Date of Graduation

Summer 2017

Degree

Master of Science in Early Childhood and Family Development

Department

Early Childhood and Family Development

Committee Chair

Joan Test

Keywords

early childhood education, anti-bias education, diversity in classrooms, teachers’ perceptions, teachers’ beliefs, teaching practices, interview study, teacher education, Korea

Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Early Childhood Education | Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education

Abstract

The changing composition of early childhood classrooms challenges teachers to be more responsive to the diverse needs of all children. This study explores the challenges and successes early childhood teachers experience with facing diversity in their classrooms. The purpose of this qualitative interview study was to investigate kindergarten teachers’ perceptions, beliefs, and teaching practices concerning anti-bias education in Seoul, South Korea. There were two groups of in-service kindergarten teachers, four teachers in each group, who participated in one-on-one interviews with structured and open-ended questions. The teachers in one group had more experience with teaching in diverse classroom settings than the teachers in the other group. The results of the study show that teachers’ perceptions and beliefs concerning anti-bias education were influenced by their teaching experiences and their anti-bias teacher education experiences. Teachers from both groups used similar teaching practices of anti-bias curriculum and the challenges they faced mostly came from lack of knowledge, support systems, and time. These findings suggest that policy makers should consider providing effective support systems for teachers, such as translation services, and more resources should be developed to provide effective teacher education programs for teachers who teach in culturally diverse classroom settings and culturally dominant classroom settings.

Copyright

© Yerim Hong