Date of Award



© 2019 Isabel F. Johnson

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Grania Holman

Second Advisor

Corinna Crafton

Third Advisor

Donna Osness


In response to the chronic third-grade achievement-gap, public school kindergartens have abandoned Froëbel’s traditional child-centered pedagogy in favor of an early academic preparation model that promotes the idea of kindergarten readiness. But top-down implementation of readiness curriculum has not led to sustainable gains and may result in poorer student outcomes. The bioecological repercussions of early academic expectations on young children and their families are not well understood, and parent perspectives on the topic are often marginalized. This qualitative case study explored parent notions of kindergarten readiness using word coding analysis of eight kindergarten and preschool parent interviews. Findings from thematic coding of interview transcripts revealed commonalities in perspectives, most notably, a willingness among parents to help their kindergarten-age children adapt to increased academic expectations even if they disagreed with those expectations. Results from this case study further suggested that well-educated parents were relatively unconcerned about immediate academic preparedness and more interested in supporting playful active exploration and individualized learning. This study points to a need to further explore parent perspectives on kindergarten readiness within diverse populations and suggests that a bioecological approach to investigation on this topic may lead to more effective readiness strategies and improved school policies.


Ed.D. Dissertation