The nature of implementation of an innovative pre-K mathematics curriculum
O'Dell, Robin S
MetadataShow full item record
The recent concern and attention of policymakers, professional organizations, educational researchers, and school administrators on the teaching and learning of mathematics of preschool children has created a need for high-quality research-based mathematics curricula. As a result, some educational researchers have developed research-based innovative curricula specifically for preschool children. In order to ensure research-based curriculum innovations are successfully implemented at the classroom level, researchers must begin to systematically and closely examine the process by which teachers translate their understandings of the innovation into actual practice. This study examined the implementation of a curricular innovation by ten prekindergarten teachers (5 public, 5 Headstart), and was guided by three specific research questions: After nine months of implementation of an innovative curriculum bundle, (1) what stages of concern about the innovation does each participant possess, (2) what level of use of the innovation does each participant display, (3) and what factors maximize or minimize optimal implementation of the innovation? Findings indicate after nine months of implementation, 70% of the teachers dropped an entire component of the innovation despite all provided support measures, most teachers had no debilitating concerns about the innovation and demonstrated at least a routine, or institutionalized use of the innovation. The instruments, the Stage of Concern Questionnaire and the Level of Use interview, accurately identified most concerns and use configurations of the innovation, with a few notable exceptions. Further findings reveal various factors impeding implementation. All findings are relevant to future change agents, researchers, and school administrators.