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Title: Caregiver-child interactions : effects of professional development on practice in Guyana
Author: Semple-McBean, M. A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 7781
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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In 2010, the first Early Childhood Professional Development (ECPD) programme was introduced by the University of Guyana (UG). This two-year programme was designed for caregivers working with children in the birth to four-year-old age group. Statistical analysis of this programme suggests it is not having the desired effect in promoting caregiver-child interaction (CCI), when assessed against structural performance indicators (UG-UNICEF, 2012). Given that CCI has been cited in the last decade as one of the most critical determinants for optimising learning during early years (Siraj-Blatchford et al., 2003; Sabol et al., 2013; Siraj and Asani, 2015), discussions were held with tutors, in an attempt to address this perceived deficiency. These discussions revealed that caregivers had made significant gains despite receiving relatively low scores on assessment scales. Consequently, this study attempts to explore these small, yet potentially significant changes. The main research question considered here is: ‘How has the ECPD programme contributed to the quality of caregivers’ professional interaction practices?’ A qualitative case study, supported by ethnographic techniques, constitutes the theoretical framework to investigate this question. To explore everyday CCI practice, eight cases were selected for observation, video-review, guided-recall and semi-structured interviews. Professionals who witnessed or supported these caregivers’ practice were also interviewed, and an examination of programme materials and delivery was conducted. Results were interpreted using a thematic analysis. The major findings are: (i) caregivers engage in challenging-type interactions; but, the intensity depends on whether interactions are aimed at ‘gaffing’ [spontaneous conversation] or ‘lesson-time’, or conducted with whole-groups or on a one-on-one basis; (ii) notable differences in CCI are accounted for by caregivers’ degree of readiness to change, and prioritisation of pedagogical thinking about practice. It can be concluded that CCI experiences are too complex and transactional to be captured by UG’s current assessment tools. Recommendations are offered to allow UG to make decisions about training strategies which are most useful, might be missing, or that could be discontinued or modified.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available