Teachers’ Perceptions of School Readiness Relative to Revised Nova Scotia Policy on Early School Entrance

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Boutilier, Ashley
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This study investigated teachers’ perceptions of the recent change in school entry policy in Nova Scotia. The introduction of this policy in 2008 allowed children to enter school at the age of 4 years, 9 months. Consequently, the 2008-2009 Grade Primary class included students within the age range of 4 years, 9 months to 5 years, 11 months. The findings of this study demonstrated that teachers’ perceptions of students’ abilities, compared to other classes taught, were not significantly different from expected. However, significant differences were found in relation to teachers’ perceptions of the policy change. For example, 75% of Primary teachers and 90% of Grade One teachers perceived that the revised cutoff date made a difference to the level of student readiness. Significant differences were also found when teachers were asked about key early curriculum topics. For example, 100% of Primary teachers and 90% of Grade One teachers perceived that letter recognition is a key component of an early curriculum. These aforementioned results are discussed in relation to teacher characteristics, development of preprimary programs, and professional development.
School age (Entrance age) -- Nova Scotia , Readiness for school -- Nova Scotia , Primary school teachers -- Nova Scotia