Dissertation

The effects of preschool teachers’ education levels on the acquisition of school-readiness skills of kindergarten-bound students

This mixed method research study examines the impact of preschool teachers’ education levels on the acquisition of school-readiness skills of kindergarten-bound students. Seeking to assess the problem of kindergarten-bound students not being academically and socially prepared, 81 teacher participants completed surveys and 5 teachers participated in qualitative interviews to examine the issue. Through the use of both quantitative and qualitative data, the following two research questions were analyzed: 1. Is there a significant difference between three teacher groups (Bachelors degree, Associate of Arts degree and Masters degrees) regarding teacher work experience on school-readiness skills as assessed on the five domains of the Desired Results Developmental Profile-Revised (DRDP-R) assessment? 2. Is there a significant difference between three teacher groups (Bachelors degree, Associate of Arts degree and Masters degrees) regarding education level on school-readiness skills as assessed on the five domains of the Desired Results Developmental Profile-Revised (DRDP-R) assessment? Utilizing the systems theory (Bess and Dees, 2008) and social systems theory (Banathay, 1996), the research study examined preschool and its effects within the larger educational framework of K-12 system and higher education. The literature reviewed provided information on the higher educated teachers positively influencing school-readiness skills while other literature refuted the notion of higher educated teachers increasing the acquisition of school-readiness skills. The research study assessed the education levels and work experience of preschool teachers based on the five domains of the Desired Results Developmental Profile-Revised (DRDP-R) assessment tool. Overall the quantitative findings demonstrated no positive or negative effects on the acquisition of school-readiness skills of kindergarten-bound students based on the education levels of the preschool teachers. The findings further demonstrated no negative or positive effects on school-readiness skills based on the work experience of the preschool teachers. The qualitative findings from the teacher participants’ interviews indicate a perception of school-readiness skills as academic skills only excluding social skills. The findings further indicate that additional factors such as parental involvement, effective communication, environment and high quality teachers and classroom environment contribute to improve preschool programs and increased school-readiness skills. Further, the qualitative data indicates the participants’ noted short-term benefits of preschool programs while acknowledging that kindergarten-bound students are typically successful in kindergarten and beyond. This research study concludes with recommendations for future actions as well as policy implications for the Early Childhood Education field.

Relationships

Items