Author

Sarah Bond

Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Sue A. Rieg

Second Advisor

DeAnna M. Laverick

Third Advisor

Susan M. Sibert

Abstract

The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to identify and describe what correlations, if any, exist between the composite Phelps Kindergarten Readiness Scale (PKRS) score, the visual-perceptual subtest of the PKRS, and reading achievement by the end of grade one. The quantitative data used in this study were the PKRS scores from 421 students entering kindergarten in the 2013 and 2014 school years and the end of first grade Title I Reading rosters for the same cohort of students. The qualitative data collected for this study were the coded transcripts from two focus group discussions that included current and retired kindergarten, first grade, and Title I Reading teachers, one semi-structured interview with an elementary art teacher, and notes on student artwork the art teacher brought to the interview.

The results indicated a significant negative correlation between the Perceptual domain score and end of first grade Title I Reading placement indicating that as students’ Perceptual Domain scores increased, it was less likely for them to be placed in Title I Reading. Logistic regression was used to determine what subtests of the PKRS were predictors of later reading achievement. The Auditory domain was found to be the only subtest to make a statistically significant contribution to the model (p = .001).

During the art teacher’s interview, it was noted that the students the art teacher perceived as receiving Title I Reading services had PKRS Perceptual Domain score at or below the 50th percentile. The researcher made recommendations to teachers and schools on ways to support kindergarten students who may be at-risk for later academic achievement based on their school readiness scores. The researcher recommended to policy makers a need to increase funding for quality early childhood education in order to increase publicly-funded, high-quality early childhood education opportunities for children who might be considered at-risk for school success because of their lower socio-economic status.

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