Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Verlyn Evans

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Early Childhood; Education, Religious; Education, Curriculum and Instruction; Psychology, Developmental

Keywords

preschool

Disciplines

Child Psychology | Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | International and Comparative Education | School Psychology

Abstract

This dissertation is a comparative study of the teaching methods of Christian preschools and secular preschool. I used two Christian and two secular preschools for the study. The study included interviews of the teachers and preschool directors and observations of actions in the classroom. Many children enter kindergarten not fully prepared for a classroom environment. Some of these children have never been outside the home without a parent and to be placed in a strange setting with strange people and answering to adults that are not parents, can be quite stressful. They are expected to become adjusted and start learning quickly. Preschools offer a less formal setting and generally smaller classes so the getting adjusted effort is not as stressful. Children entering kindergarten have varied levels of social and educational skills. Social skills that can be learned in preschool will better prepare a student to adapt to being in a class with many other students and be able to deal with the new surroundings and requirements. Just being able to recognize numbers and letters is a very positive step for children entering kindergarten and well organized preschool programs can have students ready to learn at the next level. To demonstrate that a preschool program is effective, the information must prove that its efforts not only improve the thinking of students in school, but that students can better deal with social situations, including those encountered in daily school life.