ERIC Number: ED429272
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Nov-1
Meisels, Samuel J.
In response to the first of the National Education Goals (1991), which reads, "all children in America will start school ready to learn," this paper addresses four interpretations of the term "readiness" and the methods that have been devised to assess children's learning at the outset of formal schooling. The idealist or nativist view claims that children's proficiency in school is a function of the child's maturation. The empiricist or environmental view sees readiness in terms of proficiency with a specific set of skills. The social constructivist perspective describes readiness as a function of the meanings and values assigned by an individual school community. Each of these views presents dilemmas for young children's learning and teachers' instruction. The paper identifies a fourth view--the interactionist--as a means for resolving these dilemmas. This perspective attends both to what children know and to the capacity of schools to adapt experiences for children who demonstrate different strengths and needs. The instructional tasks that emerge are grounded in a comprehensive assessment of the child's skills, knowledge, behaviors, and accomplishments. Contains 84 references and 3 tables and a figure of data. (RS)
Descriptors: Definitions, Learning Readiness, Primary Education, Reading Achievement, Reading Readiness, School Readiness
CIERA/University of Michigan, 610 E. University Ave., 1600 SEB, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259; Web site: http://www.ciera.org
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement, Ann Arbor, MI.