Thesis Title

Comparison of Views of Teachers from Full-Day and Half-Day Kindergarten Programs on Reading Readiness in Catholic Elementary Schools

Graduation Date

Summer 2005

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form

Print

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD

Abstract

The trend in elementary education is to move from half-day to full-day kindergarten programs in response to state and local pressure to improve reading readiness in young children. Some teachers are resistant to change in certain settings and voicing their philosophical beliefs that this move is not always in the best interest of the child. The purpose of this study was to examine the views of full-day kindergarten teachers and half-day kindergarten teachers in terms of reading readiness. In this research, I looked at teachers’ perspectives of the full-day kindergarten compared to the half-day program and the effects on teachers. Twenty-two full-day and half-day kindergarten teachers in a Bay Area urban private school district completed a survey about their beliefs and practices. Results of the research indicated that both full-day and half-day kindergarten teachers in the Diocese of San Jose have strong feelings regarding the length of the kindergarten school day. As a result of this study it was apparent that the length of the school day did have an effect of literacy achievement and the types of activities for which teachers had time. However, the half-day teachers seem to utilize their time efficiently with the growing demands on literacy. Although the data from this study seem to favor full-day kindergarten and its effects on reading readiness there is still more research to be done.

Results of the research also indicated a general consensus that half-day kindergarten is too short to accomplish in-depth goals because it is rushed. However, there is still a concern about the length of the day being too long for some children. This case study also showed that both full-day and half-day kindergarten teachers in the Diocese of San Jose are committed to providing an engaging, stimulating, challenging and fun literacy program that will meet the needs of all their students.

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