Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Early Childhood Education

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Laurelle Phillips

Committee Members

Amy Malkus, Rebecca Isbell


Little is known about the curricular practices or thinking of early childhood teachers attempting to use developmentally appropriate practices in public school primary grades. The purpose of this study was to investigate four primary grade teachers' thoughts and classroom practices, through observation, interviews, and classroom schedules. Data were analyzed following the procedures for open, axial, and selective coding as explained by Strauss (1987). All four teachers exhibited common elements: educational beliefs consistent with those of the National Association for the Education of Young Children; frustration with their school's curriculum; and the combination of a rich pattern of guidance strategies in the use of whole group math and language instruction. The curricular practices are viewed as a compromise between the teachers' personal beliefs and the expectations of their schools. They reflect the historical difficulty of using a child-centered curriculum in a public school setting.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.