ONE TEACHER’S JOURNEY IN IMPLEMENTING AND LEARNING THROUGH SYMBOLIC LANGUAGES IN A PUBLIC KINDERGARTEN- A CASE STUDY Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 20, 2019
Creator
  • Tzeng, Shinyu
    • Affiliation: School of Education
Abstract
  • In early childhood education, symbolic languages such as art, drama and music are still considered an essential element in the curriculum, although current policy places greater emphasis on reading, writing and mathematics. The aim of this study was to explore how one teacher integrated symbolic languages into a public kindergarten curriculum, including her methods, motivations, and obstacles. This research was conducted using qualitative methods including Participant Observation in the classroom and semi-structured interviews with the teacher, whose approach was heavily influenced by ideas from Reggio Emilia, Italy. Data analysis highlighted the teacher’s decision-making process and her reflections on teaching through symbolic languages, including the challenges that she faced given district mandates and her students’ different learning needs. Findings of the study include how the teacher interpreted art as being significant in early childhood education, even though she rarely used the term “symbolic languages,” as discussed by Reggio Emilia educators. The teacher described her motives in the implementation of Reggio Emilia ideas, particularly the use of projects to achieve mandated curriculum goals. The study highlights challenges the teacher has faced, and then overcome, as reasons for persisting in her belief of using art in children’s learning. Further research is suggested to see how other teachers attempt to employ Reggio Emilia ideas about symbolic languages in a different context.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • New, Rebecca
  • Grumet, Madeleine
  • Palsha, Sharon
Degree
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017
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