Dr. Melody Wilson Defense

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Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, PhD Dissertation Committee for Dr. Melody Wilson, PhD Program in Educational Leadership, PVAMU, Member of the Texas A&M University System.

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  • There were 2 male principal respondents and 13 female principal respondents. There were only 2 male teacher respondents and 23 female teacher respondents.
  • *Have both Montessori and non-Montessori teaching; ** Have no Montessori teaching: ***Have no non-Montessori teaching
  • 8 Principals and 16 Teachers were Montessori trained while 7 Principals and 9 Teachers were not.
  • Qualitative Research Question #1: What are principals’ and teachers’ perceptions of the Montessori program in preparing students for kindergarten? Both principals and teachers noted that the Montessori program lays the foundation for later academia.
  • Qualitative Research Question #2: What do principals and teachers perceive as the necessary reading readiness skills for pre-kindergarten students to possess to be successful in kindergarten? Both Principals and Teachers perceived that Vocabulary Development and Listening Comprehension were necessary Reading Readiness Skills for Kindergarten.
  • Qualitative Research Question #3 : What areas do principals and teachers perceive are the most important for kindergarten students to be successful in reading as they relate to the Texas Primary Reading Inventory? Both principals and teachers noted that word attack skills (which is the knowledge of letter names and sounds), positive reading experiences, and positive reading opportunities are the most important areas for kindergarten students to be successful in reading as they relate to the Texas Primary Reading Inventory.
  • Qualitative Research Question #4: Did educational administration programs prepare or promote principals’ awareness and understanding of the components of the Kindergarten Texas Primary Reading Inventory? All 15 principals completed an educational leadership program, but only 2 principals were aware of the Kindergarten Texas Primary Reading Inventory.
  • Only principals answered this question.
  • Dr. Melody Wilson Defense

    1. 1. The Impact of the Public Pre-Kindergarten Montessori Program on Kindergarten Texas Primary Reading Inventory Scores: Principals’ and Teachers’ Perceptions of Its Effectiveness A Dissertation Defense by: Melody Ann Wilson April 10, 2008
    2. 2. Committee Members Pamela Barber-Freeman, Ph.D. (Dissertation Chair) Douglas Hermond, Ph.D. (Member) Wanda Johnson, Ph.D. (Member) William Allan Kritsonis, Ph.D. (Member)
    3. 3. Dissertation Defense Format I. Purpose of Study II. Conceptual Framework III. Research Questions IV. Hypotheses V. Analysis of Data (Quantitative) VI. Quantitative Major Findings <ul><li>Quantitative </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>VIII. Analysis of Data </li></ul><ul><li>(Qualitative) </li></ul><ul><li>IX. Qualitative Major </li></ul><ul><li>Findings </li></ul><ul><li>X. Qualitative Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>XI. Conclusions/ </li></ul><ul><li>Implications </li></ul><ul><li>XII. Recommendations for </li></ul><ul><li>Further Study </li></ul>
    4. 4. Purpose of the Study The first purpose was to determine if Montessori attendees did better than non-attendees on the four dimensions of the TPRI. The second purpose was to examine principals’ and teachers’ perceptions on the effectiveness of the Montessori program in preparing the pre-kindergarten students for kindergarten.
    5. 5. Conceptual Framework Explanatory Design of Mixed Methods Study TPRI Scores: Montessori vs. Non-Montessori Comparison of Montessori and Non-Montessori Pre-Kindergarten Programs Quantitative Data Qualitative Data Principals’ and Teachers’ Perceptions <ul><li>Means </li></ul><ul><li>t-test </li></ul><ul><li>for 2 Independent </li></ul><ul><li>Samples </li></ul><ul><li>Emergent </li></ul><ul><li>Themes </li></ul><ul><li>Anecdotal </li></ul><ul><li>Records </li></ul>
    6. 6. Quantitative Research Question <ul><li>What are the differences in the kindergarten </li></ul><ul><li>Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI) scores, </li></ul><ul><li>in the areas of </li></ul><ul><li>Graphophonemic Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Phonemic Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Book and Print Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Listening Comprehension </li></ul><ul><li>between kindergarten students that attended a public </li></ul><ul><li>pre-kindergarten Montessori program and kindergarten </li></ul><ul><li>students that did not attend a public pre-kindergarten </li></ul><ul><li>Montessori program? </li></ul>
    7. 7. Null Hypothesis #1 H 01 :There is no statistically significant difference in the kindergarten Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI) scores between kindergarten students that attended a public pre-kindergarten Montessori program and kindergarten students that did not attend a public pre-kindergarten Montessori program in the area of Graphophonemic Awareness.
    8. 8. Null Hypothesis #2 H 02 :There is no statistically significant difference in the kindergarten Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI) scores between kindergarten students that attended a public pre-kindergarten Montessori program and kindergarten students that did not attend a public pre-kindergarten Montessori program in the area of Phonemic Awareness.
    9. 9. Null Hypothesis #3 H 03 :There is no statistically significant difference in the kindergarten Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI) scores between kindergarten students that attended a public pre-kindergarten Montessori program and kindergarten students that did not attend a public pre-kindergarten Montessori program in the area of Book and Print Awareness.
    10. 10. Null Hypothesis #4 H 04 :There is no statistically significant difference in the kindergarten Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI) scores between kindergarten students that attended a public pre-kindergarten Montessori program and kindergarten students that did not attend a public pre-kindergarten Montessori program in the area of Listening Comprehension.
    11. 11. Qualitative Research Question #1 What are principals’ and teachers’ perceptions about the effectiveness of Montessori pre-kindergarten as it relates to preparing students for kindergarten?
    12. 12. Qualitative Research Question #2 What do principals and teachers perceive as the necessary reading readiness skills for pre-kindergarten students to possess to be successful in kindergarten?
    13. 13. Qualitative Research Question #3 <ul><li>What areas do principals and teachers perceive are the most important for kindergarten students to be successful in reading as they relate to the Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI)? </li></ul>
    14. 14. Qualitative Research Question #4 Did educational leadership programs prepare or promote principals’ awareness and understanding of the components of the kindergarten Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI)?
    15. 15. Quantitative Methods SPSS, Version 12.0
    16. 16. <ul><li>Means or Averages </li></ul><ul><li>t-test for 2 independent </li></ul><ul><li>samples </li></ul>Quantitative Methods
    17. 17. <ul><li>Independent Variable: </li></ul><ul><li>*Type of Pre-K Program </li></ul><ul><li>Montessori </li></ul><ul><li>Non-Montessori </li></ul><ul><li>Dependent Variable: </li></ul><ul><li>*Kindergarten TPRI Scores </li></ul>Quantitative Methods
    18. 18. <ul><li>4 Texas Public School Districts that offered both </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-K Montessori or Pre-K non-Montessori </li></ul><ul><li>16 Title I Elementary school campuses </li></ul><ul><li>500 Beginning of the Year Kindergarten </li></ul><ul><li>Texas Primary Reading Inventory Scores </li></ul><ul><li>(252 Montessori and 248 non-Montessori scores) </li></ul>Quantitative Subjects
    19. 19. Instrumentation: Beginning of Year (BOY) Kindergarten Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI) Quantitative Methods
    20. 20. Major Findings Quantitative Category Montessori Non-Montessori t Sig. 2-tailed Graphophonemic Awareness 9.12 8.59 3.73 * 0.000 Phonemic Awareness 6.13 4.96 12.23 * 0.000 Book & Print Awareness 4.77 4.51 4.21 * 0.000 Listening Comprehension 4.63 4.25 3.70 * 0.000 * Significant at p ≤ 0.05
    21. 21. <ul><li>September 2006 Kindergarten TPRI results in the four areas of: </li></ul><ul><li>Graphophonemic Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Phonemic Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Book and Print Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Listening Comprehension </li></ul><ul><li>The null hypothesis was rejected in each area. </li></ul>Quantitative Discussion
    22. 22. Qualitative Subjects <ul><li>4 Texas Public School Districts that offered </li></ul><ul><li>both Pre-K Montessori or Pre-K non-Montessori </li></ul><ul><li>16 Title I Elementary school campuses </li></ul><ul><li>15 Principals </li></ul><ul><li>25 Teachers </li></ul>
    23. 23. <ul><li>Gender Principals % Teachers % Total % </li></ul><ul><li>Males 2 13.3 2 8.0 4 10.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Females 13 86.7 23 92.0 36 90.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Total 15 100.0 25 100.0 40 100.0 </li></ul>Gender of Respondents
    24. 24. <ul><li>Years Principals % Teachers % Total % </li></ul><ul><li>3 – 7 0 0.0 8 32.0 8 20.0 </li></ul><ul><li>8 – 12 1 6.7 10 40.0 11 27.5 </li></ul><ul><li>13-17 5 33.3 3 12.0 8 20.0 </li></ul><ul><li> ≥ 18 9 60.0 4 16.0 13 32.5 </li></ul><ul><li>Total 15 100.0 25 100.0 40 100.0 </li></ul>Number of Years in the Field of Education
    25. 25. <ul><li>Teaching Area # of Principals % </li></ul><ul><li>Early Childhood (Pre-K to K) 7 46.7 </li></ul><ul><li>Elementary (1st -5th grade) 6 40.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Middle School (6th-8th grade) 2 13.3 </li></ul><ul><li>Total 15 100.0 </li></ul>Teaching Area Prior to Principalship
    26. 26. <ul><li>Years 0 1-2 3-7 8-12 Total </li></ul><ul><li>0 0 0 8 1 9 *** </li></ul><ul><li>1 – 2 0 0 1 * 0 1 </li></ul><ul><li>3 – 7 0 0 3 * 0 3 </li></ul><ul><li>8 – 12 4 0 3 * 0 7 </li></ul><ul><li> 13 – 17 1 0 0 0 1 </li></ul><ul><li> ≥ 18 2 0 2 * 0 4 </li></ul><ul><li>Total 7 ** 0 17 1 25 </li></ul>Years of Teaching Montessori and Non-Montessori Programs ( N=25 ) Non-Montessori Montessori * Have both Montessori and non-Montessori teaching **Have no Montessori teaching ***Have no non-Montessori teaching
    27. 27. <ul><li>Training Principals % Teachers % </li></ul><ul><li>Montessori 8 53.3 16 64.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Non-Montessori 7 46.7 9 36.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Total 15 100.0 25 100.0 </li></ul>Training of Principals and Teachers
    28. 28. <ul><li>Principals (N=15) </li></ul><ul><li>NCLB </li></ul><ul><li>AYP </li></ul><ul><li>TAKS </li></ul><ul><li>Kindergarten as “Backburner” </li></ul><ul><li>Foundation for Later Academia </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers (N=25) </li></ul><ul><li>Social Development </li></ul><ul><li>Exposure to Letter Sounds </li></ul><ul><li>Exposure to Letter Names </li></ul><ul><li>Exposure to Numbers 1-100 </li></ul><ul><li>Foundation for Later Academia </li></ul>Qualitative Research Question #1 Perceptions of Principals and Teachers Related to Preparing Students for Kindergarten
    29. 29. <ul><li>The principals perceived that NCLB didn’t include Kindergarten TPRI scores in the accountability ratings, so their focus was more on the 3rd grade TAKS and up. The principals commented as follows: </li></ul><ul><li>“ We have to operate within those stringent NCLB guidelines, so we cannot spend a lot of time on lower grade levels.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ NCLB poses a more visible challenge for testing higher grade levels, so we have to focus there.” </li></ul>Qualitative Discussion-Research Question #1
    30. 30. <ul><li>Principals quoted: </li></ul><ul><li>“ AYP can make you or break you.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ AYP is a more visible challenge because it is a factor in the NCLB.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ AYP can keep you hired or get you fired. Early childhood student tests are not included in AYP, so we elementary principals look at it, but we don’t look at it. We tend to worry more about the 3rd and 4th grade TAKS Reading Test, not the Kindergarten TPRI.” </li></ul>Qualitative Discussion-Research Question #1
    31. 31. <ul><li>Review of literature supports the principals’ comments towards the perceptions of both NCLB and AYP in that some educators think the attention should be directed downward-toward the preschool years (Jacobson, 2007). </li></ul>Qualitative Discussion-Research Question #1
    32. 32. <ul><li>Another major concern of principals was the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) . Principals expressed consideration for TAKS in the following views: </li></ul><ul><li>“ TAKS is not offered in kindergarten, so the emphasis on early childhood learning is not as strong.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ TAKS, TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills), Benchmarks, and the Kindergarten TPRI are the order of importance.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ TAKS Saturday classes are offered to our 3rd graders, not to kindergarteners.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We spend more money on preparing students for the TAKS test and not the Kindergarten TPRI.” </li></ul>Qualitative Discussion-Research Question #1
    33. 33. <ul><li>Another perception belonging solely to principals was the consideration of kindergarten as a “backburner.” This concern was expressed by principals in the following opinions: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Kindergarten TPRI scores don’t get you any TAKS money.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Kindergarten is important, but not the primary focus.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Kindergarten TPRI scores don’t get you that Exemplary accountability rating, TAKS scores do. So, let’s keep the main thing the main thing-TAKS and put TPRI on the back of the stove.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Kindergarten is very important but because of the pressure of students passing TAKS and principals being reassigned or even losing their jobs, we just have to put kindergarten TPRI on the back burner.” </li></ul>Qualitative Discussion-Research Question #1
    34. 34. <ul><li>Principals and teachers were in consonance regarding the perception that early childhood education serves as a foundation for later academic success . </li></ul><ul><li>Principals noted this perception in their views: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Pre-kindergarten programs provide the basic foundation for future academic learning.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Students learn rules and routines as they begin to operate within the school system, this sets the tone for latter learning.” </li></ul>Qualitative Discussion- Research Question #1
    35. 35. <ul><li>The teachers shared the same view as expressed in their comments: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Pre-kindergarten programs provide the basic foundation for future academic learning. Children are exposed to all of the major subject areas and this prepares them for latter learning.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Children learn to mix and mingle with other kids. They learn to share and wait their turn.” This promotes social development.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Students learn to speak better and more fluently when they are around other children.” </li></ul>Qualitative Discussion- Research Question #1
    36. 36. Qualitative Research Question #2 Reading Readiness Areas for Kindergarten Students <ul><li>Principals (N=15) </li></ul><ul><li>Vocabulary Development </li></ul><ul><li>Listening Comprehension </li></ul><ul><li>Book & Print Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Graphophonemic/Phonemic Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers (N=25) </li></ul><ul><li>Vocabulary Development </li></ul><ul><li>Listening Comprehension </li></ul><ul><li>Language Skills </li></ul>
    37. 37. <ul><li>The theme of vocabulary development was expressed by the principals in the following scenarios: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Students need to be read to daily.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Students need to know that letters make words and that we say words to communicate.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Children have to learn to talk to develop their vocabulary and eventually learn to read to put it all together.” </li></ul>Qualitative Discussion-Research Question #2
    38. 38. <ul><li>Teachers also considered vocabulary building as important through these comments: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Children must have an oral vocabulary and then develop a written vocabulary.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Students must be able to speak with some degree of fluency and then be able to write legibly in order to build vocabulary.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Children have to speak words and then learn to write them to develop vocabulary skills.” </li></ul>Qualitative Discussion-Research Question #2
    39. 39. <ul><li>Listening comprehension was construed by principals through these conditions: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Students must understand what they have read.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Children must comprehend basic sentence structure-noun names a person, place, or thing, and that a verb is an action word, and put it all together to understand what they have read.” </li></ul>Qualitative Discussion-Research Question #2
    40. 40. <ul><li>Teachers explained acquisition of listening skills through the following comments: </li></ul><ul><li>“ My students must develop listening skills through self-control. I explain to them that we are born with two ears and one mouth. It’s intended for us to speak less and listen more.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Children have to listen to be able to process what’s being taught.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Students are exposed to listening to music, stories, letter sounds and names. These recorded learning materials assist in developing listening skills.” </li></ul>Qualitative Discussion-Research Question #2
    41. 41. <ul><li>Principals (N=15) </li></ul><ul><li>Word Attack Skills/Knowledge of Letter </li></ul><ul><li>Names and Sounds </li></ul><ul><li>Positive Reading Experiences/Reading </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>High Frequency Word Lists </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers (N=25) </li></ul><ul><li>Word Attack Skills/Knowledge of Letter </li></ul><ul><li>Names and Sounds </li></ul><ul><li>Positive Reading Experiences/Reading </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Listening Skills </li></ul>Qualitative Research Question #3 Factors for Success in Achieving Satisfactory Texas Primary Reading Inventory Scores
    42. 42. Qualitative Discussion-Research Question #3 <ul><li>Principals regarded word attack skills as an important factor in the area of reading related to the Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI). Word attack skills can be expressed in these situations: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Students must learn to sound out letters to determine the pronunciation of the word.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ A student must be expected to know letter sounds well enough to sound out the words.” </li></ul>
    43. 43. Qualitative Discussion-Research Question #3 <ul><li>“ An appreciation of reading-being read to at home, setting aside a comfy area at home to read daily helps students to achieve reading success.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Adults making a big deal out of reading in a positive way help children to want to develop stronger reading skills. Stronger reading skills impact student success on reading tests.” </li></ul>
    44. 44. Qualitative Discussion-Research Question #3 <ul><li>Similarly, teachers mentioned knowledge of both letter names and sounds as an essential tool to score well in TPRI. They explained this required knowledge through the following conditions: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Children have to know those letter names and sounds to be successful on the kindergarten TPRI, since that’s a major component of the assessment.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Students have to be able to name those initial letter sounds and give the names of the letters to be successful on the TPRI test.” </li></ul>
    45. 45. Qualitative Research Question #4 Educational Leadership Programs Preparing Principals’ Understanding of the Kindergarten Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI) Programs Frequency Percent TPRI Promoted 2 13.0 TPRI Not Promoted 13 86.0 Total 15 100.0
    46. 46. Qualitative Discussion-Research Question #4 <ul><li>Principals discussed their preparation programs in the following experiences: </li></ul><ul><li>“ My Educational Leadership Program taught me leadership skills in administration, with no familiarity of specific reading programs.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ My program discussed the different tests that were available, but it didn’t go into detail because my emphasis was on leadership methodology.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Kindergarten Texas Primary Reading Inventory was never been mentioned by any of my professors in my administration programs.” </li></ul>
    47. 47. Conclusions <ul><li>It is implied that the Pre-Kindergarten Montessori program for this specific year under study produced better prepared kindergarten students to take the TPRI test. </li></ul><ul><li>The purpose of the TPRI was created to comply with the requirement of TEC§ 28.006 by facilitating a teacher’s capacity to: identify students at-risk for reading difficulties in kindergarten, first grade and second grade, and (b) set learning objectives for at-risk students. The screening portion permits the assessment of individual students, while the inventory section assesses reading and reading related skills that allow the teacher to gain more in-depth information that can be used to determine the child’s level of risk for reading problems (Texas Education Agency & University of Texas System, 2006 ). </li></ul>
    48. 48. Conclusions <ul><li>Specific goals of the Early Reading First Program involve: the enhancement of early language, literacy and pre-reading development of pre-school children, through strategies and professional development that are based on scientifically based reading research; to provide pre-school children with cognitive learning opportunities in high quality language and literature-rich environments so that the children can obtain a fundamental knowledge base and necessary reading development skills (United States Department of Education, 2006 ). </li></ul>
    49. 49. Implications <ul><li>The results of this study may inform both government policy-makers and education practitioners in the district and campus levels regarding important considerations they should give to early childhood education. </li></ul>
    50. 50. Implications <ul><li>After studies show the advantage of early childhood education as beneficial for students compared to immediately starting in the 1st Grade, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten should be included as required education for all children, considering the basic academic and social foundations afforded during these formative years. </li></ul>
    51. 51. Implications <ul><li>After a more conclusive study pinpoints to the greater benefits of the Montessori program, districts should provide more opportunities for their schools to offer this type of program. This will require training of teachers and administrators but initial steps may be started and accomplishment of the goal may be planned on a certain timeline. </li></ul>
    52. 52. Implications <ul><li>Involvement of parents is required for any academic endeavor. If they are able to convince their children regarding the value of education, it will make efforts in school easier to achieve student success. </li></ul>
    53. 53. Implications <ul><li>President Bush believed the Early Reading First Program to be a part of his “Good Start, Grow Smart,” statement (United States Department of Education, 2006). Efforts in early childhood education should be attuned to this philosophy . </li></ul>
    54. 54. Recommendations for Further Study <ul><li>A more comprehensive study should be conducted to include more districts and should include at least three years of TPRI results given at the start of kindergarten, comparing performance of students enrolled in the Montessori program during pre-kindergarten and students enrolled in non-Montessori or traditional program. </li></ul>
    55. 55. Recommendations for Further Study <ul><li>A study should be conducted after the 1st Grade, using performance in TPRI to compare students who completed early childhood education in the Montessori program, non-Montessori or traditional program and students who started school only during that academic year. </li></ul>
    56. 56. Recommendations for Further Study <ul><li>A study should be conducted regarding the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) in Mathematics and Reading using standardized testing comparing pre-kindergarten students enrolled in the Montessori program and students in the non-Montessori setting. Another follow-up study can be done after the kindergarten year. </li></ul>
    57. 57. Tell a child- He will forget ! Show a child- He will remember !! Involve a child- He will understand!! Chinese Proverb

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