Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

school readiness Related Abstracts

5 A Randomised Controlled Trial and Process Evaluation of the Lifestart Parenting Programme

Authors: Laura Neeson, Sharon Millen, Sarah Miller, Laura Dunne, Clare McGeady

Abstract:

This paper presents the findings from a randomised controlled trial (RCT) and process evaluation of the Lifestart parenting programme. Lifestart is a structured child-centred programme of information and practical activity for parents of children aged from birth to five years of age. It is delivered to parents in their own homes by trained, paid family visitors and it is offered to parents regardless of their social, economic or other circumstances. The RCT evaluated the effectiveness of the programme and the process evaluation documented programme delivery and included a qualitative exploration of parent and child outcomes. 424 parents and children participated in the RCT: 216 in the intervention group and 208 in the control group across the island of Ireland. Parent outcomes included: parental knowledge of child development, parental efficacy, stress, social support, parenting skills and embeddedness in the community. Child outcomes included cognitive, language and motor development and social-emotional and behavioural development. Both groups were tested at baseline (when children were less than 1 year old), mid-point (aged 3) and at post-test (aged 5). Data were collected during a home visit, which took two hours. The process evaluation consisted of interviews with parents (n=16 at baseline and end-point), and focus groups with Lifestart Coordinators (n=9) and Family Visitors (n=24). Quantitative findings from the RCT indicated that, compared to the control group, parents who received the Lifestart programme reported reduced parenting-related stress, increased knowledge of their child’s development, and improved confidence in their parenting role. These changes were statistically significant and consistent with the hypothesised pathway of change depicted in the logic model. There was no evidence of any change in parents’ embeddedness in the community. Although four of the five child outcomes showed small positive change for children who took part in the programme, these were not statistically significant and there is no evidence that the programme improves child cognitive and non-cognitive skills by immediate post-test. The qualitative process evaluation highlighted important challenges related to conducting trials of this magnitude and design in the general population. Parents reported that a key incentive to take part in study was receiving feedback from the developmental assessment, which formed part of the data collection. This highlights the potential importance of appropriate incentives in relation to recruitment and retention of participants. The interviews with intervention parents indicated that one of the first changes they experienced as a result of the Lifestart programme was increased knowledge and confidence in their parenting ability. The outcomes and pathways perceived by parents and described in the interviews are also consistent with the findings of the RCT and the theory of change underpinning the programme. This hypothesises that improvement in parental outcomes, arising as a consequence of the programme, mediate the change in child outcomes. Parents receiving the Lifestart programme reported great satisfaction with and commitment to the programme, with the role of the Family Visitor being identified as one of the key components of the programme.

Keywords: Parent-Child Relationship, parental self-efficacy, parental stress, school readiness

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4 Social Skills as a Significant Aspect of a Successful Start of Compulsory Education

Authors: Eva Šmelová, Alena Berčíková

Abstract:

The issue of school maturity and readiness of a child for a successful start of compulsory education is one of the long-term monitored areas, especially in the context of education and psychology. In the context of the curricular reform in the Czech Republic, the issue has recently gained importance. Analyses of research in this area suggest a lack of a broader overview of indicators informing about the current level of children’s school maturity and school readiness. Instead, various studies address partial issues. Between 2009 and 2013 a research study was performed at the Faculty of Education, Palacký University Olomouc (Czech Republic) focusing on children’s maturity and readiness for compulsory education. In this study, social skills were of marginal interest; the main focus was on the mental area. This previous research is smoothly linked with the present study, the objective of which is to identify the level of school maturity and school readiness in selected characteristics of social skills as part of the adaptation process after enrolment in compulsory education. In this context, the following research question has been formulated: During the process of adaptation to the school environment, which social skills are weakened? The method applied was observation, for the purposes of which the authors developed a research tool – record sheet with 11 items – social skills that a child should have by the end of preschool education. The items were assessed by first-grade teachers at the beginning of the school year. The degree of achievement and intensity of the skills were assessed for each child using an assessment scale. In the research, the authors monitored a total of three independent variables (gender, postponement of school attendance, participation in inclusive education). The effect of these independent variables was monitored using 11 dependent variables. These variables are represented by the results achieved in selected social skills. Statistical data processing was assisted by the Computer Centre of Palacký University Olomouc. Statistical calculations were performed using SPSS v. 12.0 for Windows and STATISTICA: StatSoft STATISTICA CR, Cz (software system for data analysis). The research sample comprised 115 children. In their paper, the authors present the results of the research and at the same time point to possible areas of further investigation. They also highlight possible risks associated with weakened social skills.

Keywords: Social Skills, Compulsory Education, school curriculum, pupil, school readiness, curricular reform, educational diagnostics, school maturity

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3 The Exploration of Preschool Teachers' Understanding of the Role of Socio-Emotional Development in School Readiness

Authors: A. Pedro, T. Goldschmidt

Abstract:

Socio-emotional development is considered to be an essential prerequisite for school readiness. To our best knowledge, research on socio-emotional development specifically from the views of teachers in the South African context is limited. This study explored preschool teachers’ understanding of the role that socio-emotional development plays in preparing the child for school. Using the social learning theory, a qualitative approach with an exploratory design was used for the study. A total of 12 preschool teachers from both community-based and school-based preschools were purposively recruited. Upon receiving ethics clearance from the University of the Western Cape and the Western Cape Education Department, semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed by utilizing Braun and Clarke’s (2006) six phases of thematic analysis. Participants’ rights, anonymity, and confidentiality were upheld throughout the research process. Findings reveal that preschool teachers emphasise the importance of holistic development for school readiness. Teachers deemed socio-emotional development as absolutely crucial for preparing children for school as it eases the transition to formal schooling and adaptation to the classroom environment.

Keywords: Early Childhood, school readiness, preschool teachers, socio-emotional development

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2 Indigenous Conceptualization of School Readiness: Mother's Perspective in Pakistan

Authors: Ayesha Inam, R. Moazzam, Z. Akhtar

Abstract:

School readiness plays a significant role in helping a child deal with various school demands and expectations as well as in determining academic success outcomes. There is a scarcity of data concerning the condition of school readiness in Pakistan. This qualitative research seeks to examine the perspective of mothers about school readiness along with its four domains (self-care, socio-emotional, physical and cognitive) as well as about the appropriate age of entry into formal preschool. Fifteen interviews were conducted with mothers of pre-school children in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. It was found that mothers shared the common perception that children should be socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively prepared to be ready for pre-school. The results concluded that the mothers unanimously agreed in their perceptions that three to four years was the appropriate age range for children to begin pre-school and that early or late entry into pre-school had negative implications for children’s ability to learn and understand, and hence, their school readiness. Mental age was perceived as a more important criterion for deciding when to send children to pre-school. Mothers were found to send their children to school earlier, and children were found to be increasingly exposed to technology, both of which were found to influence children’s readiness for school. Both schools and mothers were found to play an instrumental role in preparing children for school and in school adjustment by nurturing their skills and abilities.

Keywords: Pakistan, school readiness, perception of mothers, entry to preschool

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1 Music Aptitude and School Readiness in Indonesian Children

Authors: Diella Gracia Martauli

Abstract:

This study investigated the relationship between music aptitude and school readiness in Indonesian children. Music aptitude is described as children’s music potential, whereas school readiness is defined as a condition in which a child is deemed ready to enter the formal education system. This study presents a hypothesis that music aptitude is correlated with school readiness. This is a correlational research study of 17 children aged 5-6 years old (M = 6.10, SD = 0.33) who were enrolled in a kindergarten school in Jakarta, Indonesia. Music aptitude scores were obtained from Primary Measures of Music Audiation, whereas School readiness scores were obtained from Bracken School Readiness Assessment Third Edition. The analysis of the data was performed using Pearson Correlation. The result found no correlation between music aptitude and school readiness (r = 0.196, p = 0.452). Discussions regarding the results, perspective from the measures and cultures are presented. Further study is recommended to establish links between music aptitude and school readiness.

Keywords: PMMA, school readiness, BSRA, music aptitude

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