The relationship between income level and educational background and parent perceptions of a developmentally appropriate curriculum in an early childhood center

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Authors
Heaston, Amy R.
Advisor
Stroud, James C.
Issue Date
1991
Keyword
Degree
Thesis (D. Ed.)
Department
Department of Elementary Education
Other Identifiers
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify parent perceptions of a developmentally appropriate curriculum (goals, teaching strategies, learning activities, and assessment methods) in selected early childhood centers. The relationship between income level and educational background and parent perceptions of a developmentally appropriate curriculum was also studied. Additionally, the relationship between parent perceptions of a developmentally appropriate curriculum and the selection of early childhood centers was examined.The Parent Perception Questionnaire, developed by the researcher, was mailed to 16 licensed early childhood centers in central Indiana. Respondents included 215 parents of 4- and 5-year-old children. Income level for the total group of parents ranged from less than $16,000 to more than $48,000. The largest group of parents (26.5%) reported an educational background of 1 to 3 years of college followed by parents (26.0%) with an educational level of a high school diploma.Through the use of a Likert scale, parents rated items on goals, teaching strategies, learning activities, and assessment methods as very important, important, somewhat important, or not important. A section for additional comments was also provided for parents. Each participating center was observed one time by the researcher. The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale was used to assess the developmental appropriateness of the participating centers' environment. A two-way multivariate analysis of variance at the .05 level of significance was used to test hypotheses I, II, and III. The Pearson Product-Moment Correlation was applied to test hypothesis IV.Results1. An interaction effect of income level and educational background on parent perceptions of a developmentally appropriate curriculum (goals, teaching strategies, learning activities, and assessment methods) was found to be not significant. Hypothesis I was not rejected.2. The effect of income level on parent perceptions of a developmentally appropriate curriculum (goals, teaching strategies, learning activities, and assessment methods) was found to be not significant. Hypothesis II was not rejected.3. The effect of educational background on parent perceptions of a developmentally appropriate curriculum (goals, teaching strategies, learning activities, and assessment methods) was found to be significant. Hypothesis III was rejected.4. The relationship of parent perceptions of a developmentally appropriate curriculum to the curriculum of selected early childhood centers was correlated (r = .25).