Jamaican Kindergarten and First Grade Teachers’ Expectations for Readiness Skills for Readiness Skills

Abstract

Children’s readiness to meet demands in Grade 1 is a common concern in most primary schools in Jamaica. Teachers have voiced their expectations that students should display a level of mastery in readiness skills so that they can be engaged in academic tasks when they transition from the kindergarten to Grade 1. The purpose of this qualitative case study, guided by social constructivism, was to explore kindergarten students’ readiness for Grade 1 based on the perceptions of kindergarten teachers compared to Grade 1 teachers on readiness skills, instructional practices, and expectations of students’ competency. The research questions were designed to explore how teachers prepare students with readiness skills, to what extent teachers believe incoming students are prepared, and to what extent students’ mastery of readiness skills influence students’ competencies for the formal curriculum at Grade 1. Ten face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were conducted, and documents from the standardized assessment of Grade One Individual Learning Profile were reviewed. Data were coded and analyzed for themes. The findings indicated that the teacher–pupil ratio needs to be addressed; students were exposed to readiness skills, but mastery in the requisite areas for literacy and numeracy needs greater focus; and there should be greater collaboration of stakeholders about the expectations for students. This research may influence positive social change by informing policymakers as they review, refine, and implement the expected standards for young children who transition to Grade 1.

Description

Dissertation

Table of Contents

Keywords

Jamaican Kindergarten, First Grade Teachers, Readiness Skills, Primary schools

Citation