School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Gina Thomason


Kindergarten, Rural, Age, PALS




Parents and teachers are faced with the difficult question of when to enroll their children in kindergarten to be the most academically successful in a rural area. Some parents have started enrolling children in kindergarten at the age of four, despite not being cognitively ready based on the information-processing theory. The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between entrance age and the academic achievement of literacy skills for kindergarten students in a rural area. A correlational design was utilized to test the strength and direction of the relationship between two quantitative variables: age and reading achievement in a rural school district. A correlational design was appropriate for this study since in order to measure the degree and direction of the relationship between two or more variables and to explore the magnitude among variables. A scatter plot was used to determine the differences between the predictor variable, age, and criterion variable achievement in reading in a rural school district. The researcher failed to reject the null hypothesis. A total of 221 students participated in the research from three separate public schools in rural Virginia. The results of the study did not indicate a relationship between entrance age measured in months and academic achievement in literacy skills scores. Future research to include how age impacts kindergarten students in other demographic regions, with a larger sample size, would aid in further development of this research.

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