About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2790-2797
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain

REVEALING CONNECTIONS THROUGH REFLECTIVE RESEARCH: ANALYZING PARTICIPANTS’ EMOTIONAL GROWTH AND APPLYING THEIR KNOWLEDGE THROUGH TEACHING

A. Hewitt, K. Jenkins

University of Houston - Downtown (UNITED STATES)
Service learning provides authentic settings for assessing the effectiveness of early childhood courses on a collegiate level. Service learning connects pre-service teachers to settings and populations with whom they will work in the future. Most importantly, service learning links philosophy to real experiences. Authentic service learning settings provide a model of varied teaching strategies and a blueprint of the physical organization of the classroom while encouraging pre-service teachers to become familiar with how developmentally appropriate settings look and how they are implemented.
Over three years, a grant funded research project revealed connections based on reflective teaching and learning experiences of pre-service early childhood teachers at a major metropolitan university. The young student population at the NAEYC accredited center at which the service and research took place included toddlers and preschoolers who were homeless. This location was ideal to provide authentic experiences for pre-service teachers to apply theory into practice specific to urban settings and at-risk children.
Lesson plans designed to enhance the developing toddler and preschooler were created by two Early Childhood professors who supervised the field service experiences, as well as taught the courses in which these same participants were enrolled in at the university. The lessons were posted on the course specific websites so that students had access to collect all of the lessons provided. Each lesson allowed for developmentally appropriate additions of instructional technology as supportive materials or equipment. Activities required both children and pre-service teachers to explore, discover, and understand by incorporating multi-sensory experiences into small group settings. Professors modeled the use of digital photography and flip video as a means of collecting evidence for assessment purposes and data analysis. During the semester pre-service teachers utilized appropriate methods and strategies that expanded on the reflections made during service experiences and included the use of technological support that was developmentally appropriate and naturally connected.
Data was collected from pre-service teachers using a questionnaires and a checklist. The questionnaire covered beliefs about field service, as well as, connections to university coursework, specific to developmentally appropriate practices. The checklist was divided into four developmental areas. Information and data collected from the pre-service teachers was analyzed for recurring themes. Results were organized into categories and analyzed for similarities and differences. The model designed focused on and served to analyze/assess the constructivist philosophy and its effectiveness through observation and documentation, story sharing by pre-service teachers.
This study revealed that service learning completed by pre-service teachers taking place in a natural learning environment with strong professor support improved physical, psychosocial and cognitive developmental knowledge, supported confidence in instructional choices, helped participants make emotional connections to the profession and reinforced the development of effective strategies. This model encouraged the collaboration, observation of problem-solving and creative thinking and the use of technology to model the collection of data and need for teachers to take on the role of researchers/data collectors.
@InProceedings{HEWITT2012REV,
author = {Hewitt, A. and Jenkins, K.},
title = {REVEALING CONNECTIONS THROUGH REFLECTIVE RESEARCH: ANALYZING PARTICIPANTS’ EMOTIONAL GROWTH AND APPLYING THEIR KNOWLEDGE THROUGH TEACHING},
series = {6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-5563-5},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {2790-2797}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Hewitt AU - K. Jenkins
TI - REVEALING CONNECTIONS THROUGH REFLECTIVE RESEARCH: ANALYZING PARTICIPANTS’ EMOTIONAL GROWTH AND APPLYING THEIR KNOWLEDGE THROUGH TEACHING
SN - 978-84-615-5563-5/2340-1079
PY - 2012
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2012
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2012 Proceedings
SP - 2790
EP - 2797
ER -
A. Hewitt, K. Jenkins (2012) REVEALING CONNECTIONS THROUGH REFLECTIVE RESEARCH: ANALYZING PARTICIPANTS’ EMOTIONAL GROWTH AND APPLYING THEIR KNOWLEDGE THROUGH TEACHING, INTED2012 Proceedings, pp. 2790-2797.
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