Date of Award

1-1-2000

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Associate Professor Bill Louden

Abstract

Accountability in the pre-primary year has become a focus for attention as schools develop corporate school plans. Pre-primary teachers can no longer work in isolation and are required to implement the school development plan in order to account for their portion of the school's work. This study aimed to find out how pre-primary teachers accounted for their educational programs and what factors influenced their accountability notions and practices. The study conducted in Western Australia used an ecological theoretical framework. Data was collected using multi-modal techniques and analysed using an interpretive-constructivist approach. Three case studies, a questionnaire and focus groups of pre-primary teachers were the main methods used for data collection. The study revealed that implementation of the school development plan by pre-primary teachers was not uniform. Along a continuum of pre-primary teacher accountability, three main patterns of variation were revealed in a typology of the accountability landscape. At one end of the continuum was the group of teachers who felt threatened by the school development plan and so did not engage with the plan. In the middle were a group of teachers who were isolated from the school and uncertain about engaging with the plan. At the other end of the continuum were the pre-primary teachers who were fully engaged with the school development plan. The accountability framework designed in this study may assist pre-primary teachers by supporting them to interact with the accountability processes in the primary school setting.

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