The influence of kindergarten teachers' and principals' supervisory association on curriculum and teaching

Open Access
Ivrendi, Asiye
Graduate Program:
Curriculum and Instruction
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
April 28, 2004
Committee Members:
  • James Ewald Johnson, Committee Chair
  • John Daniel Marshall, Committee Member
  • James F Nolan Jr., Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
  • kindergarten teacher-principal supervisory associa
  • early childhood curriculum
  • supervision of kindergarten teachers
  • Developmentally appropriate practices
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of different supervisory associations on curriculum and teaching in four public school kindergartens with a multiple case study method. Three types of sampling procedures used to identify and study elementary school principals and kindergarten teachers were stratified, purposeful, and a subdivision of the purposefully chosen sample. The stratified random sample based on type of region (East, West, North, or South PA); the purposefully chosen sample was chosen from the schools located near State College, PA. The subdivision selected included four principals and four teachers for the multiple case studies, which comprised this dissertation’s main focus. Data generation sources for the multiple case studies encompassed interview transcripts, classroom observations with field notes, and observational checklists. Results were organized in terms of four cases, and comparisons across the cases were made. The primary themes that emerged from the study and that were used to characterize the dyads were: (1) active and inactive-collegial supervisory associations, teachers of collegial supervisory associations with consistent curriculum beliefs and actual classroom practices: (2) inactive-hierarchical supervisory associations: and (3) teachers of inactive-hierarchical supervisory associations with inconsistent curriculum beliefs and actual classroom practices. The collegial supervisory associations were primarily influenced by professional and moral authorities and supported by personal authority that established a circle of trust, respect, and shared understandings. They nurtured the teachers‚ and fostered commitment to their beliefs rather than oppressing them. This seemed linked to developmentally appropriate practices. Conversely, superior-subordinate supervisory associations were governed by bureaucratic and technical-rational authorities. Such associations’ dependence on external control of teachers explained the inactive nature of their associations that became evident through several interrelated indicators: ignorance of communication about teaching and learning; inability to share control; existence of hierarchical control; and silencing teachers. An outcome of this type of supervisory association was to foster inconsistencies between the teachers’ own thoughts and actions. It marginalized the teachers’ impeded professionalism, and failed to recognize the complexity of their role responsibilities with respect to children. The resulting learning experiences for children were uni-dimensional, primarily revolving around formal instruction of academic skills.