Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, EDD

Committee Chair

Brydon-Miller, Mary

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Powers, Deborah

Committee Member

Powers, Deborah

Committee Member

Davis, Byron Keith

Committee Member

Stevens, Douglass

Author's Keywords

teacher perception; kindergarten readiness; teacher vocation


Kindergarten has changed dramatically from a play-based, social experience a generation ago to the literacy- and numeracy-based curricula of today. With this shift in academic expectations, children now take a kindergarten readiness assessment at the beginning of the school year to determine their likelihood of success based on their pre-kindergarten preparation. While previous studies have examined teachers’ perceptions of current kindergarten practices, expectations, and students, few use teachers’ descriptions as the data (Abry et al., 2015; Hustedt et al., 2018). This phenomenological study reports how kindergarten teachers at three Central Kentucky elementary schools describe their attitudes about their own kindergarten teaching experiences, vocation, and students in an era of kindergarten readiness. This study uses semi-structured interviews to explore kindergarten teachers’ perceptions of their experiences with kindergarten students concerning their perceptions of their own kindergarten experience and how teaching kindergarten has affected their personal and professional lives.