Preschool and Kindergarten Teachers’ Views on School Readiness: Comparisons Between Silkeborg, Demark and Truro, Canada
Elkind (2005) noted that the “current pressures to include formal academic instruction in early childhood programs” will have dire consequences on young children. He suggested early childhood educators (ECEs) adhere to developmentally appropriate practices (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997) and ensure that children have time to create their own learning experiences through play. However, increasingly ECEs are expected to prepare children for school. Therefore, this study explored the attitudes and philosophies of kindergarten and preschool educators regarding school readiness. Ninety-three educators completed a 25 item School Readiness Survey and eight educators (4 each from Truro, Canada and Silkeborg, Denmark) also participated in individual interviews. Results indicated that preschool educators placed more emphasis on academic skills than kindergarten teachers, especially in Truro. Participants also expressed diverse views on the concept of school readiness, their beliefs regarding how children learn and develop, and effective strategies to enhance development. Overall, participants agreed that an intellectually challenging and age appropriate curriculum is needed to promote optimal child development.
Keywords: School Readiness, Early Childhood, Programming
Dr. Carmel French
Associate Professor, Department of Child and Youth Study, Mount Saint Vincent University