Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Mary Barbara Trube
Young children start to develop an understanding of gender and gender identity in prekindergarten. Early childhood educators require professional development in creating safe, supportive learning environments for transgender and gender nonconforming children. Limited research has focused on prekindergarten educators' knowledge, skills, and dispositions about supporting transgender and gender nonconforming children in their classrooms. Framed by Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological systems theory and Derman-Sparks antibias early childhood concepts, the purpose of this basic qualitative study with interviews was to explore prekindergarten educators' perspectives on professional development about transgender and gender nonconforming children. Data were collected using semistructured, in-depth interviews with 12 prekindergarten educators in the Western region of the United States. Data analysis consisted of organizing data, coding phrases, and identifying themes to answer the three research questions. Results revealed that the early childhood educators interviewed have never had professional development or teacher preparation courses that specifically focused on transgender and gender nonconforming children. Results suggested that professional development and teacher preparation courses for preservice and in-service teachers need to add specific content on appropriate ways to support transgender and gender nonconforming children in early childhood programs. Potential social change implications of this study include discovering appropriate strategies to support transgender and gender nonconforming children; improving guidelines for teacher preparation courses to include specific content; recommending improvements in professional development for early childhood programs; and adding to current literature on transgender and gender nonconforming children.
McCray, Danita Marie Norris, "Prekindergarten Educators' Perspectives on Professional Development About Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming Children" (2020). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 8945.