Date Approved

2-16-2016

Embargo Period

2-17-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Johnson, Ane Turner

Second Advisor

Manning, Joann B.

Third Advisor

Sheppard, Mary E.

Subject(s)

Play; Early childhood teachers--Training of

Disciplines

Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education

Abstract

Despite persuasive research demonstrating the importance of play in early childhood education, there is a problematic trend in early childhood classrooms of increased academics and high-stakes test preparation, with less opportunity for play (Brashier & Norris, 2008; Lynch, 2015; Nicolopoulou, 2011). This sequential explanatory mixed method study was designed to examine the impact and experience of participating in facilitated research analysis with discussion-case application on early childhood pre-service teachers’ knowledge of and attitude towards the role and value of play in the classroom, as well as their self-confidence in promoting developmentally appropriate play opportunities in the classroom. The findings indicate that research analysis with discussion-case application may serve as an effective strategy for reversing the disappearance of play in early childhood classrooms. Implications for modifying the single continuum model of developmental appropriateness are discussed as well as consequences for preparing pre-service teachers.

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