Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

8-2011

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Eric S. Glover

Committee Members

Cecil N. Blankenship, Pamela H. Scott, Virginia P. Foley

Abstract

State funded preschool programs are recent phenomena in the United States and the state of Tennessee. The intent of the researcher was to explore the implementation of the preschool program in the Greene County Schools system and to develop a better understanding of the effects of this process at the classroom level. This study may provide significant information for other pre-k programs in the state of Tennessee or nationwide programs in partnership with Head Start.

The preschool program in the Greene County Schools system consisted of 16 classes with nine of the classes in partnership with Head Start and one class in partnership with a community child care center. Data were collected from the transcripts of three focus groups, documents, and classroom observations. The constant comparative analysis method was used to analyze the data (Glaser, 2004; Merriam, 1998; Thorne, 2000).

Triangulation of the data resulted in the identification of several supports and barriers to teaching and learning in the pre-k classrooms. Supports identified were the curriculum, the use of effective teaching strategies, specific teacher characteristics, specific rules and regulations, services provided by Head Start, and adequate program funding. Participants defined barriers to teaching and learning in the pre-k classroom as specific rules and regulations, teacher isolation by location in the school, teacher isolation from peers, the need for knowledge of early childhood education and regulations of the program, and specific components of the Head Start partnership.

The recommendations of this study are to continue the partnership that allows for a powerful combination of the organizational resources between the Greene County Schools Pre-K Program and the Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency (UETHDA) Head Start to continue. The use of an outside ECERS-R evaluator and monthly Head Start classroom evaluations should be discontinued. New practices to implement are an attendance policy for the pre-k classrooms and regularly scheduled collaboration meetings with administrators of both organizations and classroom personnel. Other districts considering similar programs should identify financial resources and use a collaborative process in the development and maintenance of the pre-k program.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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