First Advisor

Christine Chaille

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction


Curriculum & Instruction




Early childhood education, Intrinsic motivation, Teachers' perspectives, Caring -- Study and teaching (Preschool), Preschool teachers -- Attitudes -- Cross-cultural studies, Early childhood education -- Methodology -- Cross-cultural studies, Motivation in education -- Study and teaching (Preschool) -- Cross-cultural studies



Physical Description

1 online resource (xiii, 314 pages)


This study explored preschool teachers' perspectives on caring relationships and their perceptions of how such relationships affect children's autonomy and motivation in preschool in two cultural settings: one city in China and another in the U.S. Data was collected from preschool teachers in both locations using a qualitative interviewing research strategy. The study found that consensus exists among preschool teachers from the two cities about the importance of caring relationships, in which trust, acceptance, equality, and mutual respect were viewed as these relationships' primary characteristics. There were also shared values regarding teachers' roles and their effective strategies for establishing social skills and caring and sharing among children. Nevertheless, some underlying assumptions about caring, especially teachers' understandings of autonomy and motivation, differed somewhat in relation to the social, cultural, philosophical, or practical influences in the two cultural contexts. The results of the study provide opportunities for early childhood teachers and teacher educators in both contexts to reflect on their own assumptions about these values, as well as insights for preparing caring teachers in both cultural settings.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


Portland State University. Dept. of Educational Leadership and Policy

Persistent Identifier