PRESCHOOL TEACHERS AND OTHER PRESCHOOL PROFESSIONALS IN PORTUGAL: DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES
Keywords:Preschool, Extracurricular Activities, Curricular Areas.
AbstractThe opening hours of kindergartens have been gradually extended in Portugal over the last years and so has the time devoted to the social and family support component. It is established in Preschool Education that the preschool teacher is the only professional who can legally perform pedagogical duties in the kindergarten, with a work schedule of 25 hours per week. Reality shows that over the last years, professionals other than preschool teachers have been performing tasks in this educational context, within the social or family support component. The aim of this study is to assess who these professionals are and in what time and space of the kindergarten they develop their activities: whether it is just within the social component or within the instructional component as well. To do so, we sought to determine preschool teachersâ€™ opinion regarding the performance of those professionals and identify the areas in which they intervene. We used qualitative and quantitative field research, through a structured questionnaire survey containing closed and open questions, provided in paper format during the months of January and February 2017. The sample is composed of the preschool teachers working in both the private and public sectors in the city of BraganÃ§a â€“ Northern Portugal. The results are expected to cast light on the following: the perceptions of a group of preschool teachers regarding the presence of other professionals performing activities within their teaching time; the activities developed; the several curricular areas laid down by the Curricular Guidelines for Preschool Education (CGPE) which are covered by the preschool teachers; and the time assigned to such areas. The study group was selected considering its representativeness regardingÂ sociodemographic heterogeneity bearing in mind the different profiles (public and private) of the institutions where they worked
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