Date of Award:

1999

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Jay D. Schvaneveldt

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine parent and teacher expectations for early childhood educational programs in Muscat, the capital city of Oman. Questionnaires were distributed in three private schools in Muscat; these schools differed from one another in terms of their socioeconomic (SES) levels. Parent and teacher expectations were assessed, as reflected in their educational levels and socioeconomic status, in jobs and income level, and by the c hi !d 's level in kindergarten. Participants were 95 mothers, 52 fathers, and 13 teachers of children age 3.5 to 5.5.

Results indicated that teachers were more developmentally appropriate than mothers and fat hers. Also, mothers were more developmentally appropriate than fathers. In addition, parental education level affects their views about early childhood education programs. Parents with higher educational levels were more developmentally appropriate than those with Jess education. However, the teacher expectations with regard to early childhood education in Oman did not vary by their education level.

Parental expectations are affected by their SES level. Parents with high socioeconomic level are more developmentally oriented than parents of lower economic level. But contrary to the original assumption about social class and the three schools, it was the middle school that turned out to have the highest level of SES as reflected in the educational level of fathers. Regardless of the child's level in kindergarten, parent and teacher expectations were similar with regard to early childhood education in Oman.

Parents and teachers identified the top three priorities in their child's school from a list of 10 items. These items included a strong emphasis on English, Omani teachers, and libraries. Respondents in this study commented on the things they liked best and least about the educational system in Oman.

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