School of Education
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Primary Subject Area
Education, Curriculum and Instruction; Education, Early Childhood; Education, General; Education, Tests and Measurements
Dyson, Alisa Shook, "Early Childhood Cognitive Development: A Descriptive Study on the Effectiveness of Preschool Curricula" (2006). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. Paper 183.
This study examined the lack of rigorous, systematic evaluation of preschool curricula utilizing three survey instruments developed by NSSE: Parent/Guardian Questionnaire, Staff Questionnaire, Program Specific Indicators o/Teaching and Organizational Effectiveness. The measures were designed to reflect the concepts of developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) as presented in the revised 2005 NAEYC guidelines, Association of Christian Schools International Intended Student Outcomes, and The National Study of School Evaluation (NSSE) accreditation assessment instruments. Two hundred surveys completed by nonprofit, Christian early childhood center administrators across the United States were utilized in this study. Quantitative data presented utilizing NSSE's psychometric instruments provides the information necessary for documenting the lack of systematic evaluation of curriculum selection, teaching, . and assessment practices. Researchers have developed taxonomy of three primary categories and 29 subcategories of factors influencing student achievement. To give the taxonomy utility for purposes of this study about school improvement, NSSE researchers described the categories as "core tasks" and "effective tasks," which have been identified as important to educational practices and improved student learning (National Study of School Evaluation, 2004). The study provides rigorous evidence of the need to strengthen and improve the quality of the school's selected curricula and produce educationally meaningful changes in a traditionally didactic approach to pedagogy.