Comparing values and purposes of curricula for early childhood education in Finland and the U.S.
Chajed, Avanti (2018-09-24)
Aineistoon ei liity tiedostoja.
National values create the ideology of the nation and are most apparent in early childhood education, which past research has also shown to be formative in children’s educational achievement later in life. This research seeks to use quantitative and qualitative methods to compare the purposes and values of early childhood education in the U.S. and Finland and create a cohesive understanding of how each has sought to achieve an environment centered on the learner. In the absence of a unified national curriculum in the U.S., a preschool curriculum commonly used throughout the country was chosen to represent the American system while the Finnish national curriculum for early childhood education was used. Deductive and inductive content analysis were used to analyze the curricula. A comprehensive picture of preschool education was obtained by interviewing teachers from the U.S. and Finland to find their perceptions on the purpose of and practices that were best for young children. The results of these analyses were compared to each other to consider what values each curriculum represented, what goals each curriculum had for its students in its respective country, what teachers perceived as being their purpose in the child’s education and comparing whether teacher’s perceptions aligned with the goals outlined in the curricula. Results from the study showed the U.S. to have a focus on developing children’s skills for their future academic and career pursuits, with a narrower range of topics being covered than those covered by the Finnish curriculum. The Finnish curriculum had an equal focus on preparing students for the future and developing them as individuals. Tensions were found between U.S. teacher’s goals and the goals in the curriculum.