Exploring the Concept of School Readiness amongst Parents, Teachers and Principals of Preschools Children

Article Title: Exploring the Concept of School Readiness amongst Parents, Teachers and Principals of Preschools Children

Author(s): Tanvir Akhtar and Syeda Faria Bilal

Institute(s): Department of Psychology, Foundation University, Islamabad.

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, 2018, Vol. 33, No. 1, 149-175

Correspondence Address: Tanvir Akhtar, Department of Psychology, Foundation University, Islamabad Campus, Pakistan. E-mail: tanvir_akhtar@yahoo.com

Abstract

Owing to its importance, school readiness has been central in the field of early education, child development and school psychology for many decades, yet several of its dimensions still remain unexplored. In Pakistan, there does not exist a well-articulated policy on early education. This paper aims to investigate how Pakistani parents, teachers and principals of preschools understand the concept of school readiness, the method adopted to assess the phenomenon and to look into the social and emotional problems the preschoolers face. The data for the study was collected from Rawalpindi, a city of Pakistan. The city was divided into three strata from which the preschoolers were selected randomly. The qualitative method was adopted using focus group discussion as the main tool of gathering information required for the study. The data analysis revealed that the parents attach high degree of importance to school readiness and are ready to send their children to school as soon as he/she has developed an adequate level of communication skills, regarding these skills as the key to socializing and making friends in school and coping with emotional needs. The teachers, on the other hand, insisted that children admitted to preschool level should be toilet-trained and have an idea of basic alphabets and numbers. The principals, however, emphasized on physical and mental health of children. Yet, all the respondents were of the view that preschool preparations play a major role in building the emotional and social profile of a child. They were also unanimous in their views that three years is the right age when a child is ready to go to school. They saw separation anxiety and emotional readiness are the impediments for the settlement of a child in the school which needs to be taken care by teachers for assisting child’s adjustment.

Keywords. School readiness, preschoolers, school authorities

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