Capstone/Dissertation Title

How teachers build a classroom community in kindergarten

Term

2008

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAEd

Abstract

The research question addressed is how can teachers build and maintain a classroom community with kindergarten age children? This capstone documents one teacher's yearlong process of building and maintaining a sense of community in a kindergarten classroom. For children to be open to learning and reach their full potential, they need to feel a sense of belonging and respect inherent in a positive classroom environment. Community building strategies implemented were based on Responsive Classroom and Restitution Philosophies. Key influences included educator-family members, students, Responsive Classroom and Restitution Workshops, and author Roxanne Kriete (The Morning Meeting Book). The research method utilized the qualitative approach. The author, through observations and pre/post student surveys, documented the children's thoughts and acquisition of community-building skills throughout the year. Research results indicated students developed ownership and belonging in the classroom with consistent use of practices based on Responsive Classroom and Restitution Philosophies.

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