An analysis of Irish pre-school practice and pedagogy using the early childhood environmental four curricular subscales

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Abstract

This paper presents the findings of original research which applied the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale Extension (ECERS/E) four Curricular Subscales in 26 pre-schools throughout Ireland to measure and assess the provision of literacy, maths, science and environment, and diversity as follows: inadequate, minimal, good or excellent. The rating instrument was chosen as it relates closely to the Relational Pedagogical (RP) approach in the Irish curriculum Aistear; the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework. The approach uses four interconnected themes well-being, identity and belonging, communicating and exploring and thinking. The results are analysed using quantitative ECERS/E findings and offer evidence-based empirical results on pre-school quality using international standards of best practice. The study reveals a minimal standard in the provision of literacy and maths. Provision in science and environment and diversity are inadequate. The findings have implications concerning the capacity of pre-school services to implement quality and curriculum frameworks Síolta and Aistear and question the appropriateness of the current pre-school inspection systems in improving standards. © 2014 Educational Studies Association of Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-116
JournalIrish Educational Studies
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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childhood
rating scale
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science
best practice
well-being
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evidence

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title = "An analysis of Irish pre-school practice and pedagogy using the early childhood environmental four curricular subscales",
abstract = "This paper presents the findings of original research which applied the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale Extension (ECERS/E) four Curricular Subscales in 26 pre-schools throughout Ireland to measure and assess the provision of literacy, maths, science and environment, and diversity as follows: inadequate, minimal, good or excellent. The rating instrument was chosen as it relates closely to the Relational Pedagogical (RP) approach in the Irish curriculum Aistear; the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework. The approach uses four interconnected themes well-being, identity and belonging, communicating and exploring and thinking. The results are analysed using quantitative ECERS/E findings and offer evidence-based empirical results on pre-school quality using international standards of best practice. The study reveals a minimal standard in the provision of literacy and maths. Provision in science and environment and diversity are inadequate. The findings have implications concerning the capacity of pre-school services to implement quality and curriculum frameworks S{\'i}olta and Aistear and question the appropriateness of the current pre-school inspection systems in improving standards. {\circledC} 2014 Educational Studies Association of Ireland.",
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