Qualitative Study of Kindergarten School Readiness and Personal and Social Development

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Virginia Tech

Kindergarten school readiness and the phenomenon of students entering kindergarten without the necessary personal and social skills they need to be successful in kindergarten was explored in this qualitative study. How this phenomenon impacts the school setting, including administrative support systems and classroom instructional practices implemented by kindergarten teachers, was explored. Elementary principals and kindergarten teachers who experienced this phenomenon were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. Official documents relating to the phenomenon being studied were collected and analyzed to provide for triangulation of the data.

Findings of this study provide insights into current classroom practices that are currently being implemented to solve the problem of students' personal and social skill deficits. Findings will assist division level leaders, elementary principals and kindergarten teachers to guide and shape classroom practices designed for enhancing and improving students' personal and social skills. Findings report what current resources are being used by kindergarten teachers to provide personal and social skill instruction and how teachers' instructional practices in this domain are being guided and directed by administrators. Division level leaders and school level leaders are provided with information about instructional practices for improving kindergarten students' personal and social skills. Findings of the study show how elementary principals' and kindergarten teachers' beliefs about kindergarten students' personal and social skill development are aligned to the Virginia Department of Education's Foundation Blocks for Early Learning for certain skills and how they are not aligned for other skills.

kindergarten, school readiness, personal and emotional development