ERIC Number: ED351099
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Preschool Readiness to Learn: Head Start's Opportunity & Responsibility.
Meier, John H.
Genuine intellectual and other pre-academic skills and abilities are as important as social skills for children's smooth transition into kindergarten and continued school success. Head Start was originally conceived to prepare preschoolers from disadvantaged backgrounds to succeed in elementary school. Now that the program has earned renewed public and political credibility, preschool policymakers and practitioners should review and critique representative Head Start practices and policies. Contemporary theories and practices worth examining include: (1) a model to be used in situations in which grandparents play a significant role in children's upbringing; (2) the use of user-friendly computers in preschool programs; (3) appropriate measures of children's achievement in preschool; and (4) risk factors prevalent in impoverished settings, such as violence, drug abuse, and teen parenthood. To sharpen its focus on ensuring children's smooth and successful transition into school, Head Start should upgrade the quality of its preschool program, making the curriculum more difficult and challenging. The program should acknowledge and facilitate children's readiness to read and write, mathematical and computer skills, artistic creativity, and ability to cope with dysfunctional family dynamics. These abilities are extensions of basic symbolic communication skills that preschool children have already begun to master. Head Start's goal of social competence should be grounded in solid personal excellence. Contains 40 references. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: San Bernardino County Preschool Services Dept., San Bernardino, CA.
Identifiers: Project Head Start
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Training Conference of the National Head Start Association (19th, San Diego, CA, April 29-May 2, 1992).