Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Lewis Putnam


There is little evidence in the literature that early childhood (EC) teachers are using developmentally appropriate practices (DAP) in implementing computer applications in their classrooms. The purpose of this study was to identify EC teachers' perspectives about the use of developmentally appropriate computer applications and to identify their perspectives on strategies for implementing change toward greater use of developmentally appropriate computer applications. The study was based upon Joseph and Reigeluth's conceptual framework of systemic change processes, which provides educators with the foundation to achieve sustainable changes. The research questions that guided this qualitative case study were designed to obtain teachers' perspectives about the use of DAP while embedding technology into EC classrooms and strategies that might be used in encouraging use of DAP computer applications. Data collection included semistructured interviews with 10 EC teachers in one school and reviews of relevant documents. Data from interviews and document reviews indicated a perceived need for more integration of developmentally appropriate computer technology in the classroom and for increasing teachers' knowledge of DAP through training and staff development. Recommendations for schools included finding more and varied technology funding sources, placing greater school emphasis on the importance of a learning organization, and increasing stakeholder involvement. For teachers, recommendations were to develop additional instructional strategies for embedding DAP technology into the classroom. This study has the potential to help stakeholders and EC teachers enhance the fidelity of instruction and students' learning in the classroom.