ECDL Research Scientists Publish Papers in Education Journals

ECDL Research Scientists Publish Papers in Education Journals

Date
Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Alfredo
Research Scientist and Lecturer from the Education & Cognitive Development Lab of the Office of Education Research, Dr Alfredo Bautista, published a paper entitled “Learning areas for holistic education: Kindergarten teachers’ curriculum priorities, professional development needs, and beliefs” in the International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy. The paper was co-written with Siew‑Chin Ng, David Múñez and Rebecca Bull.

Contemporary kindergarten curriculum frameworks emphasize the importance of promoting children’s holistic development, thereby focusing on both academic and non‑academic learning areas. This exploratory study was conducted with a sample of 123 in‑service kindergarten teachers in Singapore. The goals were to investigate thefollowing: (1) how teachers prioritized the importance of the various learning areas of the ‘Nurturing Early Learners’ curriculum framework; (2) teachers’ professional development (PD) needs regarding these learning areas; and (3) the extent to which teachers with different beliefs about children and how they learn differed in their prioritizations and PD needs. Data were collected through an online questionnaire and analyzed using non‑parametric techniques. Results indicated that (1) academic and non‑academic areas were found to be intertwined in teachers’ priority rankings, although Social and Emotional Development was the top learning area for most teachers; (2) teachers reported high PD needs in all learning areas, especially in Discovery of the World and Aesthetics and Creative Expression; and (3) teachers holding more traditional beliefs tended to prioritize academic areas. No differences were found when comparing teachers’ responses according to their level of education, age, and years of teaching experience. We discuss the findings in light of prior literature, the implications and limitations of the study, and lines for further research.

The paper sought to investigate the following: (1) how teachers prioritized the importance of the various learning areas of the ‘Nurturing Early Learners’ curriculum framework; (2) teachers’ professional development (PD) needs regarding these learning areas; and (3) the extent to which teachers with different beliefs about children and how they learn differed in their prioritizations and PD needs.

Data were collected through an online questionnaire and analyzed using non‑parametric techniques. Results indicated that (1) academic and non‑academic areas were found to be intertwined in teachers’ priority rankings, although Social and Emotional Development was the top learning area for most teachers; (2) teachers reported high PD needs in all learning areas, especially in Discovery of the World and Aesthetics and Creative Expression; and (3) teachers holding more traditional beliefs tended to prioritize academic areas. No differences were found when comparing teachers’ responses according to their level of education, age, and years of teaching experience. Findings were discussed in light of prior literature, the implications and limitations of the study, and lines for further research.

In addition, Dr  Bautista also published a paper titled “High-quality music teacher professional development: A review of the literature” in the Journal of Music Education Research.

Due to limited research describing PD initiatives for K-12 music teachers explicitly alluding to the ‘features of high-quality PD', which is a solid theoretical framework in content areas such as mathematics and science education, this paper sought to examine the music-specific PD literature using this framework. The analysis of this paper is relevant for music education theory, policy and practice, as it suggests concrete ways of improving the quality of the PD offered to school music teachers. This paper was co-written with Xenia Yau and Joanne Wong.