Date of Award

Summer 7-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Second Advisor

Dr. Lisa Christiansen

Third Advisor

Dr. Kevin Kopp

Abstract

The focus of this comparative study was to examine the connection between attendance in preschool and kindergarten students’ literacy success as measured by the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA2+). Historical data were obtained from the DRA2+ scores of 1,080 kindergarten students in one Missouri school district for the 2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013 school years. The study was also used to determine the perceptions of kindergarten educators of the impact of preschool on their students. The following overarching question was: What difference exists when comparing the DRA2+ scores of kindergarten students who had a preschool experience and those who did not? Additionally, the perceptions of teachers working with students who had received an early learning experience and students who had not received an early learning experience were gathered. Using a t-test to examine the difference between the mean scores of participating and non-participating students, there was a statistically significant difference in scores of students who participated in preschool and those who did not for 2010-2011; however, there were not statistically significant differences in the sets of data for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. Educators surveyed in this research perceived that students who had not received an early learning experience seemed to have more difficulty learning the basics of school life; attending for longer periods of time; taking direction; using manipulatives, such as scissors, pencils, and crayons; and getting along with peers.

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