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Title page for ETD etd-07172012-200609


Type of Document Dissertation
Author Aydogan, Canan
Author's Email Address canan.aydogan@gmail.com
URN etd-07172012-200609
Title Influences of Instructional and Emotional Classroom Environments and Learning Engagement on Low-income Children's Achievement in the Prekindergarten Year
Degree PhD
Department Teaching and Learning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dale C. Farran Committee Chair
Carin Neitzel Committee Member
David Dickinson Committee Member
Mark W. Lipsey Committee Member
Keywords
  • learning engagement
  • academic achievement
  • emotional tone
  • Instructional practices
Date of Defense 2012-07-12
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This study described instructional and emotional classroom environments, as well as the learning engagement of children involved in various classroom tasks, and explored whether variability in children’s classroom experiences was related to children’s gains in academic skills from fall to spring of the prekindergarten year. Participants were 57 classrooms and their children and teachers located in state-funded prekindergarten and Head Start classrooms. Classroom instructional practices and emotional tone in combination were found to be related to children’s achievement gains. Also, the strength of the influence of instructional classroom practices on achievement gains was dependent on the affective tone of the teacher and assistant. In classrooms with more positive emotional tone, children benefited more from high-level instructional support. The amount of and the complexity of children’s learning engagement observed in a classroom predicted children’s academic gains. Also, children who were more frequently engaged in learning and those who were engaged in more complex learning activities had greater gains than their peers within the same classroom who demonstrated relatively infrequent and less complex engagement in learning activities. It was expected that classroom learning engagement would mediate the effect of classroom environment on children’s achievement gains. The hypothesized mediation was not supported. Also, the exploration of the moderating effect of children’s initial academic skills on the relationship between classroom environment and achievement gains yielded non-significant finding. These findings have implications for understanding the role of classroom experiences in the improvement of economically disadvantaged children’s success in school.
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