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Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Marta Baltodano

Second Advisor

Ani Shabazian

Third Advisor

Karen K. Huchting


Preschool teachers must overcome the pressure to become more academic in lieu of a whole child development curriculum approach in order to preserve developmentally appropriate practices and shape well-adjusted future citizens of society. In order to achieve this, it is important to give a voice to preschool teachers to better understand their struggle and to find effective resolutions. This is only possible through a qualitative case study that employs observations, interviews, and a focus group with an inductive analysis approach to the data. The development of the whole child will only be attainable through national policies that are supported by sound research and ongoing teacher training that is aligned with that research. When theory and practice are aligned, it provides more opportunities for teachers, parents, and the rest of the community to advocate for the same goals, which ultimately benefits children.