Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.
Educational Administration and Higher Education
School of Education
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
preschool, early childhood, alignment, elementary, systems, PreK-3rd grade
Schools are not widely structured to systematically align curriculum and elements of instruction in early childhood through third grade (Ewen & Herzfeldt-Kamprath, 2016). Ewen and Herzfeldt-Kamprath (2016) report that the quality measurement of pre-k programs and early elementary classrooms differ greatly. Children bring a multitude of social, academic, and life experiences with them when they enter the school system.
In 2018, Minnesota’s Department of Education created a PreK-Grade 3 Initiative to educate instructional leaders on the importance of implementing a high-quality early learning pathway in schools. Although Minnesota’s Department of Education incorporated Kauerz and Coffman’s (2013) “Framework for Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating PreK-3rd Grade Approaches” in statewide trainings for schools, few studies regarding the understanding and use of the eight key components and their relationship in the transfer pathway to establishing a successful and comprehensive preschool–grade 3 continuum (in Minnesota) have been found.
A case study, utilizing a qualitative program evaluation model, was used to gather information on a PreK-3rd grade approach in a school district in central Minnesota. This case study obtained detailed descriptions from administrator, teacher, and parent interviews and focus groups. The interview and focus group questions were created by the researcher after referencing Kauerz and Coffman’s (2019) framework. The following research questions guided the case study evaluation:
- Of the eight components of Kauerz and Coffman’s (2019) Framework for Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating P-3 Approaches, what factors led the district/schools to choose the components they are implementing?
- What factors do PreK-grade 3 administrators, teachers, and parents/guardians report either promote or inhibit the implementation of Kauerz and Coffman’s (2019) eight practices?
- What benefits have PreK-grade 3 administrators, teachers, and parents/guardians reported they have observed in students since implementing practices of Kauerz and Coffman’s (2019) P-3 approach?
- What recommendations do PreK-grade 3 administrators, teachers, and parents/guardians provide for schools interested in implementing Kauerz and Coffman’s (2019) framework in their P-3 programs?
In summary, the data collected through this qualitative case study revealed a significant level of alignment between the components implemented in the school district and the components of Kauerz and Coffman’s (2019) “Framework for Planning, Implementing, and Evaluating P-3 Approaches.” The factors promoting and inhibiting implementation were also determined to be relevant and are detailed in the research. Although this study is not generalizable, the findings support the benefits and recommendations outlined in the framework.
Rogholt, Megan, "An Examination of the Implementation of PreK-Grade 3 Alignment Approaches in a Minnesota Public School System" (2020). Culminating Projects in Education Administration and Leadership. 73.