The purpose of this study was to explore ways to ensure continuity between early childhood education/care and elementary education. This study involved a literature review on the definitions of continuity between early childhood education/care and elementary education, an analysis of the factors influencing these issues, as well as a comparative study on the experiences of education in other countries. A comparative analysis of the Korean National Kindergarten Curriculum, National Curriculum for Childcare Center, and Elementary School Curriculum were also conducted. In addition, a case study on continuing education and an analysis of survey data were conducted.
The literature review on the current situations in other countries revealed the following. Firstly, there is increasing recognition of the importance of education provided for children over age 3. Secondly, curriculum for infants and young children tends to be integrated, and curriculum development by the same professional group lays a good foundation for mutual continuity. Thirdly, curriculum in developed countries is organized to take into account continuity throughout early childhood and life-long education on the basis of life competency. Finally, professional qualifications are required for early childhood teachers.
Our comparative analysis on Korean national curricula revealed the following: differences do exist in efforts to achieve continuity, and although overlaps exist between the target population of the National Kindergarten Curriculum, National Curriculum for Childcare Centers, and Elementary Schools Curriculum, greater efforts are needed in to ensure continuity among curricula during curriculum reform in the future. Additionally, more collaboration between teachers and curriculum developers is needed, and work between each group of curriculum developers during curriculum reform is needed to ensure continuity.
The findings and implications of the case study were as follows. Firstly, only a few teachers are knowledgeable about curriculum of other stakeholders. Secondly, although teachers generally agree on the need for and effects of continued education between early childhood and elementary education, teachers experience difficulties in providing continual education through the entire curriculum. Thirdly, the reduced number of students in 1st grade classrooms must be taken into account, together with the need for financial support for providing an environment appropriate for the children's developmental level are needed, and research on evaluation in consideration of continued education is clearly necessary.
Analysis of survey data reconfirmed the following. The same department should take charge of early childhood education and care; the continuity of the curriculum should be the focus of education instead of being event-oriented or becoming a (the definite article here modifies the word ‘shot’, so it must not be ‘an’)one-shot activity. Therefore, support should be provided for continuity in actual implementation of the curriculum; continuity in teaching methods, classroom environment and class management. Evaluation should also be a matter of concern; a range of variation in terms of continuity in curriculum areas should be explored; the government should be concerned about providing early childhood education/care as public education, unifying departments in charge of education and care, controlling the quality of in-service education provided by local offices of education; teacher education institutions should provide pre-service teacher education on continuity of early childhood and elementary education; and schools should make efforts to understand the parts of the curriculum which impact upon other stakeholders.
This study proposes the following. Firstly, providing early childhood education and care as public education, unifying departments in charge of education and care, unifying the curriculum for early childhood education and care, improving the system of teacher education, normalizing curriculum implementation in early childhood education institutions, enriching the application of the elementary curriculum, improving teaching professionalism and establishing systems of collaboration among teachers, educating parents and providing information about the curriculum.
Table Of Contents
Ⅱ. 유아-초등 교육과정 연계에 대한 이론적 고찰
Ⅲ. 유아-초등 교육과정 연계를 위한 외국의 제도
Ⅳ. 표준보육과정, 유치원 교육과정, 초등학교 교육과정 비교 분석
Ⅴ. 유아-초등 교육∙보육과정 연계 사례 분석
Ⅵ. 유아-초등 교육∙보육과정 연계 실태 및 인식 분석
Ⅶ. 유아-초등 교육∙보육과정 연계를 위한 개선 방안