Transforming the Kindergarten Experience by Design: A Comparative Research Case Study

  •  Raechel French    
  •  Lennie Scott-Webber    
  •  Anjana Sivakumar    


Kindergarten education is becoming a priority throughout the USA as research shows its importance on later in life outcomes. The State of Washington instated full-day kindergarten for all public-school students beginning in 2016–2017. It “…is part of the state’s constitutionally protected definition of ‘Basic Education’” (Reykdal, n.d., n.p.), working to support all children in the state. Acting on this new state requirement, one school district chose to design and build a center dedicated solely to kindergarten education, housing approximately 600 kindergarteners. The school was divided into four ‘neighborhood pods’ each with immediate access to specific activity programs (i.e., dining, interventionists, elective functions) reflecting a new ‘expanded push-in’ model and reduce transition times. This model was compared with a ‘traditionally’ operated kindergarten where learners travel to activity programs throughout a campus (i.e., dining, interventionists, electives). A human-centered research design using mixed-methods for this comparison study between an ‘expanded push-in’ and a ‘traditional’ model was used to understand the impact of this new architectural solution particularly focused on timing transitions between the classroom and activity program settings. Findings discovered a reduction in the length of transitions between accessing the programs by recaptured seven school days of learning time (approximately 45 hours), when compared to the traditional one, and more positive connections between students/students, teachers/teachers, and students/teachers to build community.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-5250
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-5269
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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