Date of Award:

2012

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Dr. Shelley L. Knudsen Lindauer

Abstract

This study explored mothers’ perceptions about kindergarten readiness and practices in preparing their child for kindergarten. The relationship between maternal educational level and the developmental appropriateness of their perceptions and practices in preparing their children for kindergarten was examined. The relationship between the child’s birth status and the developmental appropriateness of mothers’ responses was also investigated.

A questionnaire asking parents about their perceptions and practices with their child entering kindergarten was sent home to 60 families who had enrolled their child in the Adele and Dale Young Child Development Laboratory at Utah State University during the 2010-2011 academic year; 33 mothers returned completed questionnaires.

The questionnaire contained statements for the parents to rate in importance and in frequency of their child participating in an activity. A variety of developmental areas such as literacy, math, motor, and social were included in the statements.

The findings from the study suggest that mothers were more developmentally appropriate in their responses to their perceptions of kindergarten readiness than they were in their responses about their actual practices in preparing their child for kindergarten. However, mothers were mostly developmentally appropriate in their responses in all areas. They seemed to understand the importance of literacy and mathematics in young children’s lives, but they may not understand how wide the spectrum is for a child learning about literacy and mathematics in developmentally appropriate ways. The participants had low means with their responses to some of the literacy practices, such as with how children should be taught letter and word recognition.

Mothers were most developmentally appropriate in their perceptions of being involved in their child’s education. They appeared to understand that being involved in their child’s education will help their child transition to and be more successful in school than if they were not involved. Overall, it was found that mothers had a reasonably good understanding of what is developmentally appropriate to prepare children for kindergarten; however, they were not as clear about what is less developmentally appropriate for preparing children for kindergarten. Limitations, implications, and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on April 12, 2012.

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