Children’s Socio-Emotional Development: Promoting School Readiness Through the Pre-School

Topics: Early childhood education, Psychology, Developmental psychology Pages: 8 (2206 words) Published: June 21, 2012
CHILDREN’S SOCIO-EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: PROMOTING SCHOOL READINESS THROUGH THE PRE-SCHOOL

Abstract
One of the objectives of preschool education in Nigeria as stated in the National Policy on Education is smooth transition from home to school, that is, school readiness. This involves socio-emotional development in addition to cognitive development. Children whose socio-emotional development is hampered have been reported to be disadvantaged educationally right from elementary school to the later years in career. This paper therefore examined the role of the preschool in making children ready for school through the promotion of their socio-emotional development. Recommendations are also made to policy makers as well as classroom teachers.

Key words: School readiness, Preschool, Socio-emotional development, Children.

Introduction
For young children, doing well in school means being ready to learn. Being ready is much more than knowing the alphabets and figures. Readiness, according to Abell and Azria (2008), requires physical, language, self-control and social skills as well as the desire to learn. School readiness enables the child to have a smooth transition from home to school. There is no other place where the child is expected to acquire school readiness than the preschool. More so since the National Policy on Education (FME, 2004) stipulates school readiness, that is, smooth transition from home to school, as one of the objectives of preschool education in Nigeria.

Unfortunately, teachers report that more than half of their students come to school unprepared for learning academic subjects (Rimm-Kaufman, Pianta & Cox, 2000). This may be due to the fact that preschool teachers pay more attention to children’s cognitive development than their social-emotional development. However, researchers such as Raver (2008) as well as Abell & Azria (2008) have reported that children’s school readiness is promoted when their social-emotional development is enhanced. This paper therefore examines how the preschool can promote children’s school readiness by enhancing their social and emotional development.

What is school readiness?
High (2008), quoting the US National Education Goals Panel, defined readiness as follows: • Physical well-being and motor development, including health status, growth, and disability; • Social and emotional development, including turn-taking, cooperation, empathy, and the ability to express one’s own emotions; • Approaches to learning, including enthusiasm, curiosity, temperament, culture, and values; • Language development, including listening, speaking, and vocabulary, as well as literacy skills, including print awareness, story sense, and writing and drawing processes; and • General knowledge and cognition, including sound-letter association, spatial relations, and number concepts.

Existing literature reports that the level of school readiness among children is closely linked to performance and adjustment to school later on. For instance, children with lower levels of school readiness at school entry are more likely to experience difficulty in school, as well as problems related to behavior and social skills (Connell & Prinz, 2002; Lemelin & Boivin, 2007). They enter kindergarten unable to learn because they cannot pay attention, remember information on purpose or function properly in a school environment (Bronson. 2000). The result is growing numbers of children who are difficult to manage in the classroom (Ravner & Knitzer, 2002). These children are aggressive in the classroom and on the playground, and unable to follow instruction. Teachers, as a result, spend the time they ought to devote to teaching monitoring these children (Wallis. 2003). More efforts, therefore ought to be geared towards helping children to be ready for learning by the time they are leaving the preschool. This would enable them to adjust better to formal school setting, learn more...

References: Abell E. & Azria M. (2008). Getting Young Children Ready to Learn:Raising Can-Do Kids. Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities. HE-722.
Boyd J., Barnett W. S., Bodrova E., Leong D. J. & Gomby D. (2005). Promoting children’s social and emotional development through preschool education. Preschool Policy Brief, National Institute for Early Education Research. www.nieer.org
Bronson, M.B
Connell C. M. & Prinz R. J. (2002). The impact of childcare and parent-child interactions on school readiness and social skills development for low income African-American children. Journal of School Psychology, 40(2), 177-193.
Federal Ministry of Education (2004). National Policy on Education. Lagos: Federal Government Press.
Howes C. & Hamilton C. E. (1993). The changing experience of childcare: Changes in teacher and in teacher-childrelationships and children’s social competence with peers. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 8, 15-32.
Lemelin J. P. &Boivin M. (2007). Success starts in Grade 1:The importance of school readiness in Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child development (QLSCD 1998-2010), Institute de la statistique du Quebec, Volume 4, Fascicle 3.
NICHD (2001). Nonmaternal care and family factors in early development: an overview of the NICHD study of early child care. Applied Developmental Psychology, 22, 457-492.
Raver, C.C. (2002). Emotions matter: Making the case for the role of young children’s emotional development for early school readiness. Social Policy Report, 16(3), 13-19.
Rimm-Kaufmann, S.E., Pianta, R.C., & Cox, M.J. (2000). Teachers’ judgments of problems in the transition to kindergarten. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 15(2), 147-166.
Shonkoff, J. P. & Phillips, D. A. (Eds.) (2000). From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The science of early childhood development. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Tremblay, R. E., Pihl, R. O. Vitaro, F., & Dobkin, P. L. (1994). Predicting early onset of male antisocial behavior from preschool behavior. Archives of General Psychiatry, 51(9), 732-739.
Wallis, C. (2003, December 15). Does kindergarten need cops? Time Magazine, 162 (24).
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • school Essay
  • Schools as Organisations Essay
  • Essay about School and Communities
  • Essay on Elementry School
  • schools Essay
  • mixed schools Essay
  • TDA 3.2 Schools as organisations. Essay
  • Promoting Health in Schools Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free