Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Robert E. Millward, D.Ed.

Second Advisor

DeAnna M. Laverick, D.Ed.

Third Advisor

Kelli Reefer Paquette, Ed.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine teacher perceptions of the impact of four-year preschool programs on a child’s academic and social skills. The population included 800 kindergarten teachers within various districts across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. One hundred sixty-seven kindergarten teachers from various districts responded to the study. This study focused on kindergarten teacher perceptions of preschool on skills related to general readiness, reading, language, writing, math, and social development. The researcher also examined teacher location, number of years teaching, number of years teaching kindergarten, and level of education to determine if any of these variables were significant factors in determining their perceptions. Results from this study were analyzed quantitatively using a Chi Square analysis. Results indicated a significant difference across the response foils showing that teachers significantly favored preschool and reported that it gives students an academic and social advantage over their peers with no preschool experience. There was no significant difference in perceptions based on teacher location, number of years teaching, number of years teaching kindergarten, and level of education. Teachers were also asked if they believed that preschool should be made mandatory. Eighty-three percent were in favor of making it mandatory, 12% felt it should not be made mandatory, and 5% were not sure. Overall, surveyed teachers reported that with the implementation of common core standards and the academic rigorous curriculum in kindergarten, teachers felt that preschool levels the playing field and gives students an academic and social advantage over their peers.

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