Developmentally Appropriate Practices in the Primary Program: A Survey of Primary School Teachers.Report as inadecuate

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Under the Kentucky Education Reform Act, public schools in Kentucky were required to restructure the traditional kindergarten through third-grade classes into a multi-age and multi-ability level, ungraded primary program during the 1993-1994 school year. Classrooms that once contained children at relatively the same age have been replaced with groups of children of varied ages and abilities; sedentary seat work has been replaced by concrete learning activities and cooperative learning opportunities; report cards have been replaced by narrative progress reports, portfolios, and more frequent teacher conferences with students and parents. A study assessed teacher perceptions about the effectiveness of the ungraded primary program as a strategy for educating young children. It was hypothesized that the program would be perceived positively by a majority of the primary teachers in one county-wide district. A total of 37 teachers from 27 schools were surveyed using likert-scale questions about implementing developmentally appropriate practices with multi-age and multi-ability groups. Results showed that the majority of teachers did not appear to have difficulty allowing their students to learn in a developmentally appropriate manner, and that they thought the program provided an enjoyable atmosphere for teachers and students, where both were excited about learning. Some commented that teaching split grades was more difficult than teaching in a traditional classroom. Most indicated that the number of students was too high to successfully implement working with the students in small groups and in teaching to the whole group. Subjects were also divided on the use of computers and other technologies in their classrooms. (HTH)

Descriptors: Developmentally Appropriate Practices, Educational Change, Educational Innovation, Elementary School Teachers, Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Instructional Effectiveness, Mixed Age Grouping, Nongraded Instructional Grouping, Primary Education, Program Effectiveness, Student Evaluation, Teacher Attitudes, Teaching Methods

Author: Addington, Brenda Burton; Hinton, Samuel


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