Virginia's Foundation Blocks for Early Learning: Interpretation and Implementation by Practitioners

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


Expectations for accountability have led policy makers to create standards designed to educate children to their highest potential. In addition to k-12 standards, the Commonwealth of Virginia created Foundation Blocks for a state-sponsored preschool program called the Virginia Preschool Initiative.

This study included assessment of Virginia's Foundation Blocks for Early Learning: Comprehensive Standards for Four-Year-Olds as they relate to theories of Piaget, Vygotsky, and Rogoff. This assessment included play, scaffolded instruction, emergent literacy, and spatial reasoning. The Foundation Blocks were examined to determine how they were interpreted and implemented by preschool classroom teachers. Using a case-study format, four volunteer teachers participated in three days of classroom observations, be interviewed, and complete a survey.

Evidence showed that the standards were theoretically based, and the participating teachers' pedagogy included play, emergent literacy, and spatial reasoning. Scaffolded instruction was not observed. There were concerns about teachers' low expectations and low-level questioning techniques.



early childhood theories, Virginia's Foundation Blocks, preschool, scaffolded instruction, play, emergent literacy, spatial reasoning