Parents', Early Childhood Educators' and Grade Primary Teachers' Perceptions of School Readiness

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Fegan, Bernadette
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This research proposes to examine the views of Grade Primary teachers, early childhood educators and parents as they relate to school readiness. A review of the literature has revealed that research considers the idea of school readiness as complex. The issues are explored in a discussion of various points of view, which challenge for the correct response to the question of whose responsibility it is to provide for school readiness in preschool age children. The questions, namely, are whether the child itself should be the target of appropriate programmes resulting in his or her preparation for integration into the formal education system; or should the school be readying itself for the child; or finally whether the responsibility falls on society to provide appropriate programmes that support the readying of both the child and the school system jointly. The central themes that arose in the literature review were used to compile a series of questions, which sought to extract the perspectives currently held by Grade Primary teachers, early childhood educators and parents on the topic of school readiness and the contending schools of thought mentioned above. These questions were asked of a random selection of Grade Primary teachers, early childhood educators and parents, in an interview setting, who expressed an interest in participating in this study. The process of interviews generated data, which in turn was analysed to reveal a qualitative reflection of the views of Grade Primary teachers, early childhood educators and parents with regards to school readiness. In order to accurately analyse the data, the thematic questions were supplemented by a series of general information questions that were intended to place respondents within a demographic context. 2 Results of this study may serve to aid those professionals responsible for policy changes, transitioning policies, early childhood education policies and curriculum building. It is anticipated that the information gathered, together with the thematic issues discussed, will lead to informed policy decisions that ensure the best possible services are provided to pre-primary age children and their families and guarantee optimal school readiness.
Preschool children , Readiness for school , Early childhood education