School of Education
Doctor of Education (EdD)
James A Swezey
Early Childhood Education, Intrinsic, Reggio Emilia Approach, Social Constructivist Theory, Transition
Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Other Education
Stephens, Joan, "Student Transition into Kindergarten: A Case Study of the Reggio Emilia Approach" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1735.
The purpose of this intrinsic case study was to arrive at a better understanding of what teachers contribute to the unique issues of student transition from a Reggio Emilia approach preschool into kindergarten. Transition was defined as “. . . reciprocal organization activities and cooperation (vertical connection), one of the aims of which was to connect with families (horizontal connection)” (Ahtola et al., 2016, p. 169). The central question of the research is; what do Reggio Emilia approach schoolteachers contribute to transition? Vygotsky’s (1978) social constructivist theory involved the “actual relations between individuals” (p. 57), and social constructivist theory, along with the zone of proximal development (ZPD) and the more knowledgeable other (MKO) guided this study. The concepts with Vygotsky’s theory empower students in the course of transition into kindergarten. This study explored the behavior of 15 participating preschool teachers at a Reggio Emilia approach school in the Midwest. Data collection in the field was individual interviews, observations, and journal entries, and analysis was primarily through direct interpretation and secondarily with the individual instance. Fifteen Midwestern Reggio Emilia approach teachers were interviewed and observed culminating in analysis and conclusions from the research that identified teachers’ behaviors that contributed to successful transition into kindergarten. The study data was coded and categorized that resulted in establishing themes of the Reggio Emilia phenomenon. Study findings were reviewed and results revealed in association with the literature and relevant theories and implications.