Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Birth-Kindergarten Licensure Graduates' Perceptions of Their Current Practices and Pre-Service Preparation Relative to Individualization Strategies for Young Children
by Gillis, Margaret C., Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2011, 152; 3495483
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to examine the current practices and pre-service preparation of recent graduates of North Carolina Birth-Kindergarten (B-K) teacher licensure programs related to individualizing curriculum and instruction for children. Participants were 142 individuals who graduated from B-K licensure programs in four-year institutions from 2007 to 2010. Participants completed the Birth-Kindergarten Licensure Graduates Survey, providing ratings of their perceptions of the frequency with which they engaged in specific assessment, instructional, and collaborative practices and ratings of their perceptions of their B-K preparation for each practice. Participants also provided information regarding their work settings and their familiarity with recent innovative practices and policy, such as evidence-based practice, early intervening services, and Response to Intervention. Results were analyzed through descriptive statistics and gamma correlations.

Results indicated B-K graduates report using a variety of assessment, instructional, and collaborative practices frequently. The practices participants reported using least frequently were using supplemental literacy and math curricula and collaborating with other professionals for a variety of tasks. Results also indicated that participants felt well prepared for most individualizing tasks. Participants reported being least prepared to conduct assessments for screening and to use supplemental literacy and math curricula.

Gamma correlations were calculated to examine the relationships between perceived preparation and practice for each assessment, instructional, and collaborative task. Significant relationships were found for conducting screenings, using supplemental literacy curricula, and using supplemental math curricula. This suggests individuals who felt more prepared for each of these tasks were more likely to incorporate them into their practice. Participants also reported some familiarity with the concepts of evidence-based practice, early intervening services, and Response to Intervention.

The findings of this study suggest B-K licensure programs prepare graduates well for a variety of assessment, instructional, and collaborative practices related to individualizing for children. The findings also suggest graduates frequently employ a variety of strategies to meet individual children‘s needs. However, further research is necessary to understand how early childhood educators use these strategies. Further research is also needed to determine if early childhood educators use assessment, instructional, and collaborative strategies in a systematic manner to identify and address children‘s individual needs. Limitations, future directions, and implications for practice and preparation are also discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Able, Harriet, Palsha, Sharon
Commitee: Crais, Elizabeth, Gallagher, Kathleen, Lane, Kathleen, Ware, William B.
School: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Department: Education: Doctorate/Master's in Education
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 73/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Early childhood education, Teacher education
Keywords: Individualization, Preservice preparation, Response to intervention
Publication Number: 3495483
ISBN: 978-1-267-19125-0
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