Romanian Preschool Teachers’ Professional Beliefs about Diversity
AbstractContemporary educational systems become more and more pluralistic in terms of ethnicity, social classes or learning abilities of the students. In this context, teachers‟ attitudes, beliefs and expectancies could influence their professional behaviors. Preschool educators are the first which are confronted with the issue of diversity. Despite this fact, the kindergarten teachers‟ beliefs toward diversity are not often investigated. In this context, the purpose of this study is to cover this gap, investigating Romanian preschool professional beliefs about diversity. We used the Professional Beliefs about Diversity Scale (Pohan & Aguilar, 2001), translated and slightly adapted on Romanian culture. 107 Romanian kindergarten teachers‟ responses on their professional beliefs about diversity was associated with age and previous experience with culturally different children. The results show a general slight positive orientation of beliefs about diversity of the subjects. The particular dimensions of beliefs about diversity, reflected in educational approaches of race, social class and disabilities are more nuanced, varying depending on age and cultural experience with different ethnically children. The results show that the youngest preschool teachers (under 22 years old and between 23 and 35 years old) are, the more reluctant toward different ethnic/cultural children than the older teachers (49-61 years old). The implication of the results in educational and formative contexts are discussed.
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