ERIC Number: ED448899
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jan
Entering Kindergarten: A Portrait of American Children When They Begin School. Findings from the Condition of Education, 2000.
Zill, Nicholas; West, Jerry
With the launch of the U.S. Department of Education's Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99, measures of knowledge, skills, health, and behavior of a large and nationally representative sample of American Kindergartners are available. Drawing on data from the study, this report provides a portrait of kindergarten children in the areas of reading, mathematics, and general knowledge, as well as noncognitive aspects of school readiness. The report details: (1) what a typical child knows at school entry; (2) what the typical child's health and behavior are like at school entry; (3) what factors help account for variations in knowledge, health, and behavior at school entry; (4) what sex-related differences in school readiness exist for kindergartners; (5) what family background characteristics affect children's skills and knowledge; and (6) how risk factors affect noncognitive aspects of school readiness. Among the findings are the following: (1) most children know their letters and can count more than 10 objects; (2) most are in very good to excellent health, though some experience developmental difficulties; (3) most are reasonably well behaved and exhibit a positive approach to classroom tasks; (4) some have advanced skills while others lag behind; (5) age is a factor in variations in knowledge, health, and behavior; (6) girls and boys have similar skills, although girls are slightly ahead in reading; (7) more boys experience developmental difficulties; (8) girls are more prosocial and less prone to problem behavior; (9) nearly half of all entering kindergartners come from families with one or more risk factors in the areas of parental education, socioeconomic status, and family structure; (10) minority children are more likely to be at risk; (11) risk factors are linked to poorer child health; (12) at-risk children are less likely to be socially adept and more likely to be aggressive; and (13) fewer at-risk children have a positive attitude toward learning activities. (Contains 40 references.) (HTH)
Descriptors: Age Differences, At Risk Persons, Child Health, Family Environment, High Risk Students, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Children, Knowledge Level, Learning Readiness, Longitudinal Studies, Primary Education, School Readiness, Sex Differences, Student Attitudes, Student Behavior
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Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey
IES Cited: ED454299