Alghamdi, Ahlam A., & James M. Ernest (2019, December). Teachers’ beliefs about developmentally appropriate practices in Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy, 13, art. 8. 16 pp. (Link: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40723-019-0064-7) (Open Access: https://ijccep.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40723-019-0064-7)

Abstract: Since the first release of NAEYC’s guidelines, DAP has received a lot of attention from childhood professionals in the United States. Internationally, many countries have also shown a growing interest regarding DAP, yet interest in DAP is new to the Saudi educators. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore preschool teachers’ subjective beliefs toward NAEYC’s guidelines of DAP in Saudi Arabia, one of the most conservative Middle Eastern countries. Q Methodology, as a mixed methods approach, was used to study 37 preschool teachers randomly selected from five preschools in Mecca city. The participants sorted 50 cards with examples of DAP and developmentally inappropriate practice (DIP) or “In Contrast” statements which represented perceived importance of the practice to the sorter. To analyze the data, a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) with Varimax rotation indicated four main components regarding the beliefs of Saudi preschool teachers as they relate to DAP’s guidelines. Each component represents a unique perspective (viewpoint) on how Saudi preschool teachers view DAP and contrasting items based on their subjective points of view. The four main perspectives that emerged from the analysis show a dominance consensus among perspectives that fit equitably within the DAP framework regarding the best practice of early childhood education. Findings from this study provide evidence that many aspects of developmentally appropriate practice can be appropriate in different cultures and countries.

Ahlam A Alghamdi <ahgam@yahoo.com> is in the Early Childhood Education Department, Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia, and James M Ernest <jernest@uab.edu> is in the Department of Curriculum Instruction, School of Education, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL (USA).

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