Mindlessness/mindfulness, classroom practices and quality of early childhood education: An auto-ethnographic and intrinsic case research

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APA Citation: 

Capel, C. M. (2012). Mindlessness/mindfulness, classroom practices and quality of early childhood education: An auto-ethnographic and intrinsic case research. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 29(6), 666-680. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02656711211245656

Publication Topic: 
CBS: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Article
Language: 
English
Abstract: 

Purpose
– The purpose of this paper is to examine how mindless/mindful classroom practices affect the quality of learning and overall experiences of children in an early childhood educational setting.

Design/methodology/approach
– The method used in the study is auto‐ethnography. This qualitative research is based on self‐reflexivity in ethnographic research and intrinsic case study. The study draws substantially from the theory of mindfulness/mindlessness.

Findings
– Quality can be marred through mindlessness. The same can be improved through mindfulness, child centric and friendly practices, recognising the needs of each individual child, and enhancing their learning experiences, as against merely fulfilling curriculum obligations. It is suggested that when mindful approaches are applied to classroom practices, the needs of young learners can be better met, thereby improving the experiences of learners, and eventually the curriculum quality.

Research limitations/implications
– The scope of the study is limited to early childhood education in one location; more studies in other cultural settings are suggested.

Practical implications
– The paper concludes that mindful classroom practices are effective strategies for improving the quality and overall performance of students and teachers, whereas mindless approaches will achieve the exact opposite.

Originality/value
– Through auto‐ethnography, the paper adds value to existing approaches to understanding quality and how mindfulness/mindlessness can affect education quality.