Education Doctorate

Year Approved


First Advisor

Hering, Erica


Although children’s development may be continuous, their early learning experience may not be. Absent from the field is literature describing actual teacher practices that are continued from early learning settings to kindergarten. This quantitative comparison study explored the continuous adult behaviors in two types of childcare early learning environments to determine if these behaviors are continuous, and to what degree, with the adult behaviors exhibited by kindergarten teachers at the time of kindergarten entry. Twenty-one classroom teachers were observed in the areas of physical environment, adult-child interactions, and teaching strategies. Of these classroom teachers, eight were in childcare early learning programs self-categorized as socio-emotional/socio-behavioral in focus, six were in childcare early learning programs self-categorized as having a pre-academic focus, and the remaining seven were kindergarten teachers within the same district boundaries as the childcare early learning sites. The largest statistical difference in data was present in the area of teaching strategies. Despite the sample size, the partial eta squared value revealed relationships between several classroom comparisons and identified options for further study. These findings suggest the instructional aspects of children’s continuous experiences have the greatest variance. Recommendations for collaborations and professional development conclude the study.

Degree Name

Education Doctorate

Document Type

Doctoral dissertation