Date of Award

Fall 12-2015

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

First Advisor

Stacy Reeves

Advisor Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education


Understanding successful educational systems and the qualities they incorporate is imperative in the quest for student achievement. Finland is known worldwide for their success in the classroom and its educators do a great job preparing young students for primary education in their Kindergarten classrooms. Kindergarten is a very important grade for young students. It prepares them for grades to come and introduces them to a school setting. By using qualitative research methods and comparing and contrasting of published data, Finland’s kindergarten system and three kindergarten teachers who represent the typical kindergarten milieu in Lamar County, Mississippi will be analyzed through six topics: the length of the school year; student to teacher ratio; teaching methods; curricula; socioeconomic status of the students; and frequency of testing. Triangulation of data will be used in order to identify and analyze successful qualities of the studied kindergarten teachers, in addition to generalized information about classrooms in Lamar County and similarly researched information of Finland. Finland and Lamar County’s educational systems will be viewed and compared in terms of the six topics in order to recognize similarities and differences between the two with a proposed outcome of constructive advice for even greater achievement and educational success in Lamar County. Additionally, the six topics with results of this study will become foundations of further research in the components of successful kindergarten schooling.