Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




JoeAnn Hinrichs


Students who attended preschool in an urban Michigan district are not entering kindergarten with the necessary skills. The preschool implemented the HighScope curriculum and the effect of this curriculum on kindergarten readiness was unknown. The purpose of this causal-comparative study was to investigate the difference in kindergarten readiness scores of students who attended a preschool before and after the High Scope curriculum was implemented. The pedagogical practices of preschool and the HighScope curriculum align with Dewey and Vygotsky's theories on experiential learning which were the foundation that guided this causal comparative study. The research questions examined preschool letter identification and sound identification, kindergarten letter identification and sound identification, and end of kindergarten reading level for students before and after the HighScope implementation. A MANOVA was used to examine ex post facto scores of the preschool and kindergarten Michigan Literacy Progress Profile and kindergarten end of the year Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment reading level data to analyze the 5 dependent variables of 218 students who attended preschool before and after the implementation of the HighScope curriculum. The MANOVA indicated that there was a statistically significant difference between the literacy scores, F (10, 424) = 10.286, p = <.0005, Pillai's Trace = .39, partial ï?¨2 = .195. By examining data on literacy outcomes, the effectiveness of the HighScope curriculum in the preschool was highlighted for district leaders. The findings of this study may contribute to positive social change by encouraging early learning educators to plan curriculum and professional development that focuses on letter identification and letter sound skills to improve the literacy foundation of entering kindergarten students.