Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


This report describes a program to improve the achievement of the kindergarten students at the primary school in Charles City County. The instructional program was structured and academic in nature. Developmental hands-on instructional procedures needed for kindergarten-age children was not used. School administrators encouraged the situation in order to have the children reading by the time the entered first grade. All of the kindergarten teachers were not endorsed in kindergarten or early childhood education, and no inservice teacher-training specific to the instructional needs of that grade had been provided by the school division. The results were students scoring below the State average on standardized tests and approximately 50 percent of the students being placed in the Chapter I remedial reading program in the first grade. Research indicated the major causes of the kindergarten students’ low achievement were a lack of adequate teacher training, the use of inappropriate teaching strategies and the lack of support from the school’s administrators for a developmental appropriate kindergarten program. Evidence indicates that student performance would improve if the teachers received training in kindergarten education and if hands-on instruction practiced with the students. An inservice training program attended by kindergarten and first grade teachers and school administrators was implemented. As a result, the kindergarten teachers changed their teaching strategies to provide hands-on learning opportunities for their students. Administrators gained a better understanding of the children’s instructional needs and began to support and encourage a developmental focus for the kindergarten curriculum. An analysis of the standardized test data and other information regarding the kindergarten program was conducted to assess the impact of the project on the student’s’ achievement levels. The analysis revealed that achievement scores in all subject areas improved. Also, the percentage of first grade students referred to the Chapter I Program decreased.

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