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Differences in educational readiness : a study of the differences in language development, perceptual skills and behaviour in a group of Tasmanian children when they entered kindergarten.

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posted on 2023-05-27, 06:32 authored by Bell, Cecily
Fifty kindergarten children were examined in an attempt to compare their educational readiness. There were 19 girls and 31 boys and their average age was 5 1/2 years. Although not strictly controlled, their socio-economic background was considered to be working class. The Boehm Test of Basic Concepts (BTBC) and the Draw-a-Man Test were used. As well, teachers and parents rated the children on the following characteristics: hyperactivity and distractibility, articulated speech, auditory perception,. visual motor co-ordination, laterality, behaviour considered normal, behaviour considered apathetic and withdrawn and behaviour considered angry and defiant. The results showed that certain physical, intellectual, emotional and social characteristics considered relevant to early educational success exist in some kindergarten children and not in others. Girls had more of the component skills considered necessary than did boys. They scored significantly higher on the BTBC and were seen by teachers and parents as haying better articulated speech. Boys were rated by teachers as being more apathetic and withdrawn than girls. Although results for other characteristics did not reach statistical_significance, there was a consistent trend in favour of There was a higher incidence of left-handedness in boys And significantly more boys who were neither clearly right- nor left-handed. The articulated speech of right-handed boys was seen by the teachers as being better than that of the left-handed and. 'undecided' -boys. Children who scored high on the BTBC were more likely to score higher on the Draw-a-Man Test and be considered by the teachers to have more normal behaviour than did low scorers. Conversely, low scorers on the BTBC were more likely to have poor auditory perception and visual motor co-ordination, be more hyperactive (boys only) and apathetic and withdrawn (girls only) than did high scorers. There was no relationship between the BTBC and angry and defiant behaviour for either sex. It was proposed that general intelligence and/or developmental stages accounted for the correlations. The study was confined to group differences and did not analyse the results of individual children. Parent' and teachers' ratings agreed on children who had 'normal' behaviour but not on those who had maladaptive behaviour. When children with either type of extreme behaviour were grouped together, there was agreement. Implications for education regarding the importance of individual differences in readiness for formal school work were discussed.

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Copyright 1974 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.A.)--University of Tasmania, 1975. Bibliography: l. 124-129

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