Preschool education consists of the components of physical environment, teacher, children, administrator, aim of the center, curriculum, evaluation and parent involvement. All of these components are very important and all of them have certain requirements. The high quality in early childhood education can only be obtained when these components and the requirements of these components are correctly applied. One most emphasized component; the dimension of ‘teacher’ constitutes the most important element of preschool education. Several studies were carried out to show the vital importance of teacher in early childhood education (Reichenberg-Hackett, 1962; Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1968; Good et al., 1975; Kounin, 1970; Fagot, 1973; Hyman, 1973; Garbarino, Guttman and Seeley, 1986). In the light of research that has been carried out it can be concluded that without a creative teacher who is sensitive to the needs of children and knowledgeable about the developmental characteristics of preschool age children, other components of preschool education cannot function effectively. The studies carried out showed that among the factors that influence teacher behavior, SES of the center and the children, aim of the center, age of the teacher, sex of children, characteristics of the program followed, work related stress, conception of the work setting, getting rewards from the system, higher expectations about teacher performance, opportunities for personal development, working in a centralized versus democratic decision making systems can be cited (Tizard, Philps and Plewis, 1976; Fagot, 1973; Quay and Jarrett, 1986; Good et al., 1975) non dual thinking
Statement of the Problem
The aim of this study is to develop a rating scale which can be used by people trained in the field to evaluate the observable behaviors of teachers as they interact with children in the day-care centers. The purpose is to construct items and to determine the most appropriate items for teacher behavior evaluation by means of content validity procedure.
Construction of the Instrument
The items of the rating scale developed were based on five main sources. These sources were available theories of child development and approaches in early childhood education, available instruments in the related fields, behavior categories in Bekman’s doctoral dissertation, psychological maltreatment categories and finally observations of teachers in day-care settings in Istanbul. In terms of theories of child development; Heider’s naive psychology (Baldwin, 1980), Lewin’s field theory (Baldwin, 1980), Piaget’s developmental theory (Birren et al.,1981; Fantino and Reynolds, 1975), Werner’s organismic developmental theory (Baldwin, 1980; Birren et al., 1981), Frued’s psychoanalytic theory of development (Bee, 1975; Fantino and Reynolds, 1975), Erikson’s theory of development (Bee, 1975), Social learning theory of child development (Baldwin, 1980; Bee, 1975), Sociological view of child development (Baldwin, 1980), Gesell’s maturational theory (Bee, 1975; Gesell, 1923) were utilized in developing the items of the scale. In terms of the approaches in early childhood education; Ausubelian approach (Ausubel and Robinson, 1969; Roopnarine and Johnson, 1987), Montessori program (Roopnarine and Johnson, 1987), the Bank Street approach (Isaacs, 1933; Roopnarine and Johnson, 1987), Tucson early education model (Roopnarine and Johnson, 1987), the Distancing model (Roopnarine and Johnson, 1987), High/Scope program (Hohmann, Bernard and Weikart, 1979) as being the most influential one for this study were used in the construction of the items of this scale. The instruments that were used in the development of the items of this scale were as follows; Classroom environment scale (CES) (Tüter, 1989), Parental attitude research instrument (PARI) (Kucuk, 1987), Perceived emotional abuse inventory for adolescents (PEAIFA) (Alantar, 1989), Family environment questionnaire (FEQ) (Usluer, 1989), The instructional environment scale (TIES) (Ysseldyke and Christenson, 1986), operational definitions of child emotional maltreatment (Baily and Baily, 1986), Program implementation profile (PIP), Parental acceptance rejection questionnaire (PARQ) (Erdem, 1990). In the present study, some of the categories in Bekman’s doctoral dissertation (1982) were also used. Specifically, attending to and talking to staff, positive control, negative control, promoting social interaction, questioning child for information and giving child extensive information or explanation, suggesting, instructing, housework and dealing with play equipment, physical contact, affection and comfort, demonstrating to the child, no contact at all, helping the child, administrative, minimum supervision, general supervision, sharing the activity, organised group activity, organised talk and teaching session, rigidity, block treatment and social distance. All of these components gave the researcher inspiration while constructing both the items and the categories of this rating scale. Psychological maltreatment areas of rejecting, degrading, terrorizing, isolating, corrupting, exploiting, denying emotional responsiveness and adultifying (Finkelhor and Korbin, 1988) were reviewed in developing the items of the rating scale. Observation process was carried out for the purpose of validating the categories of behavior attained through literature review and to see if teacher behaviors other than those mentioned are present. The interview and the observation form used in the observation process were developed by Kagitcibasi, Sunar and Bekman in 1988. In developing the items of the rating scale, the “domain-referenced approach” suggested by Gable (1986) was utilized. This approach helped the researcher to consider the verbs and the adjectives that could be relevant to a preschool teacher behavior in the nursery school settings in writing the items.