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Exploring Preschool Teachers’ Assessment Behavior and Related Factors: A Study Based on the Perspectives of Effort and Harmony
This study explored preschool teachers’ value of “effort” and “harmony”, and the relationships among these values and teachers’ grading. The survey was conducted by way of proportionate stratified random sampling. 313 preschool teachers were invited to complete three research instruments, including “The Effort Scale”, “The Harmony Scale”, and a self-designed “Preschool teachers’ grading scenario questionnaire”. Data were statistically analyzed by t-test, one-way ANOVA, Pearson correlation coefficient, and hierarchical regression analysis. Results of this study were stated as follows: 1.The degrees of preschool teachers’ “value of effort” and “value of harmony” were at upper middle levels. There were no statistically significant differences among programs and levels of education on the “value of harmony”. However, the private preschool teachers got significantly higher scores on the “value of effort” than the public preschool teachers. 2.The “Preschool teachers’ grading scenario questionnaire” could measure the factors which were considered by respondents when they assigned grades. These factors included children’s performance, children’s effort, children’s ability, children’s gender, and the parent-teacher harmony. 3.When preschool teachers faced children with the same performance level but with different levels of effort and abilities, they assigned grades, from highest to lowest, to children with “high ability, high effort”, “low ability, high effort”, “high ability, low effort”, and then “low ability, low effort”. 4.When preschoolteachers assigned grades, their main consideration factor was children’s performance, and the next was effort; The harmony was not highly considered. 5.Preschool teachers tend to give better grades for children’s performance. However, preschool teachers in Taiwan seem to assign more “no effort-lower grade” than foreign teachers. 6.Preschool teachers tend to assigned 3-year-old children more lenient grades, whereas they assigned 5-year-old children more stringent grades. 7.There were no statistically significant differences among programs and levels of education in “effort scores”. However, the private preschool teachers got significantly higher “harmony scores” than the public preschool teachers; Teachers who had associate degree got higher scores than teachers who had graduate degrees. 8.After controlling status variables and assessment variables, “value of effort” factors could effectively explain preschool teachers’ “effort scores”, but “value of harmony” could not effectively explain their “harmony scores”. This study provided important findings of preschool teachers’ assessment behavior and the influences of their effort and harmony values. Implications and suggestions for teacher education, educational assessment practices, and further studies were discussed.
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