Maternal beliefs about children's learning related to maternal experience
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Forty mothers of three and four year old nursery schoolers, 18 boys and 22 girls, participated in a study which explored the relationships between maternal experiences, both current and developmental, and maternal beliefs about children's learning. All participants were asked to complete a demographic questionnaire and a childhood relationships scale. They were also administered a parental beliefs interview which elicited information about the use of psychological constructs such as "experimentation", "direct instruction", "cognitive processes", believed by the mother to be used by children during learning.;Mothers' recall of father as encouraging of independence was found to be significantly correlated with the belief that children actively construct their own learning experiences. However, the hypothesized relationship between perceived childhood acceptance and beliefs about children's learning was not supported by this research. No significant correlations were found between acceptance by mother or acceptance by father during childhood and the mother's beliefs about active construction of learning by the child. In addition, neither of the developmental experiences, i.e., acceptance or the encouragement of independence by mother and father, influenced the relationship that current maternal experiences, such as education and income, have on maternal beliefs about children's learning. Income level and education were not significantly related to maternal beliefs either alone or in interaction with developmental experience. Finally, the hypothesis which stated that emotional loss during childhood would be related to the mother's beliefs about children's learning was supported by this research. It was found that mothers who reported emotional loss used significantly fewer responses which drew on beliefs that children actively construct their own learning experiences.
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