School readiness: The perceptions of kindergarten teachers in high-poverty and low-poverty schools

Kathy Pollard Martin

Abstract

The debate over specific kindergarten readiness skills kindergarten has been ongoing for a number of years. Katz (1991) affirmed that the concept of readiness has been debated for more than a century. The original purpose of kindergarten in the United States was to give the children the opportunity to learn social skills in a loving and safe environment. Kindergarten children today have more structured programs and the specific kindergarten readiness skills have changed tremendously. The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a difference in the perceptions of kindergarten teachers regarding the selection of school readiness skills. This study involved 134 kindergarten teachers from and high and low poverty school districts in a southeastern state. A MANOVA was employed as a means of statistically analyzing the data collected for this research investigation. No statistically significant findings were reported in the data analysis in the following five domains: social and emotional development, approaches to learning, communication, cognitive development/general knowledge, and physical health and well-being. This study found that the group of kindergarten teachers from high and low poverty schools in a southeastern state had similar beliefs about the necessary skills for entrance into kindergarten. There were no significant differences in the perceptions of high and low poverty teachers concerning the necessary readiness skills for entrance into kindergarten. This finding could be due to the fact that educators have been through extensive professional development and school readiness workshops that have placed a great emphasis on the necessary skills for entrance into kindergarten.