Title page for ETD etd-11082004-112330

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author McCaslin, Judi Martin
Author's Email Address judimccaslin54@hotmail.com
URN etd-11082004-112330
Title Developmentally Appropriate Practice: A Case Study of Mentoring for Teacher Change
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Human Ecology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Diane C. Burts Committee Chair
Loren Marks Committee Member
Teresa Buchanan Committee Member
  • developmentally inappropriate practice
  • DIP
  • developmentally appropriate practice
  • DAP
  • early childhood education
  • ECE
  • supports
  • barriers
  • teacher education
  • mentor
  • mentoring
Date of Defense 2004-10-21
Availability unrestricted
This project was a qualitative case study that recorded and analyzed the professional development of one certified elementary teacher as she studied developmentally appropriate practice (DAP) and pursued her Pre-K and Kindergarten add-on certification. It focused on the changes in her classroom practice from mostly developmentally inappropriate practice (DIP) at the beginning of the project towards mostly DAP at the end of the project. The project recorded her acquisition of concrete knowledge about DAP, and her beliefs regarding DAP as she taught young children over the course of one year, June 2003 through May 2004. It included study of the supports and barriers to the teacherís growth in her use of DAP that she encountered along the way. It also included observations about the researcherís own practices as a mentor and source of support for DAP in early childhood teachers, and the changes in those roles that occurred over the course of the project.

This study found that the teacher made substantial progress along the DIP to DAP continuum during the project, particularly in her practice with preschool children. The study further showed that the various supports for DAP that served her during the year of the project were sufficient to allow her to overcome most of the barriers to DAP with which she struggled. It also revealed an area of developmentally appropriate practice, with kindergarten children, in which she has an opportunity for ongoing growth.

This study also looked at the role that a researcher-mentor may play in supporting and encouraging growth in an early childhood teacher, from developmentally inappropriate practice towards developmentally appropriate practice. It revealed that strategies that have been shown to be appropriate with young children in early childhood education can be similarly effective when applied to supporting teachers in DAP.

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