Article: We’ll Come Back When You’re Teaching: Examining the Need for Curricular Reform in Higher Education in Response to the Introduction of Transitional Kindergarten in California’s Public Schools
Publication: Teacher Education Quarterly, Vol. 25 (peer-reviewed)
Publisher: Caddo Gap Press
Publication Date: April 2018
Related WestEd Author: Julie Nicholson
Related WestEd Program: Center for Child & Family Studies


This study examines how, if at all, multiple subjects and administrative services credential preparation programs are changing in response to California’s newest grade, transitional kindergarten (TK). The authors analyzed interviews from university faculty in early childhood education and credential programs in five institutions of higher education and collected survey data from early childhood professionals across 16 counties in the state. The study describes gaps in knowledge about early childhood and developmental science needed to work with children in effective and developmentally responsive and appropriate ways. The study informs a much needed conversation about the consequences of implementing TK as a standalone change rather than part of a comprehensive coordinated systems level reform.

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