Year of Publication

2011

Season of Publication

Fall

Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Larry G. Daniel

Second Advisor

Dr. Katherine L. Kasten

Third Advisor

Dr. Katrina Hall

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Daniel Richard

Department Chair

Dr. Jennifer J. Kane

College Dean

Dr. Larry G. Daniel

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to determine whether a set of teacher demographic, knowledge, and instructional variables is related to preschool children’s literacy development. Specifically, the study investigated how these teacher variables impact children’s language development scores on the four subscales of the Preschool Language Assessment Instrument, Second Edition (PLAI2) and the four subscales of the Test of Language Development – Primary, Fourth Edition (TOLD-P:4). There were two major research questions in the study: (a) Will the predictor set of CLASS emotional support, CLASS classroom organization, CLASS instructional support, level of education, years teaching pre-kindergarten, and answers on a teacher knowledge questionnaire (TKQ) correlate with the TOLD-P:4 language assessment subscales of relational vocabulary, syntactic understanding, sentence imitation, and morphological completion? (b) Will the predictor set of CLASS emotional support, CLASS classroom organization, CLASS instructional support, level of education, years teaching pre-kindergarten, and answers on a TKQ correlate with the PLAI2 language assessment subscales of matching, selective analysis, reordering, and reasoning? Results indicated no noteworthy correlations between the predictor variable set and the subtests of the TOLD-P:4; hence, the variable relationships posited in research question 1 were not supported by the data. Results for research question 2 indicated support for the variable relationships posited. Specifically, canonical correlation yielded two roots of noteworthy size (Rc 2 values = .19 and .09 for roots 1 and 2, respectively). Canonical structure coefficients indicated positive correlation between the teacher predictor variables of education, experience, knowledge, and the CLASS domain of emotional support with students’ scores on the PLAI2. At the same time, the amount of teaching experience that teachers had in the childcare industry was found to be negatively correlated to PLAI2 subscale scores. Findings are discussed relative to the literature on professional development.

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