Browsing Electronic Theses and Dissertations by Author "Peterson, Rhonda M."
Examination of Quality Indicators in Public and Private Pre-Kindergarten Classrooms in IndianaPeterson, Rhonda M.The purpose of this study was to examine the current state of pre-kindergarten classrooms in the state of Indiana through the perspectives of public and private pre-kindergarten program directors. Survey results revealed a high concentration of female pre-kindergarten directors within the state of Indiana. Although directors rated their teaching staffs with a high level of early education background, they themselves felt less confident about their backgrounds in this field. Descriptive data also revealed that private student–teacher ratios are smaller, their instructional days are longer, their programs have been established for longer periods of time, and their directors have had longer tenures than their public counterparts. Statistical testing found that directors of public urban schools reported a higher quality rating than suburban and rural pre-kindergarten programs, based on the quality composite score. It was determined that student–teacher ratio and school type (public, private) both served as significant predictors of the quality composite score. It was revealed that as student–teacher ratio increases, the perceived pre-kindergarten quality decreases. Results also showed that pre-kindergarten directors’ perceived quality is less within the private setting than in the public setting, based on the composite quality score. The overarching purpose of this study was to provide an awareness of the potential benefits that quality pre-kindergarten programming could yield for the future citizens of Indiana as a whole and if perceived quality exists to some degree.