Graduation Year

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ed.D.

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Education

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Ilene Berson, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Jolyn Blank, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jolyn Blank, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Darlene DeMarie, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Valerie Janesick, Ph.D.

Keywords

accountability, assessment, preschool, school readiness

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe and explain the perspectives and beliefs that practitioners have about prekindergarten in a Voluntary Prekindergarten program unable to meet minimal accountability requirements. The exploratory questions included: What are the beliefs and perceptions about effective and appropriate early childhood education among practitioners in a Voluntary Prekindergarten program on probation? And in what ways does probation influence practitioners' perceptions and beliefs about early childhood education? I used participants from a school where I conducted a pilot study. My data collection consisted of semi-structured interviews, resumes, my research reflective journal, and the centers program improvement plan. Social constructivism was applied to understand the participants' perceptions and beliefs of Voluntary Prekindergarten Program. The findings indicated the practitioners and administrators in a Voluntary Prekindergarten not meeting readiness requirements believe the need for programs to have systems of accountability. They believe accountability is important; however, they believe holding programs accountable for a test at the beginning of kindergarten is ineffective. In addition, the findings denoted more information and more action is needed to accurately conclude approved Voluntary Prekindergarten programs are meeting all five components of the criteria in Title 48-Chapter 1002-Part V. The findings denoted further studies are necessary to assist practitioners to understand the importance of teaching children at where they are developmentally and just beyond. The amount of time that is offered in the Voluntary Prekindergarten programs needs to be examined, especially in the summertime.

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