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Preschool headmaster's role in determining and ensuring preschool quality

Petra Žgajnar (2018) Preschool headmaster's role in determining and ensuring preschool quality. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    The master thesis addresses the topic of defining kindergarten quality, approaches of determining and ensuring quality and the legal acts regulating quality in Slovenian kindergartens. It also includes research and projects that played an influential role in developing the system of determining and ensuring quality in the field of preschool education. The most applicable and efficient system of determining and ensuring quality is self-evaluation, which is the basis for a number of other approaches of determining and ensuring quality. However, self-evaluation in and of itself does not mean that higher quality is automatically ensured; self-evaluation requires a certain amount of knowledge and interest, and the obtained results must be applied in practice. In this aspect, the headmaster plays a vital role, as the scope of their obligations and quality assurance tasks as kindergarten manager and pedagogical leader has increased with the decentralisation of education and the growth of its autonomy. According to the Slovenian Act on organisation and financing of early childhood education and care (1996), the headmaster is responsible for ensuring and determining quality, while their obligations also include the use of the self-evaluation approach and an annual report on the kindergarten’s self-evaluation process. The empirical part of the thesis introduces the results of the research which included headmasters and their assistants from Slovenian kindergartens. The results show that the respondents are acquainted with the self-evaluation approach and actively participate in its execution. For self-evaluation purposes, the majority of the respondents use the report on the implementation of the annual work plan and the self-evaluation report, which are also two of the most recognized approaches due to the fact that they are legally binding documents. Research results are most frequent subjects of discussion at pedagogical conferences and the institute council and are as a rule published in the kindergarten’s annual work plan. Headmasters and their assistants most often include kindergarten teachers and consultants in the self-evaluation process, and very rarely external evaluators and local community representatives. Kindergartens that operate as independent organizational units face difficulties in determining and ensuring quality more frequently than kindergartens that are part of primary school organizational units. The most often encountered difficulties stated by the respondents are lack of time and lack of employee motivation. This is where the headmaster’s role becomes evident, i.e. in their ability to organize their work and to motivate themselves as well as other employees.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: preschool education, kindergarten, quality, headmaster, evaluation
    Number of Pages: 99
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Tatjana DevjakMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=12077897)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5207
    Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2018 09:22
    Last Modified: 14 Aug 2018 09:22
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5207

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