Year of Publication

2013

Season of Publication

Spring

Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Department

Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. College of Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Dr. Katherine L. Kasten

Second Advisor

Dr. Katrina Hall

Third Advisor

Dr. Jerry Johnson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Brian Fisak

Department Chair

Dr. Jennifer J. Kane

College Dean

Dr. Larry G. Daniel

Abstract

The impact of high quality early learning experiences on a child's development is profound. Teacher quality has been deemed an important predictor of classroom quality, but currently teachers in Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) in the state of Florida are required to meet minimal training requirements. The purpose of this study was to examine an intervention including in-class coaching as a means of professional development to better prepare preschool teachers. The present study included and examination of the changes in environmental quality, child outcomes, and teacher perceptions after the intervention. Scores obtained were compared before and after the intervention. A two-tailed t-test revealed that the post-test was significantly higher than the pre-test. In particular, two sub-scales were statistically significant, including Space and Furnishings and Activities. The other sub-scales, including a measure of teacher-child interactions and language-reasoning were not significantly changed. An ANOVA indicated no significant differences in kindergarten school readiness scores between centers that received coaching for varying amounts of time. Teachers were interviewed to discover their perception of in-class coaching. After examining in-class coaching from the varying angles, conclusions were drawn: In-class coaching may significantly affect the quality of classrooms, as related to environmental aspects of quality but may not be improving child outcomes. In-class coaching may increase teachers’ validation, inspiration and may contribute to the teachers’ understanding of developmental appropriateness. Conclusions suggest that teachers with a native language other than English may receive additional benefits from an in-class coaching and that effective coaches must have many skills in order to create change in the classrooms in which they work. The final conclusion was that despite its merits, coaching may not be a long-term solution to classroom and teacher quality in the context of low educational requirements, minimal pay, high turnover, and low job satisfaction. Recommendations for future practice and research are suggested.

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