La Paro, Karen M., Kathy Siepak, & Catherine Scott-Little (2009, January). Assessing beliefs of preservice early childhood education teachers using Q-sort methodology. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 30(1), 22-36.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess the beliefs of students and faculty in a 4-year birth-kindergarten teacher preparation program using the Teacher Belief Q-Sort (TBQ). Data were collected over one academic year from a total of 63 students, 35 students at the beginning of their coursework and 28 students at the end of their program, completing their student teaching experience. The faculty (n = 8) in the program completed the TBQ to provide a criterion sort as well as to assess the consistency in philosophy across faculty members who teach preservice teachers. Compilations of rankings are presented to describe beliefs related to children, discipline, and teaching practices held by students who are at different points in their education program. Criterion comparison results indicate that student teachers at the end of their education program report beliefs more similar to faculty beliefs than students at the beginning of their education program. However, findings suggest that the student teaching experience does not appear to significantly alter beliefs about children, discipline and teaching practices. These results are discussed in terms of child-directed versus teacher-directed styles of preservice teachers and implications of assessing beliefs for teacher preparation programs.

Karen M La Paro <kmlaparo@uncg.edu>is in the Department of Human Development & Family Studies, University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

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