Early childhood programs: a study of provision for kindergarten and pre-school programs in Newfoundland

Sharp, Dorothy Candlish (1976) Early childhood programs: a study of provision for kindergarten and pre-school programs in Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This study was designed to trace the historical development and current status of kindergarten and pre-school programs in the Province of Newfoundland. It included a survey questionnaire which was sent to teachers employed to teach pupils enrolled for their first year of public schooling. The purpose of the survey was to determine the teachers' perceptions of current kindergarten provision. -- The information gathered pertaining to the historical review was obtained from briefs, reports, historical documents and legislative statutes. The data required to establish the current status of kindergarten programs were obtained from the responses of 410 teachers employed by the various school systems in the Province. The finite population of kindergarten teachers (546), employed in 470 schools, were administered the questionnaire and a 75 per cent response was obtained. -- The statistical procedures used to analyse the survey data included percentages, cumulative frequencies and cross tabulations. Sixty factors were identified from related research and were used in the questionnaire. These were classified under five headings as follows: (i) kindergarten administration, (ii) teacher characteristics, (iii) pupil characteristics, (iv) environmental features and (v) teachers’ opinions. Personal data such as sex, age, teaching experience and professional qualifications of respondents assisted in establishing a composite profile of the “typical” kindergarten teacher. -- Results of the historical review indicate that kindergarten and pre-school development appear to be concomitants of economic and industrial growth. Various interest groups have recently championed the rights of young children in society and the members of these groups have articulated the needs of young children and their rights to the provision of early childhood programs. -- The findings of the survey data indicate that there is considerable variation in kindergarten provision. The disparity is evident in curriculum content, availability of equipment and facilities, consultative services, enrolment age of pupils and administrative structure. The academic qualifications of the respondents were also varied, the programs which they provided were different and their attitudes towards current teacher preparation programs and inservice training indicated considerable dissatisfaction. The data also show that currently there were three “cohorts” of kindergarten teachers: (i) those who teach only kindergarten pupils (ii) those who are primary teachers responsible for multi-grade classes which include kindergarten pupils and (iii) those who teach kindergarten pupils and have additional teaching or administrative duties. -- The general conclusions from the study were that: (i) recent legislation, to be administered by the Department of Education and the Department of Social Services, should facilitate the expansion of early childhood programs for Newfoundland children, (ii) attention should be given to small rural schools to upgrade kindergarten provision, (iii) revised guidelines for the aims and objectives of primary education should be developed and (iv) both inservice and teacher preparation programs for primary teachers should be reviewed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11409
Item ID: 11409
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 186-200.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1976
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Education, Preschool--Newfoundland and Labrador; Kindergarten facilities--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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