ERIC Number: ED281187
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Jan
Reference Count: 0
Testing in the Kindergarten. Technical Report No. 400.
Academic testing observed in a year-long study of kindergarten classes in 15 districts was primarily concerned with whether children were succeeding with the content of a basal reader readiness workbook that essentially dealt with phonics. Such success was viewed as a prerequisite for the first preprimer in the basal series, the use of which generally marked the beginning of the first-grade reading program. Developmental testing (exemplified in Gesell's "School Readiness Test") was also undertaken before the start of kindergarten, reinforcing the belief that not all the five-year-olds were ready for kindergarten. If the child received low scores, a special "motor class" was usually recommended instead of a regular kindergarten. Academic tests were used primarily as information in reporting the children's progress. Clear evidence that the abilities of certain children were beyond current instruction resulted more often in negative reactions than in suitable challenge. Instead of programs being adapted to children, the children had to adapt to the program. The fact that observed programs were not more eclectic in their approach to reading was disappointing, given the likelihood that children who did not "make it" with whole class instruction in phonics might have enjoyed success if other possibilities were available. The observations suggest that existing practices in kindergarten merit reform if large numbers of five-year-olds are to be kept from failing with reading before they have even had a chance to get started. (Eleven references are included.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.