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  • Author: Jana Majerčíková x
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Abstract

This empirical study contributes towards a better understanding of the educational reality in kindergartens. It explores the after-school activities and interests of Czech nursery schools (NS) children. The topic focuses on the disharmony and subsequent fine-tuning of interests of both the family and the kindergarten, set against the background of parents’ requirements and the kindergarten’s reaction to them. The goal is to shed light on how kindergartens reflect parents’ requirements pertaining to their children’s extracurricular activities, the kindergarten’s perception and interpretation of this situation, and what sort of approach is used for implementation. The research and survey method used is content analysis. Fifteen kindergarten teacher thematic reports, 3,000-5,000 words each, and forty inspection reports, the results of Czech kindergarten inspections, were analyzed. The analytical techniques of Grounded Theory - open and axial coding - were used in the processing of the source materials. The results of the analysis set in a paradigm model depict the state of administration and relationships between variables, which determine after-school activities in kindergartens. It was demonstrated that kindergartens select various approaches when negotiating a solution to extracurricular activities. The educational reality then includes kindergartens that do organize after-school activities as well as those that do not. Kindergartens which do offer after-school activities, however, differ in the degree of acceptance of such programs in terms of need for child development and how they perceive the benefits of such an above-standard approach towards their customers.

Abstract

Introduction: The possibility of joint child care after divorce in which parental responsibilities are distributed equally among parents has been implemented in the Czech Republic since 1998. Under certain circumstances, joint custody is considered to be the best solution with regard to further prospects of individual children and also their relationships with their divorcing parents. The solution of joint custody issues happens between parents and/or their family members. Lawyers, psychologists, doctors, and social workers adopt a legitimate attitude to each individual case. Primarily, psychologists provide empirical proofs of the beneficial effect of joint custody concept. In Czech conditions, teachers are the least heard group in this respect. Methods: A research was carried out in which we utilized the method of thematic writing. Twenty-seven written products, written by the kindergarten teachers were analyzed (the length ranged from 2000 to 2500 words). The content analysis was used with the research aim to reveal their point of view of the joint child custody concept and their experience with children in joint custody. Results: The teachers’ attitude to joint custody was negative, they more leaned towards the opinion that joint custody is not an optimal solution. They perceived the concept of joint custody as beneficial but, on the other hand, as problematic and hardly feasible by divorced people as they often remain in conflict. Based on their experience with children in joint custody, it is fully dependent on the ability of parents to agree on it and to fulfil their children’s interests together. However, these are not, according to the teachers, very often taken into consideration in joint custody. Discussion: In their reflections, kindergarten teachers confirmed the generally accepted controversial conclusions and experience related to primarily practical side of joint custody. They underlined the accepted opinion that it is always necessary to assess joint custody in its relations to a particular case and in respect to its inability to substitute normally functioning and complete families. Limitaitons: The main research limit concerns the choices of research sample and amount of material based on 27 written products. The first version of the report underwent a participant validation in order to reduce possible distortion during the interpretation of empirical data. Conclusions: The research results have the potential to introduce further valuable and pedagogical perspective into the discussion about joint custody issues. It can even serve as a stimulus to optimize the content of teacher education with the aim to encompass various elements of educational reality of current kindergarten.

Abstract

The study is of empirical character. It presents a story of a kindergarten which is a private, a company and a university kindergarten. The establishing authority is a university that can preferentially accept children of its employees. The parents of the children financially contribute to running the kindergarten.

The research was based on the strategy of a one-case study. This integrated quantitative and qualitative research approach. Data from two types of questionnaires were used in the study presenting interviews with parents, teachers, students in teacher training and members of the school board, as well as data from observations of the educational process and from the analyses of the available school documentation. The aim was to describe the kindergarten and the contexts in which it operates, explain its operation and clarify the mechanics, circumstances and subjects it is most influenced by. Three basic factors influencing the school’s operation and fulfilling its function emerged from the collected data: the relations with the establishing authority, the community of university-educated parents and the status of a faculty school providing space for practical training of the students in teacher training. The major conclusion that emerged from the study is: The kindergarten works in specific conditions with strong contextual conditioning linked to the university environment and the authority’s conditions.

Abstract

Introduction: The family life of a child of compulsory school age is influenced by the way that a child’s educational career is discussed and practically supported. This is transmitted into normal family life through the completion of the child’s homework and any other school-related responsibilities. The parent is considered an actor who contributes significantly to the supervision of the child’s homework. Methods: This research project explored how parents and children describe their experience of homework through semi-structured interviews with elementary school pupils and their parents. The results are presented in our study. Seven, mostly university-educated parents and six pupils were interviewed at the start of compulsory schooling, when the bonds and interaction are the most intensive between parents and children in the context of homework. The transcribed interviews were analysed using the technique of open coding. Codes identified were repeatedly read, reviewed and subsequently grouped into categories with the aim of description and explanation. Results: The survey revealed that the completion of homework in the parent - child interaction is an implicit part of everyday family life. Homework and advance home preparation are considered to be the responsibility of the parent as well as the child, on the other hand, the home preparation is also time-consuming and gendermarked. Limitations: The limitations of the study relate primarily to the construction of the research sample. The intentional sample of parents was determined by socioeconomic status and quantity and also by the parents’ willingness to share their parenting experience, and for the child by the extent of data gathered. In further research, this will be supported by observation in the home setting. Conclusions: The research findings contribute to a description of the child’s life in the family and confirm the importance of inevitable parental participation in their educational socialization at the beginning of compulsory school attendance.