Date of Award:

5-2018

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Education

Advisor/Chair:

Patricia Moyer-Packenham

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Jessica Shumway

Third Advisor:

Beth MacDonald

Abstract

As students enter kindergarten, some students are more academically prepared than others. This study looked at the relationships among preschool attendance, preschool type (i.e., public, private, Head Start, and home-based technology providers) and preschool quality and early mathematical literacy skills for diverse students. The study sought to answer three research questions: What is the relationship between preschool attendance and early mathematical literacy? What is the relationship between preschool type and early mathematical literacy? What is the relationship between preschool quality and early mathematical literacy? Within each research question, there was also an investigation to see if there were differing effects for diverse student demographics. Data was obtained from the USBE in relation to preschool enrollment records and kindergarten entry scores on the state mandated Kindergarten Entry and Exit Profile (KEEP) assessment for all kindergarten students enrolled in the 2017-18 school year. The researcher conducted a 2x2 Factor ANOVA, independent group means t-tests, and multiple regression analysis to determine relationships among preschool attendance, type, and quality and early mathematical literacy. In general, the independent variables of attending preschool and the quality of the preschool did not seem to have the positive influence expected on early mathematical literacy as a whole, but when looking more specifically at the demographic covariates, there were some positive influences. Students who participated in online preschool programming on average experienced the highest early mathematical literacy scores. Overall, the results suggested that students from diverse backgrounds experience improved early mathematical literacy when they attended preschool. Therefore, with the limited funding available for preschool, policymakers should consider which students might most benefit from preschool experience and target limited resources to such populations.

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