School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Meredith Park


Teacher Collaboration, Transitions, Early Head Start, Head Start, Teachers, Early Childhood Education


Education | Educational Leadership


The purpose of this collective case study was to examine how Early Head Start and Head Start teachers collaborate to create successful transitions for students from classroom to classroom. The theory guiding this study was the sociocultural theory by Lev Vygotsky (1978), which focuses on learning through interactions and communications with others and collaborative learning. Vygotsky’s theory aligned with the study by informing educators that children learn from a guide and teachers should be intentional in adding to children’s knowledge and supporting children’s ways of understanding the world around them. This study addressed the following research questions: How do early learning teachers collaborate to prepare students for transitions to a classroom? How do teachers collaborate with families to create a positive transition experience for students? How are teachers utilizing transition strategies to ensure a smooth transition for students? For this study, a case study was used, and the sample was Early Head Start and Head Start teachers in various Early Head Start and Head Start programs in Washington, DC. Data were drawn from interviews, document analysis, and focus groups to capture the case under study in its complexity and entirety through interviews, analyzing documents, and focus groups. The data analysis involved consolidating, reducing, and interpreting codes, themes, and data analysis strategies. The following six themes emerged after completing the data analysis: (a) communication amongst educators; (b) communication with parents and guardians; (c) improvement needed; (d) positive teacher collaboration experiences; (e) program support; and (f) transition strategies.