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Pinpointing Chinese early childhood teachers' professional development needs through self-evaluation and external observation of classroom quality

This study compared Chinese kindergarten teachers' values and perceptions of program quality with trained raters' assessments of quality in order to gain insights into effective professional development for improving teacher quality. A total of 284 Chinese kindergarten teachers self-assessed the quality of their classroom teaching and rated their beliefs of importance for each item. Their self-rating scores were then compared with those of trained raters' assessments. Findings showed that teachers' strong beliefs about program quality translated into positive assessment of their own classrooms. However, when compared with trained raters' assessments, teachers were found to have overwhelmingly overrated themselves. Results from a fixed modeling approach, after controlling for personal background information and school fixed effects, shows teachers' beliefs of quality is the strongest predictor of their self-assessment. Implications of the findings for professional development are provided, along with limitations of the current study and recommendations for future studies. (author abstract)
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Reports & Papers

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