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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Antonio Serna

First Committee Member

Lynn G. Beck

Second Committee Member

Marilyn Draheim

Third Committee Member

Bobbi Hansen


The purpose of the newly implemented Transitional Kindergarten program in California is to provide an additional year of early childhood education to young students in order to prepare them for school (American Institutes for Research, 2012). The implementation of Transitional Kindergarten into California’s public school districts was executed quickly without clear guidelines or training for teachers. The resultant gap in understanding Transitional Kindergarten’s goals is an educational issue that needs to be addressed. Until standards and guidelines are finalized for Transitional Kindergarten programs, California’s school districts decide how to implement their programs.

The purpose of this research study was to examine the extent to which Transitional Kindergarten teachers perceive they are prepared to teach in a Transitional Kindergarten Classroom and to identify resources, support for, and professional development teachers in TK believe they need.

The following research questions guided the study:

1. To what extent do participants perceive they are prepared to teach in a Transitional Kindergarten class?

2. To what extent does the level of perceived preparedness correlate to the participants’ years of experience, type of district, or Pre-school teaching experience?

3. What resources, support, and professional development opportunities do participants believe they need from their school district to teach in a Transitional Kindergarten class?

Through an analysis of a quantitative survey, the conclusion of this study confirmed that Early Childhood Education knowledge is desired by Transitional Kindergarten teachers. The researcher contacted forty-five Transitional Kindergarten teachers within San Joaquin County and seventeen teachers participated. The study found that the additional support desired by Transitional Kindergarten teachers are: 1) teachers aides/assistants, 2) help with assessments, and 3) a more clear message about what Transitional Kindergarten curriculum should cover. It is recommended by the researcher based on the results that districts provide clarity about the expectations of TK to all stakeholders, create an implementation guide, and clear standards for all TK teachers.



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