Abstract. Studies consistently find a discrepancy between
teachers' self-reported beliefs about developmentally appropriate
practices (DAP) and their actual, observable classroom practices.
Teachers attribute the discrepancy to a variety of environmental /
work-related stresses or institutional barriers. Some early childhood
professionals, however, are either unaffected by, or able to cope with,
these same obstacles and live out DAP beliefs in practice. What are the
characteristics of teachers who both state a belief in DAP and engage in
DAP practices in their early childhood classrooms? Although there were
differences between preschool and primary teachers in this sample of 20
early childhood educators of children ages birth through 8, DAY beliefs
overall were strongly correlated with practices at the p [less than]
.001 level (r = .79). Also, high personal teaching efficacy and internal
locus of control were significantly related to high DAP beliefs and
predictive of DAP practices. In addition, teachers who either had an
academic background in early childhood education or child development,
or who had experience working in a preschool, were found to be
significantly more DAP in their actual classroom practices than those
who had an elementary education degree and no preschool experience.
Implications for teacher education and professional development are
Researchers argue that teachers': 1) philosophies about
education (i.e., beliefs about the impact of teaching in general, as
well as their understanding of how children learn); 2) perceptions of
themselves as teachers (i.e., how they feel about their own abilities to
influence learning outcomes); and 3) beliefs about how events in the
classroom are contingent upon their own actions (i.e., how much they
attribute learning outcomes to their own actions) each play a critical
role in actual teaching practices and classroom decisions (Brantlinger,
1996; Brookhart & Freeman, 1992; Bunting, 1984; DiBella-McCarthy,
McDaniel, & Miller, 1995; Kagan, 1992; Pajares, 1992; Smith, 1993;
Spodek, 1988; Wood, Cobb, & Yackel, 1990). Consistently, however,
researchers report a discrepancy, or at best only a small correlation,
between the self-reported beliefs and actual classroom practices of
teachers (Bryant, Clifford, & Peisner, 1991; Charlesworth, Hart,
Burts, & Hernandez, 1991; Hatch & Freeman, 1988; Hyson, 1991;
Kagan & Sm ith, 1988; Kemple, 1996; Smith, 1993; Smith &
Shepard, 1988; Spidell, 1988; Verma & Peters, 1975; Wing, 1989). In
studies that report a discrepancy, the typical pattern is that educators
report highly appropriate beliefs, but are found to engage in
significantly less appropriate practices.
Stating One Belief; Practicing Another
There maybe several reasons why teachers might state a belief in
DAP, yet not practice it in their own classrooms. DAP is the
"politically correct" philosophy of the day (i.e., it is
widely supported by professional organizations and leaders in the
field), and it may be very hard for some teachers to admit that they
don't accept the "conventional wisdom" when asked to
state their beliefs (Hyson, 1991). Among those teachers who insist that
they really do believe in DAP, the discrepancy between beliefs and
practices is attributed to number of environmental or work-related
stresses. Most common among these complaints are feelings of being
unsupported by parents, colleagues, and administrators, and
teachers' perception that they must emphasize skill development and
prepare students for standardized tests.
In addition to environmental stresses, some teachers may be
challenged, or even defeated, in their attempts to live out their
beliefs by their own personal characteristics. Certain personality
traits, tendencies, and/or levels of preparation or professional
experience may act together with environmental/work factors to make it
difficult or even impossible for these teachers to engage in the
"best practices" in which they say they believe. These factors
may ultimately contribute to feelings of helplessness and burnout
(McMullen & Krantz, 1988). Brousseau, Book, and Byers (1988),
Bunting(1984), Charlesworth et al. (1993), Dembo and Gibson (1985), and
Kagan (1992) urge researchers to find and examine the personal
characteristics that may mediate between appropriate beliefs and
practices in early childhood education. Some of this information already
has been uncovered and deserves closer inspection. Veenman (1984), for
instance, identifies several variables that mediate between beliefs and
practices in teachers i n general, including the quality of professional
preparation, years of experience, work conditions (isolation, inadequate
support, high stress), difficulty in working with parents, and difficult
work loads. Bandura and Jourden (1991) identify self-efficacy beliefs as
mediators of teacher behavior, saying that it affects both the choice of
activities and how much effort one will ultimately put forth. Sadowski
and Woodward (1983) and DiBella-McCarthy et al. (1995) assert locus of
control as a significant contributor to actual classroom practice.
Identification and close inspection of these characteristics may help
teacher educators and school administrators who work with preservice and
inservice teachers to nurture the appropriate dispositions. It also may
promote the knowledge and skills necessary for teachers to cope with
real or perceived environmental factors that may prevent implementation
of best practices.
Although not without its critics, developmentally appropriate
practice (DAP) was chosen as the belief system or philosophy to examine
in this study, because it is currently held by many early childhood
professionals to be emblematic of "best practices" in the
field. Beliefs and characteristics that may influence whether or not
teachers engage in best practices (including personality traits such as
self-efficacy, locus of control, trait anxiety, and educational and
professional experiences) will be the primary area of focus for this
Developmentally Appropriate Beliefs and Practices
The concept of developmentally appropriate practices, or DAP, was
originally described in detail in a policy statement by the National
Association for the Education of Young Children (Bredekamp, 1987), and
was subsequently refined in a more recently published document
(Bredekamp & Copple, 1997). DAP curricula focus on relating
appropriately to the overall development of the whole child across
social, emotional, aesthetic, moral, language, cognitive, and physical
(which includes health, gross motor, and fine motor) domains. DAP
practices are individually, age group, and culturally appropriate. These
"best practices" relate to the everyday reality of the
individuals within a group, as well as to the learning community as a
whole (Oakes & Caruso, 1990). DAP curricula are learner-generated
and learner-centered, yet teacher-framed. In other words, the teacher is
the one who judges what is needed to meet the developmental and learning
needs of children, and it is he or she who prepares the environment and
develops the curriculum accordingly. DAP curricula encourage
problem-solving, critical thinking, and intellectual risk-taking, and
engender dispositions of life-long learning. Assessment of children in
DAP environments is ongoing and continuous, and is done for the purpose
of preparing a conducive environment for children's development and
for building upon existing strengths (Bredekamp & Shepard, 1989;
The critical impact of the developmental period of early childhood
(birth to age 8) is widely accepted and well-documented in the education
field as having lifetime effects on the success of later learning
(Schweinhart, Weikart, & Lamer, 1986). Although both DAP and more
traditional academic approaches have been shown to have successful
learning outcomes (i.e., both promote cognitive development and increase
children's scores in reading, language, and mathematics), studies
reveal several additional far-reaching positive outcomes for DAP
curricula when compared to didactic models. In particular, more
prosocial behaviors are observed, fewer reports of behavioral problems
occur either at home or school, and lower stress levels are recorded in
children who are in DAP environments (Bredekamp & Shepard, 1989;
Burts et al., 1993; Halpin, Halpin, & Harris, 1982; HirshPasek,
1991; Marcon, 1992). In addition, DAP practices are significantly
related to improved problem-solving skills and greater autonomy in
children (Sp idell-Rusher, McGrevin, & Lambiotte, 1992).
It is likely that few, if any, early childhood education
professionals achieve completely consistent DAP type teaching behaviors,
just as few teachers are completely traditional in their classroom
practices. Teachers' practices are generally characterized as lying
somewhere along a continuum from very high in DAP to very low in DAP
(Bredekamp & Rosegrant, 1992; Halpin et al., 1982; Willower, Eidell,
& Hoy, 1967).
Beliefs and Characteristics As Mediators of Practices
There are a number of beliefs and characteristics that may
influence whether or not teachers engage in DAP practices. These include
personality factors such as self-efficacy, locus of control, and trait
anxiety, as well as educational and professional experiences.
Self-Efficacy. There is a comprehensive research literature on
self-efficacy, a concept originally described by Armor et al. (1976),
Bandura (1977), and Barfield and Burlingame (1974). Bandura (1977, 1982,
1995) describes two components of self-efficacy: 1) outcome expectancy,
which is the belief that certain behaviors can lead to specific
outcomes; and 2) efficacy expectation, which is a belief about
one's own competence or ability to bring about certain outcomes.
Rather than being a static personality trait, Bandura argues that
self-efficacy involves competency feelings that are situation-specific;
one may feel efficacious in one area of life, but not in others.
Anderson, Greene, and Loewen (1988), Ashton and Webb (1986), Berman
and McLaughlin (1977), Combs (1979), and Weber and Omotani (1994) link
teachers' self-efficacy to student achievement, a highly important
consequence of efficacy beliefs. In fact, Berman and McLaughlin, Combs,
and Weber and Omotani all promote self-efficacy as the most important
influence on teacher effectiveness. In education terms, the two
components of self-efficacy are referred to by the terms "teaching
or educational efficacy," (Bandura's outcome expectancy) and
"personal teaching efficacy" (Bandura's efficacy
expectation) (Gibson & Dembo, 1984; McMullen, 1997). The first term,
"educational efficacy," refers to teachers' beliefs about
the ability of education in general to have a positive impact on student
performance. This belief is implicit and based upon their basic
assumptions about the relationship between teaching and learning
(Ashton, Webb, & Doda, 1983; Ginns, Tulip, Watters, & Lucas,
1995; Greenwood, Olejnik, & Parkay, 1990).
A teacher with "low educational efficacy" believes that
education cannot affect student performance, whereas a teacher with
"high educational efficacy" believes that education does
positively affect learning outcomes. High educational efficacy has been
consistently correlated with child-centered (i.e., DAP) environments and
positive student outcomes (Weber & Omotani, 1994; Woolfolk &
Hoy, 1990). Teachers with high educational efficacy are found to be more
willing to implement innovative programs (Rose, 1994), and to be more
persistent in working with students to achieve learning goals, both of
which are characteristics that are found to lead to higher achievement
for students (Dembo & Gibson, 1985).
The second efficacy term, "personal teaching efficacy,"
refers to teachers' sense of their own effectiveness in having an
impact on student achievement (Ashton et al., 1983; Ginns et al., 1995).
Teachers with "low personal teaching efficacy" are more likely
to believe that they personally cannot affect student learning and
performance; whereas teachers with "high personal teaching
efficacy" believe that they personally can affect student outcomes.
Teachers with "high personal teaching efficacy" are more
likely to expect that all students can learn, and that they, as
teachers, are personally responsible for that outcome (Benz, Bradley,
Alderman, & Flowers, 1992). A combination of high educational
efficacy and high personal teaching efficacy is considered to be the
least stress-producing disposition, since teachers believe that both
teaching in general, as well as they themselves as teachers, can affect
student outcomes (Greenwood et al., 1990).
Locus of Control. Locus of control, a concept originally described
by Rotter (1966), is characterized as the extent to which individuals
perceive events in their environment as being contingent upon their own
behavior. People are characterized as having either an external or
internal locus of control orientation. Individuals who are more
externally oriented expect that outcomes, positive or negative, are a
function of unpredictable, outside forces (such as chance, luck, or
fate) that are beyond their control or determined by more powerful
others. Those who are more internal expect that outcomes will be
determined by their own behavior or personal characteristics (Lefcourt,
1981; Sadowski, 1987).
Smith (1993) urges researchers to uncover the role of locus of
control in teachers' beliefs and practices. It is suspected that
teachers who believe that their ability to affect change is limited by
external factors (such as children's family circumstances, pressure
from their administrators, a perceived decline in society's morals,
etc.) may have less motivation to search for more effective teaching
techniques (DiBellaMcCarthy et al., 1995). In support of this effect,
Sadowski and Woodward (1983) conclude that teachers' locus of
control orientation has a significant impact on their classroom
environment (i.e., internal teachers are more likely to engage in
activities that facilitate student motivation).
Stress and Trait Anxiety. Potential stressors are abundant in
teaching. Being a teacher is considered one of the most stressful jobs
in society; the physical and emotional problems associated with stress
are considered a serious health threat to teachers (Fletcher, 1991;
McGrath, 1995). Kyriacou (1987) characterizes teacher stress as the
result of negative emotions about the job itself that are mediated by a
teacher's feelings of well-being and personal coping mechanisms.
Trendall (1989) proposes a broader view of "teacher" stress
that considers factors both within and outside of the work environment,
as well as an individual's personal characteristics.
Teacher stress can lead to "the lowering of feelings of
personal self-worth, achievement, effectiveness, and of coping within
one's professional role" (Kelly & Berthelsen, 1995, p.
346). Kelly and Berthelsen identify the conflict between expectations
about quality in early childhood programs and administrators'
expectations for teachers to maintain that quality in practice as a
stressor for some teachers. Teachers complain about stress that they
experienced due to what they report as the difficulty of balancing the
planning of an appropriate environment and being able to respond
spontaneously to the needs of individual children and "emerging
events" in the classroom.
Not all teachers perceive difficult events or working conditions as
stressful, however. Certain personality traits may be related to whether
or not teachers react to potential stressors. For instance, teachers who
feel they have no control over the stressors they face in the teaching
environment and who also have natural tendencies toward anxiousness are
more likely to experience stress (Hill, 1995). Litt and Turk (1985)
report that personal teaching efficacy is significantly related to
teachers' perceived stress levels, while Halpin, Harris, and Halpin
(1985) and McIntyre (1984) conclude that external locus of control is
positively related to teacher stress.
The relatively stable personal tendency to be anxious or to
perceive stressful life events as threatening in some way is identified
as "trait anxiety." Cattell (1966) and, later, Spielberger
(1983) introduced both trait anxiety and the related concept "state
anxiety," which refers to the specific reaction to an event that is
happening at the time. Teachers who have high trait anxiety react more
frequently and intensely to stressful events and have a high probability
of doing so in the future (Spielberger, 1983). Trait anxiety is
characterized as a personal characteristic, rather than as an emotional
state, because it refers to the tendencies and dispositions to react or
behave in a particular way, unlike the more transitory nature of an
emotional state (i.e., "state anxiety").
Educational Background and Experience. Several studies, including
those by Cassidy, Buell, Pugh-Hoese, and Russell (1995) and Whitebook,
Howes, and Phillips (1989), report significantly higher overall quality
of the early childhood learning environment, including higher scores on
DAP beliefs and practices instruments, in classrooms in which teachers
have more early childhood education training. Education does not tell
the whole story, however. Brousseau et al. (1988) found that years of
experience had a significant effect on DAP beliefs in early childhood
education professionals--but not in the way one might expect. The more
experience the teachers in this study had, the more likely that they
were to believe that all students should be held to a common standard,
and the more likely they were to favor a common curriculum--neither of
which is considered a DAP belief. The supposition is that teachers who
have been out of teacher education for a number of years and who have
not been engaging in ongoing professio nal development lack familiarity
with current knowledge about best practices with young children. In
contrast, however, McMullen (1997) finds experiential effects working in
the opposite direction. Her study revealed a significant difference in
the strength of DAP beliefs between novice teachers (i.e., those
teaching less than 2 years) and veteran teachers (i.e., those who had
been in the early childhood education field 3 or more years, in this
case an average of 18.2 years). The more experienced teachers scored
significantly higher on measures of DAP beliefs.
An explanation for the lower scores among the novice teachers found
in the McMullen (1997) study may be found in the Buchanan, Burts,
Bidner, White, and Charlesworth (1997) study, from which the authors
concluded that new teachers are in a "survival" stage. New
teachers may lack the resources and coping skills necessary to implement
what they have been taught and what they may truly believe are best
practices with young children. The tendency to hold DAP beliefs may have
less to do with the "quantity" of years of experience, and
have more to do with the "quality" or type of preparation and
experiences that teachers have had. In fact, McMullen concludes that the
teachers with more years of experience in her study were probably more
strongly DAP because of the influence of ongoing professional
development in early childhood, not because of the number of years in
Teachers in the early primary grades are found to engage in
significantly fewer DAP practices than their preschool colleagues
(Bryant et al., 1991; Hatch & Freeman, 1988; Verma & Peters,
1975). Spodek (1988)reports that elementary school teachers sampled in
his study tended to focus on management, planning, instructional
practices, and classroom organization, while preschool teachers spent
more time concentrating on development and play (i.e., behaviors aligned
more closely with DAP). There is some encouraging news, however, that
DAP is beginning to "push up" into the elementary early
primary years (Burt & Sugawara, 1993). This "pushing up"
ofDAP into the primary grades is also supported by preliminary results
from a recent Buchanan et al. (1997) study, in which many DAP behaviors
were observed among early primary teachers. In this latter study,
however, the number of DAP practices recorded declined with each
subsequent year (i.e., 1st-grade teachers were more strongly DAP than
2nd-grade teachers, who in tur n scored higher on DAP measures than
In order to find ways to help teachers implement DAP beliefs, it
seems important to first discern their true beliefs. It is quite clear,
however, that measures that rely on teachers' self-reported beliefs
alone may not tell the whole story about teachers' beliefs, for a
variety of reasons. Although observation of classroom practices maybe a
more accurate indicator of beliefs, it is perhaps best to use a
combination of survey and observation. Thus, the study detailed in this
article relies on both teachers' self. report of beliefs and
observation of classroom practices. The researcher addresses the
question, "What are the beliefs and characteristics of teachers who
engage in best practices in early childhood education?" in a sample
of 20 early childhood educators of children, ages 3 through 3rd grade.
Some teachers seem more vulnerable to the everyday stresses that
are inherent in the teaching profession. Other teachers are more
resilient and are able to live out their practices despite the
obstacles; what makes them able to do this when many of their colleagues
cannot is important to find out. In this study, the researchers examined
developmentally appropriate (DAP) beliefs and practices, as well as the
factors that may mediate between beliefs and practices (i.e.,
self-efficacy, locus of control, trait anxiety, and educational and
Letters were sent and follow-up phone calls were made to the
directors of 10 private preschools that were in close proximity to the
primary researcher's university, as well as to the principals of
six of the 12 elementary schools in the surrounding community. Directors
from five of the preschools and four of the elementary schools agreed to
participate, and so they distributed the researcher's questionnaire
packet. Despite cash incentives ($10 to complete the questionnaire and
$25 after the completion of up to three observations), only nine of 35
preschool teachers (2 3%) and 11 out of 40 of the primary teachers in a
public school setting (30%) completed the questionnaire packet and were
subsequently observed by the researchers (N = 20 participants).
After the fully completed questionnaire packet was returned by
mall, each participant was visited by the principal researcher on two
separate occasions for one to one-and-a-half hours each time (M = 145.25
minutes over two visits, N = 20). In order to establish reliability of
the original observations, a research assistant was sent to the
classrooms of 13 of the 20 teachers for a two-hour follow-up observation
(M = 264.1 minutes over three observations, n = 13). Only 13 of the
original 20 teachers from the sample were willing and/or able to
continue to participate by the time the second observer did her
Description of the Sample
All but one of the 20 participants were female. The average number
of years of experience in the early childhood profession was 11.5 years
(range = 3 to 30 years). Nine of the participants were in preschool
settings teaching children ages 3 to 5, including one Montessori
teacher, one Head Start teacher, and one multi-categorical special needs
teacher. Eleven of the teachers were in public elementary school
settings (kindergarten through 3rd grade), including three kindergarten
teachers, two kindergarten/1st-grade multiage teachers, three 1st-grade
teachers, one 2nd-grade teacher, one 3rd-grade teacher, and one 1st-
through 3rd-grade multiage teacher. All of the subjects had
bachelor's or master's degrees in either early childhood
education, early childhood special education, child development, or
The questionnaire packet was designed to measure the strength of
DAP beliefs and the personal characteristics of self-efficacy, locus of
control, and trait anxiety, and to collect information about the
educational and professional experience of individual teachers in the
sample. The latter information included the number of years of
experience in the field, degree(s) earned, age level of students and
type of early childhood environment (preschool versus primary school),
and the number of children and adults in the classroom. All of the
formal instruments, as well as those used by the researchers to observe
DAP practices, are listed in Table 1, along with basic descriptive
statistics for each test. After scoring the original instruments, each
of the beliefs and practices scores were weighted and re-scaled to be
equivalent to a 100-point scale for ease of comparison. Each instrument
has acceptable reliability and validity as reported in the articles
referenced in Table 1.
Inter-observer reliability was calculated from the observations of
13 of the 20 teachers (six of the original nine preschool teachers and
seven of the original 11 primary teachers). The two observers (the
author and a doctoral research assistant) were never in the classroom at
the same time, and thus had opportunities to observe a variety of
activities and interactions. Comparing ratings from the Classroom
Practices Inventory used for observing the preschool teachers, the two
observers were in exact agreement (i.e., same points awarded by the two
observers for the same item) for 58% of the items; and within one scale
point on 91% of the items. For the
Scale of Primary Classroom Practices that was used to measure the
practices of the primary teachers, there was exact agreement on 63% of
the items and within one point on 94%. Because the inter-observer
agreement was good, and because the two observers saw different
activities and interactions over a long span of time (over two
semesters), their scores were averaged for use in the final data
analyses for those 13 individuals who were observed by both.
Comparison of the Beliefs and Practices The weighted and re-scaled
scores for the two DAP beliefs instruments, as well as for the two
practices instruments, were combined to create a "combined
beliefs" score and a "combined practices" score for the
regression analyses and t-tests. Combined scores for beliefs (i.e.,
preschool teachers (n = 9) plus primary teachers (n = 11)) were then
compared to the combined scores for practices; they were significantly
related (r = .794, p [less than] .001).
Both DAP beliefs instruments were completed by all teachers, and
both practices instruments were used to observe all of the participating
teachers (N = 20), regardless of whether they were preschool or primary
teachers. All four DAP measures were significantly inter-related to one
another at p [less than] .001 (i.e., preschool teachers' beliefs
with practices: r = .76; primary teachers' beliefs with practices:
r = .69, etc; please see Table 2 for complete correlation results.
However, because t-tests revealed significant differences between
preschool and primary teachers' beliefs about DAP (t (18) = -2.28,
p [less than] .05) as well as between preschool and primary teachers
actual classroom practices (t (18) = -3.44, p [less than] .01), beliefs
and practices instruments that were most specific for preschool teachers
and primary teachers were paired. Using regression and correlation
analyses, it was determined that the Primary Teachers Questionnaire
(PTQ), together with the Scale of Primary Classroom Practices (SPCP)
instruments, was the most suitable pair (i.e., correlation: r - .69, p
[less than] .001; regression: F (1, 8) 23.80, p [less than] .001) for
measuring beliefs and practices with the early primary grades teachers.
Similarly, the Teachers' Beliefs and Practices (TBP) instrument,
together with the Classroom Practices Inventory (CPI), was determined to
be the best combination for use with preschool teachers in this sample.
Again, this was based upon a relatively strong correlation between the
two (r = 0.76, p [less than] .001) and upon the result that the CPI was
the best predictor of practices as measured by the SPCP (F (1, 10) =
13.31, p [less than] .001). These results are as would be expected,
given the author's intentions for the instruments.
Other Predictors of Practice
Although there is some debate about being able to determine
directionality of the effect between beliefs and practices (i.e., Do
beliefs determine practice, or do practices define beliefs? see Hyson,
1991), one may argue that a major precursor to being a strong DAP
practitioner is having strong DAP beliefs. This assumption seems borne
out in this study by the regression data reported above that shows
beliefs as the first predictor of practices for both primary and
preschool teachers. Preschool beliefs and practices instruments and
primary beliefs and practices instruments were run separately against
all of the independent variables, to determine their relative
contribution to the variation in practices. As reported above, for
preschool practices measured by the CPI, the first variable that emerged
as a "predictor" or "mediator" of practices was
beliefs as measured by the SPCP, followed by a second predictor, high
personal teaching efficacy (F (1, 8) = 25.37, p [less than] .001). When
combined scores for pract ices (preschool teachers plus primary
teachers) were run against all other independent variables, however,
another predictor of practice emerged. The first predictor of practice
was found to be overall beliefs (F (1, 19) = 30.80, p [less than] .001),
as might be expected, whereas the second predictor that emerged was
locus of control (F (2, 18) = 27.29, p [less than] .001).
Other Differences Among Teachers
The first and most obvious difference between teachers is seen by
examining preschool versus primary teachers. As reported above, t-tests
revealed significant differences between preschool and primary
teachers' beliefs about DAP. Close inspection of the descriptive
statistics for the sample, including teachers' background data
(years of employment, education, etc.), revealed some other interesting
differences among teachers. "High" DAP teachers (i.e., those
with practices scores [greater than] 76.25, the overall mean) and
"low" DAP teachers (i.e., those with scores [less than or
equal to]76.25) were compared using chi-square analysis to examine
whether or not early childhood or child development education in
teachers' backgrounds made a difference (i.e., a 2X2 chi square was
run of DAP practices by background in early childhood). A significant
difference was found based upon education ([[chi].sup.2] (1, N = 20) =
7.74, p = .005), with significantly more of the "high" DAP
teachers having had early childhood or child development education at
some point in their teaching careers (see Tables 3 and 4).
Descriptive data (see Table 3) revealed a possible difference
within the sub-sample of primary teachers. Scores for DAP practices in
one group of primary teachers--those who had early childhood education
degrees or elementary degrees in combination with preschool teaching
experience (n - 5; M = 78.32, SD = 8.6)-stood out in contrast to those
primary teachers with elementary degrees and no preschool teaching
experience (n = 6; M = 55.23; SD = 12.1). The difference between DAP
practices between these two groups of primary teachers was confirmed as
significant, using a twotailed t-test (t (9) = 2.55, p .05).
Other Significant Relationships
Turning again to Table 2, one can see several other significant
relationships among the various study variables. Of particular interest
are the relationships among high educational efficacy and all four of
the DAP variables; the moderately strong inverse relationship between
low personal teaching efficacy and DAP beliefs; and the strong positive
correlation between internal locus of control and both DAP beliefs and
The major significant findings of this study can be summarized as
1. The two beliefs instruments and the two practices instruments
are highly related to one another.
2. There are significant differences between preschool and primary
teachers' beliefs about DAP, as well as between their actual
classroom practices, with preschool teachers scoring higher on both
3. DAP beliefs are the first predictor of DAP practices overall for
the complete sample of primary and preschool teachers together, followed
by internal locus of control.
4. In the case of the sub-sample of preschool teachers'
practices, the best predictor was beliefs, followed by a second
predictor, high personal teaching efficacy.
5. More "high" DAP teachers have early childhood or child
development education in their backgrounds.
6. Primary teachers who have early childhood education degrees or
elementary degrees in combination with preschool teaching experience
score higher in DAP practices than those with elementary degrees and no
preschool teaching experience.
Although significant relationships were found to exist among high
personal teaching efficacy, internal locus of control, and DAP
practices, it cannot be inferred that the opposite characteristics
(i.e., low personal teaching efficacy and external locus of control) are
related to inappropriate, or "low," DAP teachers. However, the
positive relationship between high DAP scores and internal locus of
control orientation found in this study makes sense if one considers the
inverse to be true; that is, that low DAP scores are related to external
locus of control. It is probably very difficult for an externally
oriented person to work within a child-centered environment with a
child-generated curriculum. Such a classroom may be inherently more
challenging for an externally oriented person, because it requires
continuous adaptation to an emergent curriculum and emphasizes personal
responsibility of the learners in the environment. Such a teacher may
tend to exert more external control over the environment than is co
nsidered developmentally appropriate.
In terms of efficacy beliefs, data support the view that
professionals who are more strongly DAP in practice are more efficacious
about themselves as teachers and about teaching effects in general.
These individuals are better able to allow others to be responsible for
their own learning and to trust that learning will occur in their
students. The teachers' own feelings of mastery and competence
(high personal teaching efficacy) may make them more likely to take
risks and be innovative in their teaching, which, in turn, is related to
positive student outcomes. Even failures are not seen as failures by
these highly efficacious teachers, but as opportunities to learn, grow,
and try even harder next time (Fritz, Miller-Heyl, Kreutzer, &
MacPhee, 1995). A word of caution is needed here, however. High personal
efficacy may also be a trait of highly successful traditional teachers.
In fact, it is quite likely that this is a trait possessed by all
Because locus of control may be contextually specific, the
connection between DAP and locus of control may be partly explained by
the particular school settings themselves. As in other studies (i.e.,
Bryant et al., 1991; Hatch & Freeman, 1988; Verma & Peters,
1975), preschool teachers were found to be more strongly DAP than most
of their early primary colleagues. The preschool settings in the study
were ones in which the teachers seemed to have greater personal freedom
in designing and implementing their curricula than was evident in the
public school sites. Anecdotally, several primary teachers voiced
complaints to the researcher about their particular teaching situations,
including, most prominently: perceived pressures concerning
accountability to the school corporation and to the state for their
students to demonstrate mastery of particular skills; the disruption to
their instructional time caused by children going to "special"
teachers for art, music, and physical education; and objections about
individu al children and small groups of children being taken from the
classroom at various times of the day for remedial reading instruction.
It is necessary to broaden the scope of future studies to look for
more factors that may mediate between developmentally appropriate
beliefs and practices. For instance, other factors such as
parental/community involvement, administrative support, pupil control
orientation, and overall job satisfaction should be examined. There is a
need for a much larger, randomized sample of professionals in future
testing, as well. It is possible that this sample was skewed toward the
higher end of the DAP continuum, because these professionals may have
been willing to have their practices observed by a university researcher
who is well known in the surrounding community as a DAP advocate. It
would be very important to look at similar personality traits in highly
traditional teachers as well.
An important caveat should be noted in terms of the external
validity of this study. The majority of preschool teachers in the United
States do not have four-year college degrees, as did those who
participated in this study. The results found herein may not extend to
the typical caregiver in a child care setting, many of whom may only
have a high school diploma and little or no additional training.
Another question that emerged from this study is, "What are
the qualitative differences among teachers who are judged to engage in
DAP practices?" In comparing notes with the second observer in this
study, she and the primary researcher began noticing more subtle
differences among the teachers whose practices scored as "high
DAP," in terms of how they engaged with children, managed their
classrooms, and facilitated literacy events. There is not, as one
teacher put it, "a cookie cutter mold" that fits all DAP
Implications for Teacher Education
Evidence in the research literature suggests that DAP beliefs can
be influenced by teacher education and professional development (Cassidy
et al., 1995; McMullen, 1997, 1998; Wood et al., 1990). The direct
relationships found in this study among DAP beliefs, DAP practices,
efficacy beliefs., locus of control, and exposure to either early
childhood education or work experiences with preschoolers is likewise
encouraging, because these are all factors that are within our ability
to influence. For example, researchers report positive results in
helping teachers raise their personal teaching efficacy and in making
their locus of control orientation more internal (Dembo & Gibson,
1985; Fritz et al., 1995; Guskey, 1984; lsenberg, 1990; Stanton, 1982).
Fritz et al developed and tested an inservice professional development
program that increases personal teaching efficacy and internal locus of
control, the results of which can be sustained over time. In the case of
self-efficacy, success seems to breed success (Ashton & Webb, 1986;
Fritz et al., 1995 Sparks, 1988). Teachers with strong personal teaching
efficacy take more risks, and try more innovative approaches, which tend
to increase student achievement; this, in turn, makes teachers feel
masterful and competent, which makes them take more risks, be more
innovative, and so on.
Weber and Omotani (1994) suggest that inservice teachers'
personal teaching efficacy can be raised by providing them with stronger
administrative support and by encouraging collaboration and shared
problem-solving experiences with successful colleagues. DiBella-McCarthy
et al (995) also argue for stronger, more supportive relationships
between administrators and teachers and they encourage the development
of a positive mindset, in terms of realistic expectations of one's
own abilities and those of one's students. Encouraging continuous
reflection of oneself in practice and ongoing assessment of one's
students is key to increasing the internality and raising efficacy among
in service and preservice professionals (Goodman, 1988; Isenberg, 1990;
Weber & Omotani, 1994). When early childhood education professionals
reflect upon their practice, they can analyze the effects of their
decisions and actions on students, and realize their impact on student
success and failure. It is also important to help professionals discover
strategies to deal constructively with student failure, something highly
efficacious teachers have less trouble doing (Dembo & Gibson, 1985;
Fritz et al., 1995; Weber & Omotani, 1994).
The findings that the higher DAP primary teachers were those who
either had early childhood education or preschool work experience have
direct implications for teacher education and professional development.
It raises the question of whether or not traditional elementary
education preparation is the best way to prepare teachers to work with
young children in the early primary (kindergarten through 3rd grade)
years. As professional standards continue to move toward thinking of
education in terms of developmental levels (i.e., early childhood,
middle childhood, early adolescence, etc.) rather than as specific grade
levels, teacher educators and administrators need to reconceptualize
personnel preparation programs to fit this new paradigm.
There is no question that teacher educators need to better prepare
preservice teachers to enter the potentially stress-filled field of
early childhood education, and to provide inservice professionals with
more appropriate ongoing professional development, support, and
resources to face those stressors. Several researchers have concluded
that preservice and inservice development, programs that only emphasize
new knowledge and/or skills, and that do not address teachers' self
perceptions of competence, are doomed to be ineffective (Fritz et al.,
1995; Greenwood et al., 1990; Ohlhausen, Meyerson, & Sexton, 1992;
Stein & Wang, 1988). This current study provides some useful
information in that regard by identifying some of teachers'
characteristics that help them feel confident enough to engage in those
DAP practices that are not always supported by parents, colleagues, and
administrators. Further understanding of the influences on the
development of appropriate beliefs held by the professionals who work
with our young children, and of the factors that determine how they will
practice, is critical for teacher educators and administrators of early
childhood education programs and schools.
I would like to acknowledge Donald F. (Rick) McMullen for his
continued support, technical assistance, and good humor throughout this
and so many other projects.
Anderson, R. N., Greene, M. L., & Loewen, P. S. (1988).
Relationships among teachers' and students' thinking skills,
sense of efficacy, and student achievement. The Alberta Journal of
Educational Research, 34, 148-165.
Armor, D., Conroy-Osequera, P., Cox, M., King, N., McDonnel, L.,
Pascal, A., Pauley, E., & Zellman, G. (1976). Analysis of the school
preferred reading programs in selected Los Angeles minority schools
(R-2007-LAUSD). Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation.
Ashton, P., & Webb, R. B. (1986). Making a difference:
Teachers' sense of efficacy and student achievement. New York:
Ashton, P., Webb, R., & Doda, C. (1983). A study of
teachers' sense of efficacy. Final Report, Executive Summary.
Gainesville, FL: University of Florida.
Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of
behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84, 191-215.
Bandura, A. (1982). Self-efficacy mechanism in human agency.
American Psychologist, 37, 122-147.
Bandura, A. (Ed.). (1995). Self-efficacy in changing societies. New
York: Cambridge University Press.
Bandura, A., & Jourden, F. (1991). Self-regulatory mechanisms
governing the impact of social comparison on complex decision making.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 941-951.
Barfield, V., & Burlingame, M. (1974). The pupil control
ideology of teachers in selected schools. The Journal of Experimental
Education, 42(4), 6-11.
Benz, C., Bradley, L., Alderman, M. K., & Flowers, M. A.
(1992). Personal teaching efficacy: Developmental relationships in
education. Journal of Educational Research, 85(5), 274-285.
Berman, P., & McLaughlin, M. (1977). Federal programs
supporting educational change: Vol. 7, Factors affecting implementation
and continuation (R-1589/7-HEW). Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation.
Brantlinger, E. (1996). Influence of preservice teachers'
beliefs about pupil achievement on attitudes toward inclusion. Teacher
Education and Special Education, 19(1), 17-33.
Bredekamp, S. (Ed.). (1987). Developmentally appropriate practice
in early childhood programs serving children from birth through age 8.
Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young
Bredekamp, S., & Copple, C. (Eds.). (1997). Developmentally
appropriate practice in early childhood. Washington, DC: National
Association for the Education of Young Children.
Bredekamp, S., & Rosegrant, T. (1992). Reaching potentials:
Appropriate curriculum and assessment for young children. Washington,
DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Bredekamp, S., & Shephard, L. (1989). How best to protect
children from inappropriate school expectations, practices and policies.
Young Children, 44(3), 14-24.
Brookhart, S. M., & Freeman, D. J. (1992). Characteristics of
entering teacher candidates. Review of Educational Research, 62(1),
Brousseau, B. A., Book, C., & Byers, J. L. (1988). Teacher
beliefs and the cultures of teaching. Journal of Teacher Education,
Bryant, D. M., Clifford, R. M., & Peisner, E. S. (1991). Best
practices for beginners: Developmental approaches in kindergarten.
American Educational Research Journal, 28(4), 783-803.
Buchanan, T. K., Burts, D. C., Bidner, J., White, V. F., &
Charlesworth, R. (1997, March). Predictors of the developmental
appropriateness of the beliefs and practices of first, second, and third
grade teachers. Paper presented at American Educational Research
Association in Chicago, IL.
Bunting, C. E. (1984). Dimensionality of teacher education beliefs:
An exploratory study. Journal of Experimental Education, 52, 195-198.
Burt, L., & Sugawara, A. (1993). A scale of primary classroom
practices. Early Child Development and Care, 84, 19-36.
Burts, D.C., Hart, C. H., Charlesworth, R., DeWolf, D., Ray, J.,
Manuel, K., & Fleege, P. O. (1993). Developmental appropriateness of
kindergarten programs and academic outcomes in first grade. Journal of
Research in Childhood Education, 8(1), 23-31.
Cassidy, D. J., Buell, M. J., Pugh-Hoese, S., & Russell, S.
(1995). The effect of education on child care teachers' beliefs and
classroom quality: Year one evaluation of the TEACH early childhood
associate degree scholarship program. Early Childhood Research
Quarterly, 10, 171-183.
Cattell, R. B. (1966). Patterns of change: Measurement in relation
to state dimension, trait change, ability, and process concepts.
Handbook of Multivariate Experimental Psychology. Chicago: Rand McNally.
Charlesworth, R., Hart, C. H., Burts, D. C., & Hernandez S.
(1991). Kindergarten teachers' beliefs and practices. Early Child
Development and Care, 70, 17-35.
Charlesworth, R., Hart, C. H., Burts, D.C., Thomasson, R. H.,
Mosley, J., & Fleege, P.O. (1993). Measuring the developmental
appropriateness of kindergarten teachers' beliefs and practices.
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 8, 255-276.
Combs, A. (1979). Myths in education. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Dembo, M. H., & Gibson, S. (1985). Teachers' sense of
efficacy: An important factor in school improvement. The Elementary
School Journal, 86(2), 173-184.
DiBella-McCarthy, H., McDaniel, E. A., & Miller, R. (1995). How
efficacious are you? Teaching Exceptional Children, 27(3), 68-72.
Elkind, D. (1986). Formal education and early childhood education:
An essential difference. Phi Delta Kappan, 67, 631-636.
Fletcher, B. C. (1991). Work, stress, disease and life expectancy.
New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Fritz, J. J., Miler-Heyl, J., Kreutzer, J. C., & MacPhee, D.
(1995). Fostering personal teaching efficacy through staff development
and classroom activities. The Journal of Educational Research, 88(4),
Gibson, S., & Dembo, M. H. (1984). Teacher efficacy: A
construct validation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 76, 569-582.
Ginns, I. S., Tulip, D. F., Watters, J. J., & Lucas, K. B.
(1995). Changes in preservice elementary teachers' sense of
efficacy in teaching science. School Science and Mathematics, 95(8),
Goodman, J. (1988). Constructing a practical philosophy of
teaching: A study of preservice teachers' professional
perspectives. Teaching and Teacher Education, 4(2), 121-137.
Greenwood, G. E., Olejnik, S. F., & Parkay, F. W. (1990).
Relationships between four teacher efficacy belief patterns and selected
teacher characteristics. Journal of Research and Development in
Education, 23(2), 102-106.
Guskey, T. R. (1984). The influence of change of instructional
effectiveness upon the effective characteristics of teachers. American
Educational Research Journal, 21, 245-259.
Halpin, G., Halpin, G., & Harris, K. (1982). Personality
characteristics and self-concept of preservice teachers related to their
pupil control orientation. Journal of Experimental Education, 50(4),
Halpin, G., Harris, K., & Halpin, G. (1985). Teacher stress as
related to locus of control, sex, and age. Journal of Experimental
Education, 53(3), 136-140.
Hatch, J. A., & Freeman, E. B. (1988). Kindergarten
philosophies and practices: Perspectives of teachers, principals, and
supervisors. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 3(2), 151-166.
Hill, L. T. (1995). Helping teachers love their work. Child Care
Information Exchange, 104(30), 32-34.
Hirsh-Pasek, K. (1991). Pressure or challenge in preschool? How
academic environments affect children. In L. Rescorla, M. C. Hyson,
& K. Hirsh-Pasek (Eds.), New directions in child development.
Academic instruction in early childhood: Challenge or pressure? (No. 53,
pp. 39-45). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Hyson, M. C. (1991). The characteristics and origins of the
academic preschool. In L. Rescorla, M. C. Hyson, & K. Hirsh-Pasek
(Eds.), New directions in child development. Academic instruction in
early childhood: Challenge or pressure? (No. 53, pp. 2129). San
Hyson, M. C., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Rescorla, L. (1990). The
classroom practices inventory: An observation instrument based on
NAEYC's guidelines for developmentally appropriate practices for 4-
and 5-year-old children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 5, 475-494.
Isenberg, J. P. (1990). Teachers' thinking and beliefs and
classroom practice. Childhood Education, 66, 322-327.
Kagan, D. M. (1992). Implications of research on teacher beliefs.
Educational Psychologist, 27(1), 65-90.
Kagan, D., & Smith, K. E. (1988). Beliefs and behaviors in
kindergarten teachers. Educational Research, 30(1), 26-35.
Kelly, A. L., & Berthelsen, D. C. (1995). Preschool
teachers' experiences of stress. Teaching and Teacher Education,
Kemple, K. M. (1996). Teachers' beliefs and reported practices
concerning sociodramatic play. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher
Education, 17(2), 19-31.
Kyriacou, C. (1987). Teacher stress and burnout: An international
review. Educational Research, 29, 146-152.
Lefcourt, H. (1981). Research with the locus of control construct:
Vol. 1. New York: Academic Press.
Litt, M.D., & Turk, D.C. (1985). Sources of stress and
dissatisfaction in experienced high school teachers. Journal of
Educational Research, 78(3), 178-185.
Marcon, R. A. (1992). Differential effects of three preschool
models on inner-city 4-year-olds. Early Childhood Research Quarterly,
McGrath, M. Z. (1995). Teachers today: A guide to surviving
creatively. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
McIntyre, T. C. (1984). The relationship between locus of control
and teacher burnout. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 54,
McMullen, M. B. (1997). The effects of early childhood teacher
education on self perceptions and beliefs about developmentally
appropriate practices. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education,
McMullen, M. B. (1998). The beliefs and practices of early
childhood educators: Does specialized preparation make a difference in
adoption of best practices? International Journal of Early Childhood
Education, 3, 5-29.
McMullen, M. B., & Krantz, M. (1988). Burnout in day care
workers: The effects of learned helplessness and self-esteem. Child and
Youth Care Quarterly, 17(4), 275-280.
Oakes, P. B., & Caruso, D. A. (1990). Kindergarten
teachers' use of developmentally appropriate practices and
attitudes about authority. Early Education and Development, 1, 445-457.
Ohlhausen, M., Meyerson, M., & Sexton, T. (1992). Viewing
innovations through the efficacy-based change model: A whole language
application. Journal of Reading, 35, 536-541.
Pajares, M. F. (1992). Teachers' beliefs and educational
research: Cleaning up a messy construct.
Review of Educational Research, 62(3), 307-332.
Rose, A (1994). The relationship between efficacy and the
instructional practices of special education teachers and consultants.
Teacher Education and Special Education, 17(2), 6-95.
Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus
external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80 (1,
Whole No. 609).
Sadowski, C.J. (1987). Update on the reliability of the locus of
control scale for teachers. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 65(3), 974.
Sadowski, C. J., Taylor, R. C., Woodward, H. R., Peacher, R. K.,
& Martin, B. J. (1982). Reliability and validity of a Likert-type
locus of control scale for teachers. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents
in Psychology, 12, 32 (MS. No. 2475).
Sadowski, C. J., & Woodward, H. R. (1983). Teacher locus of
control and classroom climate: A cross-lagged correlational study.
Psychology in the Schools, 20(4), 506-509.
Schweinhart, L. J., Weikart, D. P., & Lamer, M. B. (1986).
Consequences of three preschool curriculum models through age 15. Early
Childhood Research Quarterly, 1, 15-45.
Smith, K. B. (1993). Development of the primary teacher
questionnaire. Journal of Educational Re. search, 87(1), 23-29.
Smith, M., & Shepard, L. (1988). Kindergarten readiness and
retention: A qualitative study of teachers' beliefs and practices.
American Educational Research Journal, 25(3), 307-333.
Sparks, G. M. (1988). Teachers' attitudes toward change and
subsequent improvements in classroom teaching. Journal of Educational
Psychology, 80, 111-117.
Spidell, R. A. (1988). Play in the classroom: A descriptive study
of preschool teachers beliefs. Early Child Development and Care, 41(1),
Spidell-Rusher, A., McGrevin, C. Z., & Lambiotte, J. G. (1992).
Belief systems of early childhood teachers and their principals
regarding early childhood education. Early Childhood Research Quarterly,
Spielberger, C. D. (1983). State-trait anxiety inventory. Palo
Alto, CA: Mind Garden.
Spodek, B. (1988). The implicit theories of early childhood
teachers. Early Child Development and Care, 38, 12-32.
Stanton, H. W. (1982). Increasing teachers' internality
through the RSI technique. Australian Psychologist, 17, 27-284.
Stein, M. K., & Wang, M. C. (1988). Teacher development and
school improvement: The process of teacher change. Teaching and Teacher
Education, 4, 171-187.
Trendall, C. (1989). Stress in teaching and teacher effectiveness:
A study of teachers across mainstream and special education. Educational
Research, 31, 52-58.
Veenman, S. (1984). Perceived problems of beginning teachers.
Review of Educational Research, 54, 143-178.
Verma, S., & Peters, D. (1975). Day care teachers'
practices and beliefs. The Alberta Journal of Educational Research,
Weber, B. J., & Omotani, L. M. (1994). The power of believing.
The Executive Educator, 16(9), 35-38.
Whitebook, M., Howes, C., & Phillips, D. (1989). Who cares?
Child care teachers and the quality of care in America. Final Report of
the National Child Day Care Staffing Study. Oakland, CA: Child Care
Willower, D. J., Eidell, T. L., & Boy, W. K. (1967). The school
pupil control ideology. Penn State Studies Monographs. University Park,
PA. Pennsylvania State University.
Wing, L. (1989). The influence of preschool teachers' beliefs
on young children's conceptions of reading and writing. Early
Childhood Research Quarterly, 4(1), 61-74.
Woolfolk, A. E., & Hoy, W. K (1990). Prospective teachers'
sense of efficacy and beliefs about control. Journal of Educational
Psychology, 82(1), 81-91.
Wood, T., Cobb, P., & Yackel, E. (1990). The contextual nature
of teaching: Mathematics and reading instruction in one second-grade
classroom. Elementary School Journal, 90, 497-513.
by Instrument and
Variable Measured Instrument Author
DAP Beliefs Teachers' Beliefs Charlesworth
(self report--preschool) & Practices et al. (1991)
DAP Beliefs Primary Teachers' Smith (1993)
(self report--primary) Questionnaire
DAP Practices Classroom Practices Hyson
(observed--preschool) Inventory et al. (1990)
DAP Practices Scale of Primary Burt & Sugawara
(observed--primary) Classroom Practices (1993)
Efficacy Self-Efficacy Quiz DiBella-McCarthy
et al. (1995)
1. high educational
2. low personal teaching
3. low educational
4. high personal teachin
Locus of Control Locus of Control Scale Sadowski
for Teachers et al. (1982)
Trait Anxiety Trait Scale of State- Spielberger
Trait Anxiety Inventory (1983)
Variable Measured M SD Range N or n
DAP Beliefs 84.67 7.02 72.9-93.6 9
DAP Beliefs 71.67 12.45 55.6-89.7 11
Combined Beliefs 79.9 12.18 55.56-9.6 20
DAP Practices 85.23 9.06 63.5-98.9 9
DAP Practices 65.74 15.45 39.81-83.33 11
Combined Practices 76.25 18.95 35.2-98.9 20
1. high educational 32.17 3.24 25-38 20
2. low personal teaching 16.87 4.85 8-26
3. low educational 18.13 4.40 8-27
4. high personal teachin 33.00 3.21 26-39
Locus of Control 84.09 5.89 71-93 20
Trait Anxiety 66.82 10.16 42.79 20
Pearson Correlation Results for
Variables Measured 2 3
1. High Educational Efficacy 0.47 a -.63
2. Low Educational Efficacy -- -.35
3. High Personal Teaching Efficacy --
4. Low Personal Teaching Efficacy
5. Locus of Control
6. Trait Anxiety
7. Primary Teachers Questionnaire
8. Teachers' Beliefs & Practices
9. Scale of Primary Classroom
Practices (primary beliefs)
10. Classroom Practices Inventory
Variables Measured 4 5 6 7
1. High Educational Efficacy b -.50 .52 .26 a .44
2. Low Educational Efficacy b .53 -.44 -.07 -.36
3. High Personal Teaching Efficacy a .80 .40 a -.80 .05
4. Low Personal Teaching Efficacy -- a -.59 a -.70 -.19
5. Locus of Control -- .31 -.20
6. Trait Anxiety -- -.22
7. Primary Teachers Questionnaire --
8. Teachers' Beliefs & Practices
9. Scale of Primary Classroom
Practices (primary beliefs)
10. Classroom Practices Inventory
Variables Measured 8 9 10
1. High Educational Efficacy a .59 b .48 b .49
2. Low Educational Efficacy b -.53 -.34 -.38
3. High Personal Teaching Efficacy .38 .13 .08
4. Low Personal Teaching Efficacy b -.58 .26 -.30
5. Locus of Control a .70 a .6 b .55
6. Trait Anxiety .32 -.07 .09
7. Primary Teachers Questionnaire a .57 a .69 a .69
8. Teachers' Beliefs & Practices -- a .73 a .76
9. Scale of Primary Classroom -- a -.85
Practices (primary beliefs)
10. Classroom Practices Inventory --
Note. (a)Significant at p [less
(b)Significant at p [less than].05.
Average Scores for Beliefs and Practices With Educational and
Subject Current Teaching a Total Years
Experience & in field
002 Primary--Always 23
003 Primary--Always 6
004 Primary--Formerly Preschool 16
007 Primary--Formerly Preschool 9
008 Primary--Always 5
025 Primary--Always 10
035 Preschool--Always 4
036 Preschool--Always 16
038 Preschool--Always 15
039 Preschool--Always 4
040 Preschool--Always 10
043 Preschool--Always 13
049 Preschool--Always 4
051 Primary--Always 4
053 Primary--Always 12
060 Preschool--Always 14
062 Preschool--Formerly Primary 6
063 Primary--Always 6
065 Primary--Always 30
067 Primary--Always 25
Subject b Early Childhood or DAP DAP
Child Development Beliefs Practices
002 None 55.6 39.8
003 None 82.5 63.9
004 Yes c (grad credits) 89.7 94.4
007 None 82.5 83.3
008 None 56.4 35.2
025 Yes (B.A. + M.S.) 88.9 59.3
035 Yes d (B.A. +) 92.9 98.9
036 Yes c (grad credits) 93.6 98.7
038 Yes c (grad credits) 83.9 95.2
039 Yes (M.A.) 72.9 83.7
040 Yes (B.S.) 81.4 94.2
043 Yes e (CDA) 88.2 90.4
049 Yes d (B.S. +) 92.1 87.5
051 Yes (B.S. + M.S.) 82.5 75.0
053 None 76.2 68.5
060 Yes e (CDA) 92.1 87.9
062 Yes (M.S.) 78.5 63.6
063 None 59.5 65.7
065 None 61.6 58.3
067 Yes (M.S.) 82.5 79.6
Note. All scores reported above are out of 100 total points,
(a)Total years in career,
(b)Bachelor's degree in early childhood education or child
(c)Indicates [greater than] 12 graduate credits in early childhood
education or child development,
(d)Bachelor's degree in early childhood education or child
development, plus some additional related college level work,
(e)Bachelor's degree outside of education, plus a child
development associates credential (CDA)
Results of Chi-Square Comparison of Overall DAP Practices
and Educational/Employment Background
DAP Practices Scores
a Low b High
Early Childhood/Child Development n = 3 n = 11
Education and/or Preschool Teaching
No Early Childwood/Child Development n = 6 n = 0
Education and No Preschool Teaching
Note. [[chi].sup.2] (1, N = 20) = 7.74, p = .005, (a) "Low" DAP
practices is defined as [less than or equal to] 76.25 (the average DAP
practices score), (b)"High" DAP practices were those scores
[greater than] 76.25