Graduation Date

Fall 10-23-2017


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Professional Doctorate in Educational Leadership (ProDEL)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Rick R. McCown

Committee Member

Gibbs Y. Kanyongo

Committee Member

Lynn E. Gehrke


Early Learning Improvement, Preschool in Public Schools, Preschool Culture


How can preschool programs situated in public schools “get better at getting better?” This dissertation suggests a framework based on the principles of Improvement Science as one-way school districts can include preschool in their continuous improvement efforts. Document Analysis, is the method used to examine a continuous improvement protocol used in Ohio school districts known as The Ohio Improvement Process (The OIP Guide was the document analyzed). Additionally, Portraiture as “lived” experiences including both early learning educators and traditional school age leaders were reflected upon. The following research questions guided the study: What are the key operational components of the Ohio Improvement Process? How can schools benefit from merging the cultures of early learning programming with the culture of public schools while acknowledging the unique needs of children during the preschool years? What type of Design-based framework can be developed to assist with awareness, inquiry and implementation of services to align preschool with school-age programming? The findings suggest cultural awareness between preschool and school age program needs to be understood as it resides in the broader context of traditional public schooling. Additionally, assessment, dialogue and teaming are key components to consider in the inclusion of preschool in public school continuous improvement efforts.