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Organisational morality and children's engagement in early childhood programs

By Donna C. Berthelsen

Abstract

This paper reports case studies of three early childhood teachers and focuses on their role in supporting young children’s moral and social learning. A social constructivist pedagogy in which teachers and children co-construct knowledge and understanding is the major contemporary perspective of teaching in early childhood classrooms (child care,\ud kindergartens and preparatory school). Yet, in practice, is children’s learning a coconstruction? Any institutional setting imposes upon its participants (teachers and children) certain roles and responsibilities that mitigate social constructivist practices. In this research, the programs were observed; teachers were interviewed about their role; and also videoed in dialogue with a group of children around a moral story. The interview data and the videoed dialogue between the teachers and the children were analysed with a focus on how children’s voices were heard in the programs. Discussion of the research findings centres on the relative and different moral agendas of teachers and children in early childhood classrooms and how teachers’ personal and professional values influence their practices in promoting the organisational morality of educational institutions

Topics: 130309 Learning Sciences, early childhood, moral develoment, teaching
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:7537
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