A comparison of parents' and teachers' perspectives of instructional practices in early childhood education in Taiwan

Yu-Hsing Chang

Abstract

This study compared 826 parents' and 296 teachers' perspectives of home and classroom instructional practices (Based on NAEYC guidelines) for four- and five-year-old children who were participating in 67 private and public early childhood programs in Taiwan. Two questionnaires, a demographic data inventory and a questionnaire titled "Perspectives of Instruction in Early Childhood Education," were used to collect data. A 2 x 2 multivariate analysis of variance indicated a statistically significant (p < .001, η2 = .114) difference between parents' and teachers' perspectives of instructional practices. There were no statistically significant differences between responses based on the two age groups of children nor were there statistically significant interactions between parents' and teachers' responses and the age group of children. The results of the univariate follow-up comparisons indicated statistically significant differences between parents' and teachers' responses on the DICIP ( p < .001, η2 = .101), the DAEHP (p < .001, η2 = .018), and the DIEHP ( p < .001, η2 = .091), variables but no statistically significant difference was found between responses of the two groups on the DACIP variable. Parents and teachers believed that developmentally appropriate classroom instructional practices are "very important," but they differed significantly in their perspectives about developmentally inappropriate classroom instructional practices. Different perspectives of parents and teachers about educational home practices were found. Parents rated developmentally inappropriate home educational practices as "somewhat important," but teachers' rated these practices as "not very important." In general, the findings of the study were fairly consistent with the findings of other studies (i.e., Barclay, 1989; Chao, 1996; & Lin, Gorrell, & Silvern, 2001). Future research is needed to focus on what factors have influenced parents' and teachers' perspectives of educational practices related to both developmentally appropriate and developmentally inappropriate instruction in the contexts of the classroom and the home. Also, several issues should be addressed in Taiwan's early childhood education programs: parent-teacher interaction, parenting education, and teacher professional development.