Constructions of quality in early childhood centres
Sarah Alexander, PhD, Education, 1993. University of Otago
This thesis presents a study of quality and investigates quality for different early childhood settings. From the Otago region in New Zealand, four kindergartens, three childcare centres, two playcentres and two kohanga reo were studied. Parents and staff from these centres and national experts were involved.
A multimethod research approach was used, including questionnaires, meetings of representatives from the centres, participant-observation of charter development, and observation of centre quality. In addition, centres were provided with feedback as part of the processes of data collection and analysis.
The findings affirmed claims in the literature that there exist a range of values and perspectives on quality early education and care. Shared meanings of quality within and across parent and staff groups were identified.
Different practices and meanings of quality constituted different constructions of quality for the kindergarten, childcare, playcentre and kohanga reo groups.
A profile of quality for each early childhood group is included with a summary of key findings for the questions of the research study.
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