School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Gina Thomason


Cognitive Learning, Head Start, Kindergarten, Prekindergarten, Preschool, Social Skills


A student’s educational development is brought on through learning experiences and lessons that enhance school readiness and set the tone for the remainder of that student’s life. School readiness begins with attendance in a preschool environment. Although not mandatory, the educational journey can begin in prekindergarten where children are exposed to a variety of lessons and experiences that enhance literacy, social, math, and physical skills. This study examined the impact that prekindergarten had on the social and behavior skills, also known as social foundations using a causal-comparative design. Specifically, this study determined if there was a difference among the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) social foundation scores of students who attend prekindergarten programs compared to students who do not attend prekindergarten programs. This study included KRA scores from kindergarteners enrolled in a school district in Maryland during the 2016-2017. For the 2016-2017 school year, the study assessed 213 students using KRA. From that population, 70 samples were analyzed using the Kruskal Wallis H Test. Based on the test, there were significant differences among the KRA social foundation scores of kindergarten students who attended Head Start, school-based prekindergarten, private preschool, or no prekindergarten program. This study was important since it addressed students’ social development at the beginning of their educational career in different learning environments. Additionally, it provided information on the development of the whole child.