Exploring the quality of classroom teaching practices in preschools in Bangladesh

2017-02-17T01:23:32Z (GMT) by Banu, Mahmuda Shaila
This study focuses on the quality of preschool classroom practices in Bangladesh. The study uses a postcolonial theory in an effort to explore and explain what is currently occurring at this level of education in light of Bangladeshi government’s push to provide quality preschool for all children. The aim was not to make generalisations based on the limited data collected in this research but to provide insights into current practice standards, and those that are articulated in the literature as ultimately representing quality preschool education. The study, which involved a government, a private and a non-governmental organisation (NGO) preschool, adopted qualitative data collection approaches of document analysis, classroom observation and semi-structured interviews with two head teachers, a Program Organiser and six teachers who were purposefully selected from these schools. A postcolonial analysis of the data according to seven dimensions of quality indicators suggests that the research represents a substantial and significant contribution to knowledge, in three domains. First, it contributes to the knowledge and understanding of how the participants in this study conceptualised quality based on academic merits. This understanding of quality was found to influence the preschool teachers’ pedagogy. In this regard young children are subjected to teacher directed teaching, coaching, memorising of facts through rote learning, and frequent testing to prepare them to pass primary school entrance examination and get a chance to enter their favourite primary schools. Secondly, the study contributes to our knowledge of the curriculum documents in use in these preschools to inform teaching practices in Bangladesh. Such knowledge elps to improve an understanding of the curriculum making processes which currently exclude teacher’s and the community’s inputs. This is important for the future by noting that quality preschool depends on policies and programs that adopt a consultative approach rather than top-down models. Thirdly, the study contributes to knowledge about the consequences of poor structural resources, and colonial relationships that the teachers develop with children, and how the wellbeing of children is often not given serious attention and therefore, compromising the quality of preschool programs being delivered to young children in Bangladesh. Based on these findings the study proposed a transformative postcolonial model for developing quality preschool systems in Bangladesh.