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Title: How do the pedagogical beliefs of primary school teachers affect the implementation of learner centred instruction in the early childhood education curriculum? : a case study of two primary schools in Barbados
Author: Smith, Angela Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 6100
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2016
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This qualitative case study was undertaken due to concerns about Barbadian pupils’ continuous challenges in answering higher order questions and thinking creatively and critically. Learner centred instruction (LCI) has been deemed by the Barbadian government as an effective approach to counteract these difficulties from the early years. This study therefore aimed to explore and analyze the pedagogical beliefs of teachers in the context of implementing LCI in the Barbadian Early Childhood Education (ECE) Curriculum. The sample consisted of eight teachers purposively selected from the 4-6 age groups of two primary schools, four of whom were observed in their classrooms after being interviewed. An author designed semi-structured interview schedule and two author-designed checklists comprised the data collection tools. Follow-up interviews were also conducted after observing the lessons. The data were analyzed descriptively. The findings of the research indicated that all the teachers expressed the belief that LCI in ECE should be implemented as it was important, relevant and beneficial to both teachers and pupils with the pupils deriving long-term benefits and experiencing a greater level of motivation to learn. However interpretation of the data from the classroom observations suggested a “belief-practice gap” (Li, Wang and Wong, 2011, p. 6) in that there was some discrepancy between the teachers’ espoused and enacted practices. The main discrepancy concerned the extent to which the teachers demonstrated traditional teaching. They accounted for the inconsistencies as being largely due to contextual factors such as insufficient classroom space, materials, mentorship and training. Implications are drawn about understanding teachers’ beliefs about implementing innovations, about formal teacher education, curriculum reassessment, clear understanding of contextual factors that impact innovations, teacher collaboration and collegiality, administrative support and understanding changes in learning and teaching approaches by partners in education. The findings of this study can provide a reference for other Caribbean islands wishing to implement LCI in ECE.
Supervisor: Scaife, Jon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available