Studying the Relationship Between Teachers' Fidelity of Curriculum Implementation and Preschool Students' Science Outcomes

Kim, Raina, Education - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Chiu, Jennifer, CU-Curr Instr & Sp Ed, University of Virginia

High quality preschool programs are expected to support children’s learning and development. Preschool teachers have a central role in providing experiences that align with those expectations, which include teaching science to preschool children. Academic curricula in subjects such as science are useful tools that can help diffuse theory- and research-based academic instruction to preschool classrooms across geographic and socioeconomic boundaries. Teachers can use curricula in a number of ways – keep curricula as they are, adapt them to meet other goals, or as a guiding resource (Remillard, 1999). Measuring and understanding the extent to which teachers implement curricula with fidelity is necessary in order to know if the curriculum was implemented as intended and to link the teachers’ enactment of the curriculum to children’s outcomes (Darrow, 2013).

This dissertation focused on teachers’ fidelity of curriculum implementation and how fidelity components relate to children’s learning outcomes. I examined the relationship between teachers’ (n = 31) fidelity to the MyTeachingPartner-Science (MTP-S) curriculum and changes in preschool children’s science learning outcomes (n = 328), as well as the relationship among the fidelity components (i.e., adherence, dosage, and quality of delivery) in relation to changes in children’s outcomes. Through mixed model regression analysis, I found that quality of delivery, one teacher-child interaction domain, Instructional Support, had a significant main effect. Adherence and dosage did not have significant main effects. In addition, I found that quality of delivery significantly moderated the associations between adherence and dosage and children’s outcomes. My findings highlight the importance of understanding how the components of curriculum implementation fidelity contribute to preschool children’s science learning outcomes.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
science education, curriculum, implementation, fidelity, preschool, teaching, adherence, dosage, quality of delivery, teacher-child interaction quality
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