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Title: Co-operation in pre-school education
Author: Watt, Joyce S.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1979
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The early 1970s were years of unprecedented optimism for nursery education. A government programme of large-scale expansion into the 1980s seemed for the first time to establish its legitimacy as the foundation of a state education system. A changing economic, social, and educational climate, however, modified the expansion programme and increased pressure on nursery education to co-operate with other services within a pre-school system. This study examined issues related to expansion and co-operation in one local authority, Fife, Scotland. It surveyed by questionnaire and interview the organisation and provision made in pre-school groups, and examined and compared the characteristics of children attending these groups. It assessed the attitudes of parents and staff to aspects of pre-school education and, in particular, identified issues likely to encourage or inhibit co-operation within a pre-school system. In all, information was gathered from 113 groups, on 5849 children, from 406 staff and 586 parents. Three key issues of potential stress and uncertainty were identified; the discrepancies between provision and potential demand, different interpretations of the purposes of parent involvement, and the place of professionalism. These issues epitomise the uncertainty which has characterised nursery education from the mid 1970s, and present obstacles to co-operation. Little co-operation exists; it is a vague concept, accepted in principle but ignored in practice. It is, however, fundamental if the needs of the 'whole child' are to be met and stability within the system achieved. Possible supportive administrative structures are discussed. Nursery education has a central role to play in any pre-school system, but it has some potential too to influence the system of schooling. In its unique position as a member of both systems it has a unique opportunity to influence educational thinking in the 1980s.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available