Georgia-Vasiliki Serifi, Teachersʼ practices and beliefs regarding the promotion of literacy in multilingual educational environments: the example of a Kindergarten, Προσχολική & Σχολική Εκπαίδευση, 4|2016, 149-164

The purpose of the current study is to investigate and highlight teachers’ beliefs and practices regarding the promotion of children’s literacy in a multicultural and multilingual environment. The research focuses on two kindergarten classrooms at a school located in the center of Athens. More specifically, the goals of this study were a) to compare the stated practices of the participating kindergarten teachers with their observed practices in the classroom context b) to establish whether the teachers’ theoretical orientation is consistent in practice with their adopted methods and c) to determine the extent to which those methods are adapted to the respective educational setting. The theoretical framework of the current survey follows the contemporary pedagogical approach to literacy. The following research materials are used: a) the observation and recording of teachers’ instructional practices, b) observation checklists pertaining to the students’ oral and written communication skills, completed directly by the teachers and analyzed in this research to examine the extent to which the teachers are aware of the particularities of their classes and c) semi-structured interviews that enable sound comparisons between the teachers’ convictions and instruction methods. The findings of this study show that both kindergarten teachers employ traditional methods of literacy in most of their instructional practices, even though they espouse -at least partially- modern pedagogical approaches, as revealed by the interviews. In addition, the checklists demonstrate that the teachers do not have a clear understanding of their classes’ unique characteristics, which could be one of the reasons for the observed inconsistency between teachers’ beliefs and practices.

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