All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Lois Christensen

Advisory Committee Members

Kay Emfinger

Lynn Kirkland

Michelle J Sims

Michael Wilson

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2013

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore the experiences and instruction of kindergarten teachers in an urban school district who are teaching students who were previously enrolled in a Head Start program. Eleven kindergarten teachers who taught in an urban school district in the southeastern United States participated in this study. Data sources collected for this multiple case study included: (a) semi-structured interviews, (b) observations, and (c) curriculum documents. Results from the study revealed mixed experiences teaching former Head Start students. While some teachers expressed positive experiences teaching former Head Start students, others indicated teaching former Head Start students did not impact their curriculum, instruction, or views on school readiness. The study also found that teachers perceived Head Start to be most beneficial to students from extremely low-income families. These findings were consonant with other research on the Head Start readiness program [Pigott, T.D. & Israel, M.S. (2005). Head start children's transition to kindergarten: Evidence from the early childhood longitudinal study. Journal of Early Childhood Research. 3(1), 77-104.] Implications for educators illustrate the need for the development of Early Childhood Learning Communities and alignment between local programs, the community, and parents.

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