Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Special Education

First Committee Member

Jeffrey Gelfer

Number of Pages



This study was conducted to ascertain the perceptions of developmentally appropriate practices in teachers trained through traditional teacher preparation programs and a nontraditional teacher preparation program conducted in a Professional Development School. The secondary purpose was to determine whether the teachers' perceptions were applied as instructional practices; In Phase One of the study, 60, first year teachers were asked to complete The Primary Teacher Questionnaire to determine their perceptions of developmental appropriateness. A total of 12 subjects were stratified, randomly selected to advance to Phase Two and were observed teaching a 60 minute literacy lesson for applications of developmentally appropriate or traditionally based instructional practices. Formal interviews were conducted to assist with data triangulation; Analyses of variances were performed to determine whether a relationship existed between the teachers' perceptions and applications by grade levels and groups. A Tukey HSD was performed to determine whether a correlation existed between the grade levels and groups of subjects in the study. Domain analyses were constructed to provide evidence of grounded theory in the perceptions and applications of the teachers; No significant differences were found in teachers' perceptions. Results showed the professional development group appeared to be the most developmentally appropriate in its applications of instructional practices. By grade levels, the third grade teachers appeared to be the most developmentally appropriate in perceptions, but the least appropriate in applications. Second grade appeared to be the least developmentally appropriate in perceptions and the most appropriate in applications; To help understand the results of the study, further research should be conducted with a larger population. Further research should also be conducted over a longer period of time.


Application; Dap; Developmentally Appropriate Practice; Nontraditional; Nontraditional Teachers; Perceptions; Teacher; Traditional; Traditional Teachers

Controlled Subject

Education, Elementary; Early childhood education

File Format


File Size

7249.92 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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