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Tzuo, P. W., Tan, L. S., Yong, F. L., and Liang, J. C. (2015). Teachers’ versus parents’ perceptions of professionalism of early childhood teachers: A mixed-methods study. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 40(2), 117-126.
It is of concern that the professionalism of early childhood teachers (PECT) is nebulous
in the eyes of the public, and parents’ perceptions of PECT may become an obstacle to the
school–home partnership. This study explores teachers’ versus parents’ perceptions of the
various characteristics of PECT to identify gaps among them and suggest ways to close
these gaps. A mixed-methods research methodology was employed with 219 teacher and
parent participants in Singapore. The quantitative findings indicate first that the teachers
perceived PECT to be composed of two dimensions as two levels of capacity: fundamental
pedagogical capacity and accumulated classroom studies of children. In contrast, the
parents perceived PECT as a single dimension. Second, the gaps between teachers’ and
parents’ perceptions were identified as four factor items of PECT, including characteristics
of understanding a child’s needs, being able to create good relations with children,
professional development and valuing of ethics. We discuss these findings and suggest
how to reach coherent views on PECT and create better dynamics between the two parties.
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