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ARE WE LOOKING THROUGH THE SAME GLASSES? - THE ANALYSES OF CHILDREN'S TEMPERAMENT ASSESSMENT BY VARIOUS RATERS

S. Tatalović Vorkapić 1, E. Skopljak2, I. Lučev3

1University of Rijeka, Faculty of Teacher Education (CROATIA)
2Kindergarten Matulji (CROATIA)
3The Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (CROATIA)
Having in mind holistic approach in understanding child development, assessment in educational context covers the complete development of children starting from what the child knows. So, it is of utmost importance that preschool teachers are competent and objective assessors. Nevertheless, evaluations of children’s behaviour could be rather different depending on various raters.
Objective: Therefore, the main objective of this research was to explore if there are any differences in children’s temperament ratings among ten pairs of early childhood educators who worked with the same preschool children.
Methodology: The research was conducted in six kindergartens from four different counties and the city of Zagreb, in Croatia. Pavlov’s temperament survey for children was applied on a sample of 194 preschool children (97 girls) between the ages of three and seven years. This scale is aimed to measure three temperament dimensions in children: strength of excitation, strength of inhibition and mobility. Ten pairs of early childhood educators assessed children’s temperament, out of which five of them were homogeneous and five of them were heterogeneous by gender. The early childhood educators are aged from 29 to 61 having between 4 and 35 years of working experience. Collected data were statistically analysed within descriptive, correlation and reliability analyses with testing the significance of possible differences in early childhood educators’ ratings and inter-rater reliability.
Results: In comparison to prior studies, descriptive analysis revealed similar levels of all three temperament dimensions. Also, the expected positive correlation between all temperament dimensions and children’s age was found. Regarding children’s gender, girls were rated as having higher strength of inhibition and mobility than boys. Furthermore, significant differences were determined in SE-ratings among six early childhood educators’ pairs; in SI-ratings among four pairs; and in MO-ratings among four pairs. Nevertheless, comparison of inter-rater reliability revealed high inter-class correlation coefficients in six pairs regarding all temperament dimensions. In addition, correlational analysis revealed that temperament assessments are partially correlated with early childhood educators' age and their training in professional observation and assessment.
To conclude, even though high level of inter-rater reliability was determined in this study overall, this study opens many question regarding the way of collecting data about children and education of early childhood educators in the field of objective assessment. In addition, this rare research provides clear implications for the need of systematic research analyses of early childhood educators’ assessments of children’s behaviour.