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Preschool teachers' attitudes towards their professional autonomy and towards promoting children's autonomy in kindergartens

Irena Janžekovič Žmauc (2019) Preschool teachers' attitudes towards their professional autonomy and towards promoting children's autonomy in kindergartens. PhD thesis.

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    Abstract

    The main purpose of the doctoral dissertation was to research the attitude of preschool teachers to their own autonomy and, consequently, how an autonomous preschool teacher encourages the development of autonomy in preschool children. Promoting children’s autonomy in kindergarten is believed to have a positive effect on individuals’ autonomy in later stages and is based on the assumption that there is a relationship between a child's autonomy and the autonomy of his/her preschool teacher. Promoting children’s autonomy in kindergarten was the main focus only from the relational and didactic aspects (e. g. making choices, children’s participation in learning). By analysis of accessible literature, we have explored the factors that influence autonomous functioning of preschool teachers and the factors that partly influence the development of preschool children’s autonomy. By empirical quantitative research, we have been studied preschool teachers’ attitude to their autonomy and discover how autonomous preschool teachers stimulate the development of autonomy in children enrolled in Slovenian kindergartens. We have been interested in the possible correlations between preschool teachers’ positive attitude towards their professional autonomy and a greater degree of promoting children’s autonomy. Since the concept of promoting children’s autonomy in kindergarten is based on the assumption that the level of preschool teachers’ professional autonomy affects the promotion of preschool children’s autonomy, we have analysed the conditions, advantages and disadvantages of promoting children’s autonomy and the autonomy of preschool teachers, and prepared a set of proposals that could contribute to preschool teachers’ good practices. In the empirical research, we determined that most preschool teachers have a positive attitude towards their professional autonomy. However, within the various professional ranks and different lengths of work experience of preschool teachers, there are statistically significant differences in their attitude to professional autonomy. We discovered that preschool teachers’ attitude to their own autonomy is correlated to a greater promotion of children’s autonomy. The higher is the level of promoting children’s autonomy, the less negative is the preschool teachers’ attitude to their professional autonomy. We also discovered that preschool teachers’ positive attitude to their professional autonomy has a beneficial effect on the relational and didactic aspects of promoting children’s autonomy. A positive attitude of preschool teachers towards their own professional autonomy is one of the factors that stimulate promotion of children’s autonomy. In the area of preschool education, we have confirmed one of the factors for promoting children’s autonomy and have made indirect contribution to the improvement of preschool education at the procedural level with a set of proposals to promote children’s autonomy.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
    Keywords: preschool teachers’ autonomy, preschool teachers’ attitude to their autonomy, promotion of children’s autonomy, factors of autonomy, kindergarten
    Number of Pages: 330
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Tatjana DevjakMentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/12334921
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 5626
    Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2019 08:29
    Last Modified: 12 Mar 2019 08:29
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/5626

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