All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Lynn Kirkland

Advisory Committee Members

Linda Kay Emfinger

Grace Jepkemboi

Jenna Lachenaye

Pamela Williams

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2018

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the significance of how pre-kindergarten teachers implement instruction to prepare children for kindergarten. The study was guided by the research question: What instructional practices are preschool teachers implementing towards the support, preparations, and instruction they are implementing to shape children for kindergarten? This research study sought to answer four sub-questions. First, what do pre-k teachers report as instructions they use to prepare children for kindergarten? Second, how are pre-k teachers implementing their instruction to prepare children for kindergarten? Third, how does the pre-k program prepare the children for the rigor of kindergarten instructional practices? Fourth, what effect does the role of the pre-k teacher have on children in early childhood settings before transitioning to kindergarten? The theoretical foundation used to conduct this study was Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. Eight kindergarten teachers and eight pre-k teachers participated in this study, each with at least four years of teaching experience. Data were collected from participants through 45-minute, face-to-face interviews with the researcher. The teachers from each school had opposite theoretical curriculum frameworks. In the qualitative methodology, data analyses for this paradigm followed the triangulation procedures outlined by Mertens (2015). Methodological triangulation was used which involves using more than one data set to gather evidence, such as interviews and documents. The five themes identified were: (a) social/emotional skills, (b) readiness, (c) development, (d) curriculum implementation, and (e) teacher collaboration. The theory of curriculum alignment between pre-k and kindergarten has implications relevant to the programs, expectations, policies, and curricula implementation.

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