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While kindergarten has changed, some beliefs stay the same: Kindergarten teachers' beliefs about readiness

Kindergarten has become increasingly academically oriented, and U.S. kindergarten teachers are increasingly called upon to implement policies that require assessment and promote accountability. However, little recent research has focused on kindergarten teachers' beliefs about kindergarten readiness. The authors examined teachers' beliefs related to what entering kindergartners should be able to do, and beliefs about using assessment data, based on results from statewide surveys of Delaware kindergarten teachers conducted in 2000 (N = 171), in 2011 (N = 185), and again in 2013 (N = 257). Chi-squared tests were employed to investigate potential changes in teacher beliefs over time. Results show that kindergarten teachers increasingly prioritize assessment information across all broad domains of development at kindergarten entry. However, when ranking specific readiness skills, they continue to believe that nonacademic skills are most important. These findings suggest that though policies promote an academic emphasis in kindergarten, teachers, as policy enactors, take a more nuanced view and continue to recognize nonacademic skills as a key component of kindergarten readiness. This has potential implications for early care and education programming, teacher preparation programs, and teachers' practices in kindergarten classrooms. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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