Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Early Childhood Education

Capstone Instructor

Fred Bartling

Second Reader

Lynn Gehrke


early childhood education, teacher training, teacher effectiveness, child development, developmentally appropriate practices


A training program was implemented to examine this researcher's assumption that there is a positive correlation between staff development and high quality care and education of young children in early childhood programs. Specifically, in the child development areas of social interaction with adults, prosocial behaviors, improved language ability and improved cognitive development, staff development in developmentally appropriate practice is necessary for teacher aides and assistant teachers in high quality early childhood programs. The solution to training teacher aides and assistant teachers focused primarily on staff development which included readings, discussions, presentations, observations, and problem solving surrounding the areas of language and literacy development and developmentally and culturally appropriate practice for young children. The purpose of the language and literacy development training was to further teacher's skills and awareness regarding children's language development and to promote literacy and language development through developmentally appropriate teaching practices. The purpose of the training in developmentally and culturally appropriate practice was to increase teachers' understanding and awareness of individual's social and cultural contexts, how they influence children's development and how to apply that understanding to building respectful relationships with children and their families. Staff outcomes were evaluated using the Child Development Knowledge Questionnaire pre and post-tests and observations, carried out before and after training, rating the quality of interactions among staff and children. Results indicated a significant increase in the quality of interactions among staff and children and a slight increase in the Child Development Knowledge Questionnaires scores. Staff development in developmentally appropriate practice positively impacts the quality of care and education young children receive in early childhood programs.


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