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ERIC Number: EJ1020356
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1096-2506
Stop Trying to Make Kids "Ready" for Kindergarten
Pretti-Frontczak, Kristie
Young Exceptional Children, v17 n1 p51-53 Mar 2014
The author of this article asks: What is readiness for kindergarten? How do we know when a child is ready? Unfortunately, as with many topics in education reform and improvement, policy makers ignore the complex questions about readiness and instead focus narrowly on select variables. The focus for kindergarten readiness is on select literacy and math skills (e.g., the child's ability to recognize letters, blend sounds, count objects, use quantity terms). What can be done about wanting children to be ready but not wanting to focus solely on narrowly defined child outcomes? First, Readiness needs to be defined as children living within ready families, going to ready schools, and participating within ready communities. Readiness for families means access to healthcare, options for housing, adequate nutrition, and quality childcare. Readiness for schools means involvement of families, inclusive classrooms, well-prepared and supported teachers, and manageable class sizes. Readiness for communities means economic stability and growth, safety, civic involvement, valuing of cultural differences, and coordinated social services. Second, parents, teachers, and policy makers need to understand that children's performance in one area of development (e.g., mathematics) is highly related to other areas (e.g., motor, language, social). Finally, the author offers, there are at least five things parents and early educators can do to promote a child's readiness and success: (1) Be consistent, (2) Be predictable, and be responsive, (3) Teach about empathy and support children's ability to exhibit self-control, (4) Capitalize on children's talents by using descriptive praise, encouraging children when they face challenges, and giving them feedback on what they are doing right, and (5) Talk to children often and meaningfully. Children are complex, and efforts should be directed to ensure families, schools, and communities are ready to address these complexities. As Kristie Pretti-Frontczak concludes "It is time to deliver quality education for all children and stop trying to make children "ready" for kindergarten."
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A