Early childhood educator training: An implementation evaluation of a practicum model using reflexive practice

Article de colloque


État de publication: Publiée (2016 )

Titre des actes: International conference on education and new development

Lieu: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Intervalle de pages: 28-32

ISBN: 978-989-99389-8-4

Résumé: Research in early childhood education (ECE) highlights initial training as a key predictor of quality (Mashburn & Pianta, 2010). This training is more effective in active learning contexts that integrate collaboration in a real world setting and reflexive practice as this type of training seems to enhance transfer of learning, as well as educational quality (Birman, Desimone, Porter, & Garet, 2000; Pianta & Hamre, 2009). Nevertheless, little is known about how to implement a reflexive model in ECE. In order to address this gap, an implementation evaluation single case study was conducted. According to program evaluation theory, implementation evaluation aims to describe what is really happening on the ground and to compare it to a logic model (Chen, 2005) in order to support the interpretation of the outcome evaluation (Tourigny & Dagenais, 2005). More specifically, implementation evaluation is interested in the relations between the program, its components, and the context with regard to the production of the effects (Contandriopoulos, Champagne, Denis, & Avargues, 2000). Since 2005, the Department of ECE at Saint-Hyacinthe College (Quebec, Canada) has implemented an innovative practicum model. This model is unique in Quebec, as it was developed to address knowledge transfer difficulties by mobilizing teacher guidance and reflexive practice. This In Situ practicum takes place in a drop-in daycare centre on the college campus that is completely dedicated to the program. The centre serves children and families from at-risk backgrounds who were signalled to the Director of Youth Protection for neglect, as well as refugee families who attend a community integration program. This communication will present preliminary results of the implementation evaluation process that aimed to verify if the college instructors effectively and uniformly employ the activities and learning strategies that they developed. Data include observations of six instructors in the program and questionnaires about cohesion and engagement to their work completed by the same instructors. Eleven students completed the same questionnaires and also evaluated the quality of their instructors’ teaching strategies. Results indicate that instructors used learning strategies uniformly and in conformity with the logic model theory, and that the quality levels of those strategies were excellent. We also found superior levels of cohesion and engagement in the instructor and student groups. Moreover, the student’s evaluations of the quality of their instructors’ strategies also revealed high scores. This paper discusses the detailed outcomes of this program implementation evaluation.