"What is Readiness?" Examining Views of School Readiness and Prosocial Outcomes in Children

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LeBlanc, Chantal M. T.
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Mount Saint Vincent University
Beginning kindergarten is an important milestone for children, their families, and schools. The purpose of the present study was to quantitatively examine parents’ and teachers’ perceptions of school readiness based on five core domains of school readiness: (a) physical well-being and motor development, (b) emotional maturity or social and emotional development, (c) approaches to learning, (d) language development and emerging literacy, and (e) cognition and general knowledge. Kindergarten teachers (n = 53) and parents of preschool children (n = 8) completed a questionnaire assessing their views on school readiness. The study aimed to answer four research questions: (1) Do parents perceptions of school readiness influence childhood prosocial outcomes? (2) Are there differences between teachers and parents' views of school readiness? (3) What school readiness skills do teachers and parents view as most necessary to succeed in kindergarten? and (4) Do teachers differ in their perceptions of school readiness? Parents rated all domains of school readiness significantly higher than teachers. These findings suggest that teachers and parents hold different beliefs regarding the overall importance of school readiness skills. Among teachers, level of education and years of teaching experience did not impact teachers’ perceptions of school readiness. Teachers and parents agreed that having basic needs met were imperative to a child’s readiness for kindergarten.
Teacher perceptions, school readiness, school-entry skills, parent views, attitudes, prosocial outcomes