School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Tracey Pritchard


Approaches to Learning, Pre-K


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education


This causal-comparative study examined the differences in early childhood experiences on the critical school readiness domain of approaches to learning. Kindergarten teachers from a small district in northeast Georgia completed the Learning Behaviors Scale to examine the dependent variables of competence motivation, attitude toward learning, attention/persistence, and strategy/flexibility from a convenience sample of 187 kindergarten students. The school district provided archived data that included kindergarten class lists, preschool experiences during the 2012-2013 school year, race, gender, free/reduced lunch status, and elementary school attended for kindergarten in order to examine kindergartners' learning behaviors. Descriptive statistics provided information on the mean differences between the three independent variable groups, dependent variables, and demographic variables. A MANOVA analyzed the linear combination of all of the variables and determined whether groups differed on more than one dependent variable. Individual ANOVAs provided information on each of the preschool groups and the four approaches to learning dependent variables. Results indicated no statistically significant differences in approaches to learning based on preschool experience. This study contributed to the existing body of literature on the effects of quality preschool experiences on the critical and relatively unexplored domain of approaches to learning.