65 S. Sandusky St.
Delaware, OH 43015
David Markwardt, Associate Dean of the OWU Connection
Student: Kelly Coffyn
Mentor: Amy McClure (OWU Department of Education)
The research project examined exemplary preschool literacy practices in the United States. Governmental policy now prioritizes the accessibility of preschool education more so than ever before. This investment influences teaching strategies and classroom environment so more can provide high quality education. The United States preschool education system has many standards and expectations for how the classroom should look and function for literacy development. The Ohio Content Standards of Early Learning and Development gives guidelines outlining what is to be taught in a preschool classroom. The standards are research-based and provide clarity on how the strategies analyzed enhance student’s literacy skills. The research investigation included on site observations of preschools organized around various philosophical perspectives, research article conclusions to compare, interviews with preschool teachers to gauge opinions of the current literacy curriculum, and introspective, detailed reports of the findings. The observations and interviews allowed for an analysis of literacy differentiation teaching. The research articles offered background knowledge of the preschool literacy priorities before on-site observations occurred to see if they were applied. The focus was on determining whether the recommended literacy practices and priorities are implemented in the school environment. Specifically, the research looked at the style of language and teaching strategies for literacy practices, specifically phonemic awareness, oral language, dramatic play, environmental print, writing, and read alouds. Research suggests that a developmentally appropriate program should consider all components of literacy, such as: phonemic awareness, the ability to write, oral language, comprehension strategies, read alouds, dramatic play, asking good questions of texts, environmental print, inferencing, and synthesizing data. The schools which were observed are a Reggio Emilia program (Meadows Academy), Montessori program (Dublin Montessori Academy), and one well-funded emergent program (Smoky Row Preschool) focused on research regarding effective preschool literacy practices. Each school is located in the Dublin/Powell, Ohio area. Each school offers full-day preschool, dependent on age and family preference. Even though the school’s pedagogical and theoretical practices differ, each has the same goals: literacy development to support the preschool student socially, emotionally, and physically grow.