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Perception and experiencing job shadowing among preschool teachers

Mateja Podgorelec (2018) Perception and experiencing job shadowing among preschool teachers. MSc thesis.

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    The role of kindergarten today is to provide high-quality pre-school education, and to give employment to people who perform their work professionally and who constantly improve it. Quality educational work enables children to develop into independent, responsible and self-confident people, however, in reality, there are often problems in attaining the quality of pre-school educational practice. The teaching staff in kindergartens whose main task should be to care for quality teaching and education of children are quite often too individualistic, they do not exchange ideas and experience, they are afraid of criticism and interact and cooperate with one another too rarely. In this master's thesis, I answer questions about how the teaching staff in kindergartens perceive and experience colleague teacher observations. I have been studying the views of the teaching staff in kindergartens on colleague teacher observations. I have been interested in what kind of experience the teaching staff in kindergarten get by sitting in for teaching observations with their colleagues, how they perceive colleague teacher observations. I have studied what kind of experience the teaching staff in kindergarten get when their colleagues observe their pedagogical work and how they feel about the teaching observations. I have answered the question of what changes or effects were perceived by teaching staff from personal and professional perspectives as well as what the effect on their working environment was under the influence of colleague teaching observations. And with the last two research questions, I investigate whether pre-school teachers are statistically significantly different from pre-school teaching assistants in terms of perception and experiencing of teacher observations, and whether the teaching staff in kindergarten statistically significantly differ from one another in the perception and experience of teacher observations in relation to the period of employment or in pedagogical experience. My sample included 155 surveyed professionals (pre-school teachers and pre-school assistant teachers) from various kindergartens in Slovenia, who conducted colleague teacher observations, with various number of years of employment period in pre-school education, with various education background and with employment in various workplaces. The descriptive and causal-non-experimental methods of pedagogical research were used in the study. The data were collected by a questionnaire, which was authorised and designed in cooperation with the mentor. I have found out that teacher observations in general do not place any additional physical burden to the teaching staff in kindergartens. However, colleague teacher observations are sometimes an additional psychological burden for them. According to the surveyed professionals, colleague teacher observations enable transfer of good practice between colleagues, have a positive influence on the quality of work of the preschool organisation and help in professional growth. The results of the research have shown that, during colleague teacher observations, the teaching staff expect a relaxed mutual exchange of experience and feelings, as well as an exchange of innovative ideas and approaches and openness in expressing their own opinions. Professionals believe that they develop new skills by colleague teacher observations, thus learning new ways of working. The results have shown that pre-school teachers do not experience colleague teacher observation as a kind of control, they do not question their professionalism, they do not fear mocking from their colleagues, however, they expect a relaxed communication with constructive criticism and that their colleagues will be honest in giving feedback. They also think that colleague teacher observations contribute to greater professional self-confidence, since they receive recognition for a job well-done. I have found that the teaching staff think that they grow professionally through the colleague teacher observations, since they offer an additional opportunity to evaluate their own work. They have also noted that they have started to appreciate their job more. I can draw a conclusion that with a positive attitude towards colleague teacher observations I can achieve greater satisfaction of the teaching staff in kindergartens and, consequently, a better quality in performing their pedagogical work.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: colleague teacher observations, quality, professional development, teamwork, reflection
    Number of Pages: 95
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Alenka PolakMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=12072521)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5197
    Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2018 09:29
    Last Modified: 13 Aug 2018 09:29
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5197

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