The Concept of “Good/Quality Kindergarten Teacher”: Comparative Points of View of First-year University Students Versus Graduating Students

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Summary

For the purpose of specifying the concept of the quality of preschool education, this publication presents part of the results of a wider study aimed at researching the notion of the “good/quality kindergarten teacher”. 72 students preparing to become preschool teachers in the Faculty of Primary and Preschool Education of the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” in Bulgaria took part in this research. The main method used for research is analysis of the students’ individual written essays on the subject “My idea of a good/quality kindergarten teacher”. The collected essays were subjected to qualitative analysis aimed at the distribution of the contained opinions regarding the essence of the notion of “good/quality kindergarten teacher” into an unlimited number of semantic categories, provisionally divided into two main groups: 1) general personal qualities, skills, attitudes, etc.; and 2) specialized professional qualities, skills, attitudes, etc. This paper presents the distributions of 136 categories, defined following the analysis of the data. Since half of the participating students (36) were approached at the beginning of their university education and the other half (36) participated during the middle of their last year, the publication specifically marks some of the most important differences in the relevant viewpoints of first-year students in comparison to the opinion of graduating students.