Kindergarten teachers beliefs and practices

Rosalind Charlesworth, Lousiana State University
Craig H. Hart, Louisiana State University
Diane C. Burts, Louisiana State University
Sue Hernandez


The major objectives of this study were to develop a questionnaire based on the National Association for the Education of Young Children guidelines (1986) for developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood education and to use this questionnaire for obtaining information regarding kindergarten teachers' beliefs and practices. The Teacher Questionnaire containing two subscales, the Teachers' Beliefs Scale and the Instructional Activities Scale, was constructed and administered to 113 kindergarten teachers from four Southern states. In addition to encouraging psychometric properties, positive correlations were found between develomentally appropriate beliefs and activities (r = .63, p = .000) as well as between developmentally inappropriate beliefs and activities (r = .71, p = .000). The teachers with higher ratings on developmentally appropriate beliefs felt more in control of planning and implementation of instruction than did the teachers with lower ratings. The Teacher Questionnaire shows promise of being a useful instrument for the study of teachers' perceptions of their beliefs and practices. The information obtained supports the contention that there is a great deal of teaching in today's kindergartens which is not congruent with NAEYC standards for developmentally appropriate practice. © 1991, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.