Two approaches for fostering self-regulatory competencies in home-based early childhood education and care: exploring benefits for children’s developing self-regulatory and socio-emotional competencies through the transition to school
Home-based early childhood education and care (ECEC) is a unique early childhood environment in which learning can take place to foster skills important for early school adjustment. The present studies examined the impact of the implementation of professional learning modules within a home-based ECEC setting that were developed to help educators promote the scaffolding of self-regulatory, socio-emotional and cognitive-linguistic competencies predicted to help early school adjustment. This thesis is a part of a larger project that aimed to look at the impact over time of providing participating home-based educators with professional development modules designed to foster the development of a range of key competencies in children aged 3 ½ to 4 ½. Each module was originally designed and found to show promise with parents of pre-school children but adapted for use in home-based ECEC. In the present project, these learning modules were developed to support teaching and learning in home-based ECEC. The impact of these modules was measured over time, both post-implementation of the module (post-test) and one year after school entry. It was hypothesised that participation in a play/activity-based module, Enhancing Neurobehavioral Gains with the Aid of Games and Exercise (ENGAGE) and a shared reading/oral language-based module, Rich Reading and Reminiscing (RRR) would be associated with benefits to children’s developing competencies from pre-test to post-test. Specifically, it was expected that children who participated in ENGAGE would display improved scores in self-regulatory measures relative to those who participated in RRR. However, children who participated in RRR were expected to display improved scores in the socio-emotional measures relative to those who participated in ENGAGE. In addition, this thesis followed a subset of children to explore benefits for children’s related school-adjustment one year after school entry. It was hypothesised that participation in both areas of professional learning would be associated with children's developing competencies in their first year of school. At post-test, results of mixed between-within subjects’ analyses of variance (ANOVA's) and nonparametric Wilcoxon signed ranks test suggested growth on measures of developing self-regulatory competencies over time. Although groups did not differ on measures of self-regulation at post-test, educators rated perceived benefits for self-regulation learning to be higher for ENGAGE relative to RRR. In contrast, there were two group X time interactions suggesting specific benefits of participation for children in RRR. Educators rated children in RRR to show higher levels of oral language competencies at post-test. Moreover, children in RRR also received higher composite scores for their responses to the Challenging Situations task, involving responses to responses to hypothetical scenarios involving peer provocation. At follow-up, repeated measures ANCOVAs and non-parametric Friedman-tests results demonstrated continued growth over time; however, there were limited differences between ENGAGE and RRR after school entry. Overall, even though the hypotheses were only partially supported, it did appear that there was a benefit in providing resources to home-based early childhood educators to promote the development of competencies for preschool children in their education and care settings and children’s early school adjustment.
Advisor: Schaughency, Elizabeth
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Department of Psychology
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: New Zealand
Research Type: Thesis