Dissertation

Parent perceptions of transitional kindergarten as a policy initiative

The purpose of this qualitative interpretative research was to explore parents’ perception of transitional kindergarten as a policy initiative. The passage of the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2010 (SB 1381) created a new provision related to children’s age in California prior to beginning Kindergarten. Transitional kindergarten gained attention from various areas within educational leadership including policy makers, researchers and practitioners. This study emerged as part of a pre-dissertation fellowship opportunity funded by the David and Lucille Packard foundation and was conducted in partnership with three other doctoral capstone projects and provide a 360-degree view of transitional kindergarten as a policy initiative within policy makers, school administrators, teachers and parents. This research is specifically focused on the parents’ perceptions. The research is guided by a qualitative interpretative framework coupled with critical policy analysis. All participants are of Hispanic or Latina backgrounds which represent the majority demographic population of the identified school district. Participants in this study had children who attended transitional kindergarten within one school district in California’s Central Valley. A “funds of knowledge” framework explored how traditional values and knowledge were overlooked causing parents to feel frustrated and marginalized. The purpose of this study aims to fill a gap in the literature with regard to practitioners in the field such as teachers, school administrators, and policy makers.

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