Date of Award

2016

Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction

College

College of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree

Ed.D.

Document Type

Dissertation

First Advisor

Linda Spatig

Second Advisor

Ronald Childress

Third Advisor

Janet Dozier

Fourth Advisor

Louis Watts

Abstract

This qualitative comparative case study conducted in two West Virginia school systems examined the factors that regulate the implementation of transition practices from pre-k into kindergarten from the perspective of pre-k and kindergarten teachers. The participants’ perceptions were explored in relation to teacher practices, school practices, and practices with families in both pre-k and kindergarten classrooms. The study investigated what teachers perceived to be barriers and/or inducements relating to the implementation of transition practices. Findings were based on interviews with pre-k and kindergarten teachers from the two counties. One county participated in a year-long professional development intervention on transitions; the other did not. Overall, the county that had the transition intervention showed more enabling factors that supported positive transition practices than the county that did not have the transition project. Two themes emerged from the data. The first theme, spending time and talking together, resulted in rapport and relationships among teachers that facilitated the development of positive transition practices. The second theme was related to differences, distance, and dissension that made the transition into kindergarten challenging. The findings, which were interpreted in relation to the extant literature on transitions, provide evidence that providing professional development to teachers and implementing summer transition camps is beneficial for the implementation of positive transition practices.

Subject(s)

Readiness for school -- West Virginia.

Early childhood education -- West Virginia.