All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

James Ernest

Advisory Committee Members

Resia Brooks

Lynn Kirkland

Susan Seay

Deborah Strevy

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


STUDYING THE LOOPING CYCLE IN EARLY CHILDHOOD PUBLIC EDUCATION: A MULTIPLE CASE STUDY ANALYSIS KATHERINE ALLSOPP THOMAS CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION, EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION ABSTRACT This study addressed the nature of the looping cycle in early childhood public education in central Alabama. In addition, factors were explored that influence a teacher's decision to loop as well as the reasons behind why the practice is not more prevalent in early childhood public education. The purpose of this research was to describe the nature of the looping cycle for early childhood public education teachers in central Alabama in order to understand why looping is an uncommon practice in public education. The study employed qualitative methods, and a multiple case study approach was used to gain insight into the nature of the looping cycle. To address the purpose of this study, the central research question was: How do early childhood teachers describe the nature of the looping cycle in public schools in central Alabama? Sub-questions included: * How does the looping cycle emerge in public education? * How does the looping cycle develop over the summer, and how does it compare to past teaching experience? * How do teachers describe the second year of the looping cycle, and how does this compare with past teaching experience? * What factors influence the use of looping in public education? The study included three phases of data collection in the form of focused interviews. Interviews were conducted with six teacher participants from three different schools in central Alabama, and cross-case analysis was conducted on the teacher case studies. Overall, teacher participants reported an overall lack of knowledge and information regarding the practice of looping in early childhood public education. While teachers claimed looping to be beneficial for all students, it was especially beneficial for students from special populations. Several motivating and deterring factors were also identified that helped to explain why looping was uncommon in public education. This study shed light on the nature of the looping process in early childhood public education. Keywords: looping, early childhood, public education

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