Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Barbara Hill, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Daniel Teodorescu, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Darrell Groves, Ed.D.


The purpose of this study was to determine the impact screen time has on the cognitive development of children between the ages of four to five, at one early childcare education center. The significance of the study will help determine how the amount of screen time affects children’s cognitive development. The results of this study will help educational leaders determine how to effectively use technology for learning. Research suggests that the most important factor in a child’s development is a positive parent-child relationship, in which loving caregivers respond to a child’s cues and provide age-appropriate activities that nurture curiosity, exploration and learning (Lerner & Barr, 2014). This provides the foundation for teacher and child interactions in preschool programs. The role of early childhood educators lays the foundation for education. Currently, over 80% of children between the ages of three and five years are reported to be using some type of electronic device on a daily basis (Joan Ganz Cooney Center and Sesame Workshop, 2011). Time spent with these electronic devices is defined as screen time, the total amount of time spent in front of any and all screens (Common Sense Media, 2013). The National Association for the Education of Young Children (2012) defines technology and media tools as, “computers, tablets, multi-touch screens, interactive white boards, mobile devices, cameras, DVDs, music players, audio recorders, electronic toys, games, e-book readers, and older analog devices.”

The impact of positive and consistent interactions to young children can help mold development. These meaningful interactions cannot be substituted with technology tools. The educators of School A are restricted to only allowing their students to engage in interactive screen time for a total of thirty minutes per week. This research was geared towards finding out if screen time effects a child’s cognitive development between the ages of four and five.