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ERIC Number: ED529814
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar-25
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
The Social Construction of School Readiness
Shallwani, Sadaf
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (Charleston, SC, Mar 2009)
In the mainstream discourse on child development and education, 'school readiness' has been conceptualized as the skills and knowledge that children need when they enter school in order to learn effectively in the school environment. However, school readiness is an idea which is entwined with our beliefs about child development and child needs (E. Graue, 1992). Indeed, the mainstream conceptualization and operationalization of school readiness is grounded in particular values and beliefs about the nature of child development, ideas about vulnerability and competence, and the characteristics deemed valuable in a particular society. In this way, social context determines the focus of school readiness, what is valued, what is assessed, and what resources and supports are identified as needed. This paper critically reviews the literature on school readiness, examining the cultural assumptions underlying the mainstream discourse, and exploring the social construction of school readiness. Although the alternative discourse on school readiness is scant at best, literature in related areas is examined to explore how school readiness might be alternately conceptualized in different socio-cultural contexts. Larger theoretical discussions of universalism versus cultural relativism and social construction are also explored. PowerPoint presentation is appended. (Contains 3 endnotes.)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A