ERIC Number: EJ990616
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 62
Revisiting "Kindergarten as Academic Boot Camp": A Nationwide Study of Ability Grouping and Psycho-Social Development
Catsambis, Sophia; Buttaro, Anthony, Jr.
Social Psychology of Education: An International Journal, v15 n4 p483-515 Dec 2012
We revisit Harry L. Gracey's perspective of kindergarten as academic boot camp where, at school entry, children acquire the student role through a structured program of activities. We provide further insights into the crucial mechanisms of socialization that occur in U.S. kindergartens by examining the relationship between within-class ability grouping and attributes of children's psycho-social development that are critical for school success. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS-K) and incorporating stratified propensity scores into multi-level models, our analyses link within-class ability grouping to student behaviors in a manner that supports the concerns raised by ability grouping critics. Children in low ability groups show slower development in approaches to learning than comparable ungrouped children. Children in high ability groups show more accelerated development in all psycho-social attributes considered (approaches to learning, interpersonal skills, self control and externalizing problem behaviors) than comparable ungrouped children. These asymmetrical findings suggest that children placed in high and low ability groups are socialized into different versions of the student role.
Descriptors: Ability Grouping, Self Control, Kindergarten, Student Behavior, Social Development, Student Role, Emotional Development, Socialization, Academic Achievement, Longitudinal Studies, Scores, Cognitive Style, Interpersonal Competence, Behavior Problems
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Kindergarten
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey