Preschool to School Transition through the Eyes of Teachers

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Preschool to School Transition through the Eyes of Teachers. A dissertation submitted to,The Graduate College of. Marshall University,In partial fulfillment of,the requirements for the degree of. Doctor of Education,Curriculum and Instruction,Ruthann Arneson. Approved by,Dr Linda Spatig Ed D Committee Chair,Dr Ronald Childress Ed D. Dr Janet Dozier Ed D,Dr Louis Watts Ed D,Marshall University.
December 2016,ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, I would first like to thank all the teachers who shared their time and expertise with. me Providing your insight into transitions is appreciated Your dedication to the. children you teach was evident and I am grateful for all you do. Next I thank the members of my committee starting with Dr Spatig my. committee chair I appreciate your guidance throughout this process I was intrigued by. qualitative research when I met you 23 years ago during TDP Little did I know where. that interest would take me Your expertise in qualitative research the endless edits and. suggestions you made while encouraging me to go forward have made this journey. possible You have supported me and have truly influenced me to be the person I am. Next I thank Dr Childress You were one of the first people I met when I began. the doctoral program You have provided guidance and wisdom throughout my time in. the program and through the writing process Thank you for your continuous support and. encouragement Thank you too Dr Watts I appreciate the time effort and insight you. have given me as I have moved through the doctoral process I always did appreciate. your keen sense of observation when we worked together in Lincoln County. Dr Dozier thank you for being there from the very beginning when I decided to. pursue my doctorate You have been my greatest fan and cheerleader I so appreciate. your encouragement expertise knowledge and vision You saw that I could do this even. when I didn t see it myself I wouldn t be where I am without your reassurance and. A big thank you goes to McKenzie Conley for taking on the job of transcribing. my interviews You took on this task and did it conscientiously and went over and above. the job of a graduate assistant To my fellow student Georgia Thornton thank you for. being with me during this journey, Finally to my family Neil Emma and Ethan Arneson thanks for all your love. and support You never complained when I had to work and couldn t spend time with. you Neil you have always been there for me and I so appreciate that No matter what. you had my back Emma you have read and edited my work and been there throughout. the program Ethan you put a smile on my face whenever you asked me how my day. was Thank you all for your love and support I couldn t have done it without you. Table of Contents,Acknowledgements iii,Abstract viii. Chapter I Introduction 1,School Readiness 2,Transition 4. Problem Statement 9,Research Question 10,Purpose of Study 10.
Settings and Participant Selection 11,Data Collection 11. Data Analysis 12,Strengths and Limitations 12,Significance of Study 13. Organization of Study 13,Chapter 2 Review of the Literature 15. School Readiness 15,Transition 21,Chapter 3 Research Methods 40. Setting 41,Sampling Participants 42,Data Collection 43.
Data Analysis 45,Methodological Strengths and Delimitations 46. Validity 47,Chapter 4 Setting and Participants 50,Clifton County 49. Merritt County 51,School and Teacher Characteristics 51. Transforming Transitions 54,After School Training 58. Transition Camps 61,Chapter 5 Results From Clifton County 68.
Pre k Teachers 68,Kindergarten Teachers 87,Chapter 6 Results From Merritt County 105. Pre k Teachers 105,Kindergarten Teachers 122, Chapter 7 Case Study Analysis and Interpretation 141. Spending Time Together and Talking Together Positive Relationships and Successful. Transitions 142,Differences Distance and Dissension 148. Limitations and Strengths of the Study 151,Implications for Future Research 152. Conclusions and Significance 154,References 156, Appendix A Letter from Institutional Research Board 167.
Appendix B Research Study Questions 168,Appendix C Teacher Consent Forms 170. This qualitative comparative case study conducted in two West Virginia school systems. examined the factors that regulate the implementation of transition practices from pre k. into kindergarten from the perspective of pre k and kindergarten teachers The. participants perceptions were explored in relation to teacher practices school practices. and practices with families in both pre k and kindergarten classrooms The study. investigated what teachers perceived to be barriers and or inducements relating to the. implementation of transition practices Findings were based on interviews with pre k and. kindergarten teachers from the two counties One county participated in a year long. professional development intervention on transitions the other did not Overall the. county that had the transition intervention showed more enabling factors that supported. positive transition practices than the county that did not have the transition project Two. themes emerged from the data The first theme spending time and talking together. resulted in rapport and relationships among teachers that facilitated the development of. positive transition practices The second theme was related to differences distance and. dissension that made the transition into kindergarten challenging The findings which. were interpreted in relation to the extant literature on transitions provide evidence that. providing professional development to teachers and implementing summer transition. camps is beneficial for the implementation of positive transition practices. CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION, Starting school is a major life experience for children and their families The first day of. school is an exciting time it is full of both joy and apprehension Parents worry about how their. child will adjust Teachers look forward to meeting their new students and embarking on the. journey of providing exciting new learning experiences Over the last decade funding for public. preschool programs has doubled with more than one million children enrolled in state programs. De la Torre et al 2011 It is estimated that 75 of all four year olds attend some type of. center based preschool programs Barnett 2011 With so many children enrolling in. prekindergarten these early childhood programs are playing a significant role in the. development of school readiness skills as well as being major partners with the public school. systems as children make transitions into kindergarten Gill Winters Friedman 2006. With increasing national attention on school accountability preschool programs and. school readiness are viewed as political keys to improving school performance and to lessening. underachievement in America s schools Current educational reform efforts feature quality. preschool programs as a way to enhance school readiness and prepare children for academic. success in future schooling Wat 2010 The transition into kindergarten is closely related to. school success It is the shared responsibility of many individuals and institutions to make the. transition to kindergarten a positive experience for children and families Bohan Baker Little. 2002 Understanding the practices involved in transitions and the barriers that exist in the. implementation of them was examined in this study When children experience difficulty with. transition into school they may have trouble later in their school career This is especially true. for low income and rural children Results of this study may lead to a better understanding of. what barriers may exist that prevent schools from implementing uniform transition practices and. greater insight into methods that can be used to enhance transition practices for all children. School Readiness, When children complete the preschool experience it is expected that they will be ready. for kindergarten School readiness is seen as a key element for children being prepared to begin. kindergarten but there is not a consensus regarding the meaning of this concept Ackerman and. Barnett 2005 found definitions of this term to lack consistency Broadly defined school. readiness is a term that can be used to describe the expectation of how children will fare upon. entry into kindergarten National Governor s Association 2005 The National Education Goals. Panel 1998 identified components of school readiness to include children s physical health. social and emotional development language development and academic competencies. comprising of cognition and general knowledge abilities and approaches to learning Another. factor is that young children s development is uneven as individual children learn different skills. at different rates Rafoth Buchenauer Crissman Halko 2004 Additional factors such as. health nutrition and living conditions may impact children s knowledge skills and behavior. and their preparation for kindergarten Ackerman Barnett 2005 Dockett and Perry 2009. argued that definitions of readiness should also involve children s relationships with families. schools and communities as these will also have an impact on expectations and perceptions of. National attention to the concept of school readiness came to the forefront when the. Goals 2000 Educate America Act stated that all children in America will start school ready to. learn PL 103 277 1994 This initiative along with the No Child Left Behind Act U S. Department of Education 2002 generated interest in the importance of preschool programming. at the federal state and local levels The central aim of these programs is to promote the. attainment of skills knowledge and behaviors that are associated with success in school. Gormley Phillips Gayer 2008 Many studies have investigated the components of school. readiness Gill et al 2006 Howes et al 2008 Ackerman Barnett 2005 It has been. consistently demonstrated that entry into kindergarten is the critical point at which school. readiness is evaluated Ferguson Wood 2005 According to the West Virginia Department of. Education West Virginia defines kindergarten readiness as a stage of transition that. encompasses the child s various learning experiences and general knowledge physical well. being social and emotional development and familiarity and ease with expressing themselves. and understanding language 2013 The state recognizes that children develop at their own. individual rates and readiness is highly individualized. Preschool is a critical factor in school readiness Research has provided evidence that. attendance in high quality preschool programs can improve learning and prepare children to meet. the demands of kindergarten Barrett Jung 2007 Ackerman and Barnett 2005 reported that. children entering kindergarten have widely varying skills and abilities and come from a wide. variety of preschool settings They found readiness for school is influenced by family and. environmental factors and can be enhanced when children have an effective preschool. experience Over the last decade there has been a shift in the understanding of what pre k. programs provide for young children Halpern 2013 noted that traditionally programs for. children under five were associated with child care and the need to support working parents. Early childhood settings were seen as places where children acquired knowledge through active. learning and play and were supportive of cooperative and socio emotional needs Pre k. programs now are viewed as an educational opportunity to ensure children are ready for school. and prepared for the learning challenges ahead Academic learning standards and structured. settings are the norm in kindergarten today Ray Smith 2010 States that have developed. comprehensive standards for their pre kindergarten programs pre k address the needs of the. whole child including the domains of health and physical development social and emotional. development language development and communication cognition and general knowledge and. approaches to learning Barnett Hustedt Hawkinson Robin 2006. Transition, The term transition is defined as the passage from one state place stage or subject to. another Merriam Webster p 760 Nelson 2004 described the transition to kindergarten as. the process used to provide continuity between preschool and kindergarten Given that transition. into kindergarten is a critical period in the educational life of a child it is important to. understand how the connections between home school and the community are developed. Having a positive adjustment to school can have an impact on later social and academic. outcomes in a child s school experience Pianta Kraft Sayre 2003 Children entering. kindergarten are adjusting to a change from the social and emotional support provided by early. education programs to the more academic demands and expectations of the school setting Miller. Almon 2009 The developmental ecological approach to transition as described by Rimm. Kaufmann Pianta and Cox 2000 emphasizes the connections made between early education. programs and public schools It is framed around a model that states transitions are influenced. by multiple learning environments and stakeholders Ongoing interactions between children. families schools and communities are interconnected and inter. qualitative research when I met you 23 years ago during TDP Little did I know where that interest would take me Your expertise in qualitative research the endless edits and suggestions you made while encouraging me to go forward have made this journey possible You have supported me and have truly influenced me to be the person I am today

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