The problem of practice that this dissertation in practice addresses is the creation of a professional development model designed to assist voluntary prekindergarten (VPK) teachers and directors with the implementation of the 2011 Early Learning and Developmental Standards for Four-Year-Olds; specifically the mathematical thinking benchmark. Because the standards serve as a planning guide to assist teachers and directors of VPK children in the attainment of skills required by the end of their prekindergarten school year, it is important that those utilizing the Standards have a concrete understanding of their components and how to use them as the foundation for all lesson planning. The pilot study included informal interviews with both VPK teachers and directors concerning their understanding of the 2011 Early Learning and Developmental Standards for Four-Year-Olds and the assistance they received with the implementation of the standards into their daily lesson plans. An additional survey was administered electronically to a target group of VPK teachers and directors concerning their personal beliefs about preschoolers and mathematics, their confidence in helping preschoolers learn mathematical concepts, and their confidence in their personal mathematics abilities. This dissertation in practice provides a professional development framework, that demonstrates how to facilitate a comprehensive professional development program that addresses all of the essential components including pre-assessment, the use of appropriate practices when working with adult learners, providing coaching and technical assistance to the practitioners, and using communities of practice (CoP) to provide ongoing support for teachers and directors of VPK children. Utilizing a combination of these strategies can help to ensure that those working with this targeted group have an inclusive understanding of the standards as well as a support system to effectively provide VPK students with a developmentally appropriate education.
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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Teaching, Learning, and Leadership
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Twyman, Catherine, "Supporting Prekindergarten Teachers Through Appropriate Professional Development Practices" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5047.