What is School Readiness?
The term school readiness has been a hot topic in early childhood education for decades, as its definition has been discussed, revised, and expanded many times over. The concept relates to a set of skills and behaviors required in order for a child to succeed in formal schooling, specifically at Kindergarten entry. Success in this way is defined by the society, and thus includes meeting social and academic expectations.1
A variety of genetic, environmental, and cultural factors play a role in school readiness, but it is important to maintain a holistic view of the concept, taking into account the whole child—the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual characteristics of the child.
While academic skills are certainly an important part of school success, other facets of development will not progress properly without a focus on a child’s physical and emotional well-being, including overall health, social development, and most importantly a desire – or readiness – to learn.2
As such, another key part of school readiness today involves looking beyond the child to the greater environment – true school readiness involves not only the ready child, but also the ready family, the ready environment, and the ready community. The latter parts of this equation relate to the responsibility of the school system, and the greater community, and thus are often grouped into the term ready schools.3
What is school readiness? You Are Here
Reprinted with permission of the Gesell Institute. Copyright © 2010, Gesell Institute of Human Development. All Rights Reserved.
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