Well begun is half done: unfolding multiple pathways to school readiness

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    Abstract

    Ample research stresses the importance of school readiness, namely the value of starting formal schooling with a set of optimally developed skills in different developmental domains. The overall aim of this dissertation was to deepen our understanding of the emergence and development of school readiness in a community sample of 3 year-old Dutch children.
    First, we identified four school readiness profiles, each consisting of a specific pattern of strengths and weaknesses in terms of executive function-, language-, motor- and socioemotional skills. Profiles particularly differed in terms of motor competence and first grade school outcomes (the latter being assessed in the follow-up phase of the MELLE-project).
    Second, we focused on the dynamics of school readiness skills by studying stability and change of individual skills and skill profiles. We found evidence for both stability and change. Change manifested in different ways, for example a change in only one versus in multiple of the school readiness skills or a change from one to another school readiness profile.
    Finally, we studied a specific aspect of the home environment in which school readiness develops, namely: mother-child interpersonal coordination. Our results showed this to be a process to which mother and child contribute in their own way, and that varied between mother-child dyads.
    Taken together, we have shown that each child’s arrival at the school doorstep can take many shapes. Each child arrives at school with a specific set of school readiness skills and teachers can build on the children’s relative strengths and weaknesses.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Minnaert, Alexander, Supervisor
    • Houwen, Suzanne, Co-supervisor
    • Cantell, Marja, Co-supervisor
    Award date7-Nov-2022
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Publisher
    Print ISBNs978-94-6469-047-7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2022

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