CHAPTER age on readiness. The maturationist theory of development



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Children’s age is also a feature of school readiness insofar as it indicates the state of being fully developed in the cognitive, social and affective domains. The other factors may influence children’s development in school and in the way of living, including affection of the child, family, previous child-care environments and the spontaneous attitude of relationships with teachers and peers (Stipek, 2009).


The recent writings in prose on kindergarten readiness examine the relationship between age and academic achievement as well as the degree of comparative perceptions of teachers, parents, and students regarding readiness skills. This literature review provides a clear, plain, and precise picture of the importance and the result of the age on readiness.


The maturationist theory of development views development as a genetically related by the process that happens in stages over the period of time. Maturationists believed in the viewpoint that before children can be fully developed in school; they need to extend a particular level of maturity (Marshall, 2003). Maturationists think that development needs to precede learning and that a particular level of maturity must be develop before the learning can happen (Graue & DiPerna, 2000). The maturationist theory guides the parents and the teachers to linger a school entry for some children with late birthdays, believing that their lack of various academic skills will naturally develop in a given time.


According to the interactionists theory they think that learning happens for children through playing when they are communicate and interact with the other people and environments around them. Interactionists believe that instruction and interaction with other effects in learning and that age has a limited to do with readiness to learn. Constructivists/interactionists see no need for the late entry because they believe that late entry will only deprive the child of stimulating, beneficial interactions with trained teachers and thus lost opportunities and privileges for learning (Marshall, 2003).




Continuity is also established in the interval separating of the environment of the families at home and the social interaction in schools. Language is the medium through which teachers instruct the main importance of interacting in school and families communicate at home. It is a powerful way to establish the progression indicating a connection of the social environment at home and the social interaction in school.


Parents and other primary caregivers have the strongest influence on the child’s initial word acquisition in younger days. As their infants first mentor, parents’ attitudes, goals and behaviours influence the way a child develops language skills, language socialization, and perceptions of the value and maintenance of their mother tongue, the initial word they learn at home.


Many children speak a home language that differs from the medium of instruction in education programmes. This difference often puts children from non-mainstream ethno linguistic groups of hindrances and maintains or increases disparities in educational achievement. Guarantee progression in linguistic communication in the interval separation of families and the classroom increases equity in educational outcomes.


There is also research demonstrating that attributes of children’s child-care environment directly affect a child’s transition and adjustment to school. These effects appear even more pronounced among children exposed to high-risk conditions. Programs based on principles of quality care, higher caregiver training and smaller child staff ratio all contribute positively to a child’s readiness for school. Instructional needs and children’s ability to profit from school depend on the types of instructional settings they encounter as they move from home to school and from grade to grade. Schools and communities make also significant contributions to children’s connections with school, both in the transition process and in later school engagement.


Another developmental theory is the environmentalist theory. Environmentalists believe that behavior, development, and learning are shaped by the child’s environment. According to environmentalists a child is ready for kindergarten when the child can appropriately respond to her/his school and/or classroom. Examples of appropriate environmental responses for kindergarten ready children include following directions, following rules, and engaging in group activities. Environmentalists believe that children learn best in a structured, directed, adult-lead classroom with restrictions on student behavior and actions (NCREL, 2004).


Both Dewey and Piaget explored how the physical environment, including materials, affects children’s learning. Dewey proposed that children learn best in a stimulating environment that is designed according to the interests and experiences of the children in the classroom (Clifford et al., 2005; Hamre & Pianta, 2001). Teachers must observe carefully in order to plan engaging educational experiences that help children develop new skills and learn more about the world.


According to Piaget children construct knowledge through action (Davidson, 1998; Hamre  & Pianta, 2001). The world around the children helps them learn to explore new things. As described by Piaget, learning is a dynamic process that comes with a number of stages. In the sensorimotor stage, it begins at newborn and end up until age 2, babies learn simple motor activity and by reacting to what feel using their senses. At age 2, children will experience preoperational period. During this stage, which will stays throughout the preschool years, the properties of objects will finally explore by the children. However, they have limited observations one object at a time and no more.

Piaget explained that children must involved in daily tasks actively so that through their experiences they will develop and learn. Children process new information on the things of what they already know (assimilation). They also use their thinking skills and apply what they know through experiences (accommodation) (Kraftt & Berk, 1998). By seeing materials of different sizes, shapes, and colors, children will play those things and they will develop to learn by sorting, classifying, comparing and sequencing. As they observe and experiment, make discoveries, and stabilize their way of thinking to create new insights.  More recent research shows that child development is more fluid and more tied to specific content knowledge than Piaget’s stages suggest, it confirms that learning having an interaction between the children and the adults develop positive impact to the child as they interact in their environment. It can develop and support children’s attention. It can contribute to children’s self-regulation when it is arranged so that children can function independently as they select activities and obtain and put away materials (Mooney, 2000). High-maintenance physical environments is very important for children who experience social and economic risks and may serve as

a protective factor for these children (Mashburn, 2008).


Parents Involvement


            Families are critical for ensuring school readiness. It concentrates on the crucial role off families in children’s school readiness and how schools can build stronger ties with them. During the preschools years, children make bound in physical, motor, social, emotional, language and cognitive skills development. The role of parents and guardians is important for these developments.


Parents provide cognitive and linguistic by providing consistency daily routines and opportunities for healthy product of their growth and development. Prior to entering school, the family is the most important in dealing with the environment. By school readiness, family consists of the people who nurture the young children, including biological and non-biological caregivers, siblings and extended family members. Parenting practices, attitudes and knowledge have been the most studied factors for understanding the role of families in children’s readiness for school. Supportive parenting is the strongest predictors of school performance during primary school and beyond.


Parenting practices that promote learning and development can be measured by the consistency and frequency of antenatal visits, breastfeeding for newborns and infants is practiced. Parents’ education goals for their children are very crucial for school success, as are their beliefs in, attitudes toward and commitments to education. Parental expectations are often cited as two explanations for the strong link between maternal education achievement and child learning outcomes. Children living in homes where parents provide verbal conversations, interaction, support and stimulation performed well in school that those who doesn’t develop interaction at home. Responsive and supportive family enhance their children’s building blocks to the social and emotional development of the child in school. When it comes to household the mother is the head and she fulfils primary care giving roles, the father’s involvement in early years is also important. Patterns of greater father involvement in early years have been linked with children’s language skills, cognition, academic achievement, and social and emotional competence. According to family systems theories, three types of family interactions should be take note while developing school readiness programmes. Harmonious, cohesive families have been justify with fewer emotional problems and better peer relationships. Harmony and cohesiveness in families are important for the young children’s development and should be adapted by ECD programmes that strive to promote parental engagement in children’s growth and development. Given the significance of families for their children’s growth, development and learning, parental involvement in education is inessential. To increase parent involvement and guardian relationships, schools must create frequent opportunities to communicate with parents. Activities must enable the school to respond to parents’ suggestions concerns. Thus involved, parents feel more comfortable, confident and empowered in their significant role in their child’s development. Strong family-school partnerships are especially important for those families most alienated by traditional schooling practices. Because of their cultural and social backgrounds, these parents’ expectations is educationally helpful to their children may differ from those of school personnel.


            Parents plays important role in determining their child’s school readiness. The quality of parent-child relationships, specifically parental stimulation and sensitivity has a clear and frequently documented process with early school success, or a main contributor. Also, the quality of the relationships between the parents before their child enters school has been shown to sight the child’s social development throughout elementary and high school (Stripek, June 2009).


            Bronferbrenner (1974, 1979) has sighted strong proponent of parent participant as a critical component of a good quality of education. Parent involvement is now considered not only desirable but plays a vital role to effective schooling (Comer & Haynes, 1991; Roberts et al., 1989; Burchinal et al., 1997; Reynolds et al., 1996; Fullan, 2001). Research signify that parental involvement has a major role and impact on children’s academic success (Daniels, 1995; Ho & Willms, 1996 Zellman & Waterman, 1998; Griffith, 1996).