THE EFFECTIVENESS OF A TEACHERS’ PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF THE PRESCHOOL ENVIRONMENT

Styliani Gidari, Domna - Mika Kakana

Abstract


Research findings suggest that teachers’ education and training is a key factor in improving the preschool quality. Teachers’ qualifications can lead to high-quality preschool education and positive developmental outcomes for the children. This study examines the effectiveness of the teachers’ professional development program “Upgrading the Quality of the Preschool Environment” on improving the quality of the Kindergartens. The research followed a quasi-experimental design and included 26 kindergarten teachers from 23 public Greek kindergartens, who were divided into an Experimental and a Control Group. The quality of the kindergartens was initially assessed using the ECERS-R scale and a five-month professional development program, based on this initial evaluation and on collaborative practices, was designed and implemented to the Experimental Group. Our results show that although the mean scores of quality before the implementation of the program did not differ significantly (t = 6.45, p =.52), the mean scores, for the Experimental Group (M = 4.71, SD = .62) were significantly higher after the intervention (t = 4.30, p <001) than those of the Control Group (M = 3.78, SD = .37). The follow up evaluation one and a half years later showed the maintenance and further improvement of the results of the program in the quality of the kindergartens. Our research provides useful information that can be used in the future for the designing of professional development programs aimed at improving the quality of the preschool environment.

 

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preschool environment, quality improvement, teachers’ professional development, evaluations of preschool quality, ECERS-R

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejes.v8i8.3856

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