Date of Award

12-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Michael Wischnowski

Second Supervisor

Christine Nelson-Turtle

Abstract

Challenging behaviors in preschool are of great concern to both preschool teachers and the social and emotional development of children who exhibit those behaviors. Evidence-based responses to challenging behaviors exist, but are only effective when implemented as response strategies by preschool teachers in the classroom. Professional development in-services are the often the source of delivery for evidence based practices, and the adoption and implementation of those practices often depend upon teachers’ readiness and willingness to change their practice. For this study, a comparison was conducted between the Stage of Change Scale for Early Care and Education 2.0 self-report and qualitative data gathered through interviews of UPK preschool teachers working with children who exhibit moderate-to-severe challenging behaviors. The research question addressed in this study was: How do teachers’ scores on the Stage of Change Scale for Early Care and Education 2.0 compare with the selfdescriptions of their own readiness to change? Results indicated that teacher descriptions and the results of the scale were in agreement for 4 out of 10 teachers, which lends partial support to the Scale. Four of 10 varied by one stage, and 2 of 10 varied by two stages. These results suggest that caution must be used when using the Stage of Change Scale self-report form as the only source for measuring a preschool teachers’ readiness to change. However, combined with teacher interviews, the results provide valuable insight that may impact the way professional development in-services are designed, with teacher readiness to change in mind.

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