Title

First Teachers: The Effects of Parental Training on Preschool Skill Development

Date of Award

7-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Kelly Clark

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to determine the extent to which explicit training in skills strategies could boost parental confidence levels toward continuing learning in the home environment of preschoolers with developmental disabilities. Background questions regarding parental barriers to collaboratively working with service providers and the role parents felt they played in their child’s education were also investigated. Using action research as a methodology, the study was based on adult learning, human agency, and social cognitive theories and incorporated individual interviews, small focus groups, explicit parent-training sessions, and surveys through enter and exit slips in order to gather qualitative and quantitative data. Parents choosing to participate in the trainings demonstrated increased self-efficacy regarding their ability to create learning activities at home while their children noted more gains in skill development. Students in the control group demonstrated an equal tendency to lose or gain skill ability in comparison to the sample population. Responses from participating parents indicate that they have an increased perception in their abilities to instruct their child and will continue the practices through play-based learning at home.

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