Research Consortium for Belizean Studies

Early Childhood Education Teachers' Constructs of Teacher Quality in Belize

Erin M. Casey
Cynthia F. DiCarlo

Abstract

This article is centred on the constructs of teacher quality as defined by early childhood (EC) teachers in Belize. Using the concept of teacher beliefs as a framework, the researchers analyse teachers' perceptions of quality teaching, which should guide policy and practice decisions. For this pilot study, data were collected from 22 teachers using open-ended and Likert-scale questions from a questionnaire (n = 13) or focus groups (n = 9). Guiding research questions first sought to identify behaviours teachers believed were important or need to be stopped or improved, and second, to determine teacher agreement with guiding standards for excellence in EC teacher preparation as identified by National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Open-coding and descriptives were used to interpret qualitative and quantitative findings. Themes identified by teachers as important EC teacher behaviours and behaviours that needed to be stopped or improved are presented, as well as teachers' agreement with standards of excellence in EC as identified by NAEYC.