Date Approved

6-28-2007

Embargo Period

3-29-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Teaching

Department

Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Browne, Susan

Subject(s)

Classroom learning centers; Kindergarten--Activity programs

Disciplines

Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine how learning centers can be used in the Kindergarten classroom to support regular classroom instruction and encourage students to think critically. This qualitative study used observations, interviews, surveys, student work samples, photographs, and discussions to collect information about the effectiveness of learning centers in the classroom. Sixteen Kindergarten students participated in learning center activities planned and implemented by the researcher to examine how the learning centers related the curriculum and whether the activities encouraged students to think critically about the content. The researcher found that the Kindergarten students showed improvement in their engagement in learning center activities, quality of work, and use of higher order thinking skills to complete the tasks when the learning centers were clearly linked to classroom instruction and included critical thinking activities.

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