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Preschool practices in Sweden, Portugal, and the United States
Porto University, Portugal.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3741-0885
Jönköping University, Sweden.
University of New Hampshire, USA.
Jönköping University, Sweden.
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2021 (English)In: Early Childhood Research Quarterly, ISSN 0885-2006, E-ISSN 1873-7706, Vol. 55, p. 79-96Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Across countries, there are important differences related to the goals, organization, and educational philosophies of care provided to young children prior to formal schooling. Those differences are likely reflected in the classroom practices and teacher-child interactions within a country's early childhood education and care (ECEC) classrooms. This study aims to evaluate the within-country relevance of two classroom observation measures primarily based on a behavioral count approach focused on teacher and child behaviors; and to examine preschool practices in Sweden, Portugal, and the U.S., as they reflect each country's ECEC goals, organization, and educational philosophies. Participants are 78 preschool settings in Sweden, 42 in Portugal, and 168 in the U.S. Results show that the measures targeted culturally-relevant behaviors and provided inter-rater reliability for the behavior count variables in the three countries. Future collaborations may address additional culturally-specific variables. The behavioral descriptions yielded by combining behavioral counts of the measures are analyzed by researchers from the relevant country for insights to the country's values related to early childhood as well as current debates regarding care for children. Measures that provide comprehensive descriptions of classroom settings and apply minimal external or comparative value judgments on the behaviors observed are of practical utility for collaborative international work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021. Vol. 55, p. 79-96
Keywords [en]
Behavioral count measures, Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC), International, International early childhood policies, Observation, Preschool practices, article, child, child behavior, childhood, decision making, education, female, human, human experiment, infant, interrater reliability, male, philosophy, Portugal, Sweden, teacher, United States
National Category
Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-52962DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2020.11.004ISI: 000631926900007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85097383473OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-52962DiVA, id: diva2:1514885
Available from: 2021-01-07 Created: 2021-01-07 Last updated: 2023-03-08Bibliographically approved

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Almqvist, Lena

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