THE EFFECTS OF A PREKINDERGARTEN PROGRAM ON CHILDREN'S TRANSITION INTO KINDERGARTEN
This study investigates the impact of prekindergarten experience on the adjustment skills of kindergarten children. The following question guided the study: What emotional, academic, social, and physical experiences are most important in preparing children for entrance into kindergarten? The sample consisted of an experimental group of thirty children who had six weeks of prekindergarten experience in a summer program designed to broaden the experimental foundation of children who were considered at risk educationally. The control group consisted of thirty children of comparable qualifications, who had no preschool experience before entering kindergarten. These children were observed the first six weeks of the school year. All the children included in the study came from low rent public housing, and the sample was predominately black. The categories observed were: Emotional Maturity with five subscales, e.g., shows confidence and has good self-concept, and demands teacher's constant attention; Academic Maturity, with six subscales, e.g., listening skills, adequate concentration ability and attention span; Social Maturity, with five subscales, e.g., functions independently and assumes responsibility; and Physical Maturity, with five subscales, e.g., small muscle control and independent bathroom skills. The observational instrument which was used to record the data was developed by the researcher from the input of thirty kindergarten teachers. The crosstabulation procedure with chi square test of homogeneity was used to determine the statistical significant difference between these groups. The null hypotheses were designed to test the differences between the experimental and the control group observational percentages. Analysis of the observational data indicated that the children in the experimental group with prekindergarten experience showed significantly more positive actions than the children in the control group with no preschool experience in all four broad categories. A significant difference was found in seventeen of the twenty-one subscales. It can be concluded from the findings of this study that preschool experience seems to make a great contribution to the development of the social skills of kindergarten children. It also seems to help these children to become more independent and to achieve greater emotional maturity. There is no doubt that the intellectual development of at risk children is greatly enhanced by preschool experience.
FAYE PYLES LYNCH,
"THE EFFECTS OF A PREKINDERGARTEN PROGRAM ON CHILDREN'S TRANSITION INTO KINDERGARTEN"
ETD Collection for Tennessee State University.