Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instr and Curr Leadership


Early Childhood Education

Committee Chair

Satomi Izumi-Taylor

Committee Member

Cathy Meredith

Committee Member

Vivian Morris

Committee Member

Shelly Counsell


Many teachers in Arkansas have been bombarded with Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and are expected to produce instruction that is both meaningful and authentic. Through the implementation of CCSS, the Arkansas Department of Education announced that 26 school districts were classified as academically distressed. Therefore, it will be important for educators to utilize novel approaches that will assist learners in becoming successful in all content areas. The purpose of this study was to examine six teachers' perspectives regarding play-based developmentally appropriate practice and constructivist approaches when teaching reading and writing. Qualitative research methods were utilized, including interviews, observations, field notes, teachers' lesson plans, student work, photos taken by the participants, and photos taken by the researcher. Six early childhood teachers were carefully chosen to participate in this study. Five of the participants were female and one was male. The participants taught at the same school but had different educational backgrounds and teaching experiences. Three themes emerged from the data analysis: constructivist approach, Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP), and reciprocity of reading and writing. In regards to the best approaches when teaching reading and writing, it seemed that some teachers implemented constructivist approaches and DAP to support their students' reading and writing skills, while others appeared to see the importance, but no alignment was evidenced by their observed practice. To support their students' learning and development, some teachers taught reading and writing simultaneously. More professional development opportunities during the summer or school year are needed to assist teachers with training in regards to play-based developmentally appropriate practice and constructivist approaches.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.