An Exploratory, Qualitative Study of Preschool Teachers Knowledge of the PA Early Learning Standards and Application in Practice

Open Access
Author:
Ruggiero, Stephanie Virginia
Area of Honors:
Childhood and Early Adolescent Education
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Jodie Styers, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Dawn Blasko, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • PA Early Learning Standards for Mathematics
  • teacher knowledge
  • Pre-K instruction
  • richness of mathematical instruction
Abstract:
In 2013, Pennsylvania competed for funding for schools. To ensure schools maintained this funding, they received new standards at the preschool level in order to prepare students for Kindergarten. Since these new standards were adopted, an overwhelming amount of pressure has been put on preschool teachers to ensure their students are meeting, if not exceeding these standards. A qualitative case study was conducted at the Sunshine Preschool to examine whether or not preschool teachers are being prepared with adequate knowledge of the PA Early Learning Standards for Mathematics and if the teachers were then enacting this knowledge of the standards into practice. The sample consisted of four preschool teachers with varying degrees of experience with children. We discovered that teachers with more knowledge of the PA Early Learning Standards for Mathematics did not implement richer mathematics instruction than teachers with less knowledge of the PA Early Learning Standards for Mathematics. We offer implications of these findings, as well as suggestions for improving future versions of this study.