early childhood education program including a variety of ideas form different educational approaches and curriculum models developed in 2013 (Ministry of Turkish National Education, 2013). Moreover, different curriculum models and approaches are provided for pre-service early childhood education teachers in different undergraduate education courses in Turkey but early childhood education teachers’ knowledge about different approaches is limited (Kılınç, Karayel, & Koyuncu, 2018). On the other hand, literature shows that there is not a comprehensive study about different curriculum models applied in early childhood education settings in Turkey. For this reason, investigating different early childhood education curriculum models in Turkey is a need for researchers. So, the current study aims to examine which curriculum models were used in early childhood education dissertation and journal articles published in Turkey. The investigation will be made by asking the research question; RQ: Which mainstream curriculum models were used in doctoral dissertations and international journal articles on early childhood education written in Turkey? Research Method In this study, a quantitative content analysis method was employed and the doctoral dissertations which have full-text access on the YÖKTEZ and journal articles that have full-text access on ULAKBİM, Web of Science, EBSCO, ERIC, and Google Scholar databases were included. The document analysis method was used as the data collection method. It is very difficult to reach all doctoral dissertations and international journal articles written in Turkey because of time and budget limitations. For this reason, the accessible population of the study was defined as the early childhood education doctoral dissertations and international articles written in the last 10 years. Krippendorf (1980), recommended using non-random sampling methods to select publication in content analysis studies. In accordance with this idea, while determining the sample of the current study convenience sampling method was applied by the researcher. Convenience sampling also called availability sampling is one of the nonrandom sampling methods which is mostly used in content analysis studies (Devers &Frankel, 2000). Using convenience sampling provides both time and cost-effectiveness for the researcher but because of the nature of the results, interpretations should be made carefully (Saumure & Given, 2008). At the end of the sampling process, 193 early childhood education dissertations and 600 international journal articles published in years between 2009-2019 and have online full-text access selected from YÖKTEZ and online databases to include content analyses. According to Fraenkel et al. (2012), in content analysis studies, frequency tables and percentiles are the most comment methods to analyze data. In accordance with this idea, results of the current content analysis regarding descriptive characteristics, curriculum models and usage of these curriculum models in dissertations will be provided by using frequency tables. Also, descriptive statistics derived from the analysis will be used to organize and summarize the data to make summaries about the population. Expected Results Although the study is not completed yet, the expected results derived from the primary analysis show that there are great frequency differences between mainstream early childhood education curriculum models. Similar results are derived from the analysis of doctoral dissertations and international journal articles. Montessori model is the most frequently used curriculum model in both doctoral dissertations and international journal articles. According to primary results, some mainstream curriculum models are not found in the analysis of doctoral dissertations. Also, the frequency of the mainstream curriculum models varies within the last ten years. The results of the current study will be compared with similar studies that are conducted in other countries to see differences in the research trends in different countries. International Eurasian Educational Research Congress (19-22 Haziran 2019)


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Citation Formats
S. Demirtaş İlhan, S. Eryiğit, and F. Erden, “Frequency of Mainstream Curriculum Models: Investigation of Early Childhood Education Doctoral Dissertation and International Journals in Turkey,” Ankara, Türkiye, 2019, p. 862, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: