Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Barbara V. Strobert, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Eunyoung Kim, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Luke Stedrak, Ed.D.


PreK-3, early childhood education, kindergarten


PreK-3 is a growing national initiative designed to transform the educational experiences of young children. Research indicates that young children’s educational gains are more likely to last when quality preschool programs are linked with the elementary years. A PreK-3 approach integrates and builds strong connections between the learning experiences of children ages three through eight. Kindergarten is the grade where preschool and primary grade experiences intersect.

The purpose of this study was to examine kindergarten teachers’ opinions regarding professional development opportunities in early childhood education which may help facilitate implementation of the PreK-3 continuum. This was accomplished through an examination of kindergarten teachers’ beliefs regarding the context, content, and process of professional development opportunities in identified areas of core knowledge and effective teaching practices for PreK-3 and specific professional development delivery models or formats.

The population investigated was kindergarten teachers employed in public schools in the state of New Jersey. A non-probability sampling method was employed, using a convenience sampling technique. A self-administered questionnaire was developed by the researcher to obtain pertinent information.

The knowledge gained from this study may be utilized to design meaningful professional development opportunities for kindergarten teachers. This may help bridge the gaps between preschool learning environments, kindergarten, and the primary grades to create a cohesive unit, PreK-3, which has the potential to function as the foundation of an educational system.

The information and insight gained by this investigation may provide valuable information to educational administrators seeking to implement the PreK-3 learning continuum in their schools as well as contribute to the growing body of knowledge of the concept of the PreK-3 learning continuum and the effective steps to its implementation. PreK-3 provides a unique opportunity for teachers and administrators to enhance child development during the most formative time in a child’s journey through the educational system.