|dc.description.abstract||The main aim of this study was to identify those elements
in a child's home background that assist him to become
schoolready. The secondary, though closely related aims
were to determine whether significant cognitive and linguistic
differences existed between schoolready and non-schoolready
children. The study, moreover, sought to establish
whether the parents of these two groups of children
differed in their views about the manner in which children
should be reared.
The sample of children comprised the following two groups:
(a) The Preschoolers, who were due to enter Class i in
1990 had had approximately one year's preschool experience.
On the basis of the results of a test of
schoolreadiness, these children were divided further
into two groups - a "schoolready" group and a "non-schoolready
group". Each of these groups comprised
(b) The Non-Preschoolers, who were also due to enter
Class i in 1990, but lacked preschool experience.
These children were divided into a "schoolready" and a
"non-schoolready" group on the same basis as the Preschoolers.
Each group comprised twenty children.
Cognitive ability was tested by means of the Raven's
Coloured Progressive Matrices and language ability by means
of the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test.
The results of this study highlighted the role of the home
as perhaps the single most important educational agency in
a child's early years. A stimulating home environment
plays an important part in helping the child to become
schoolready. The following aspects were found to be particularly
influential in this process: low educational
level of the parents, poor housing, low income and poor
reading habits of parents.
A second major finding of this study was that children who
had had preschool experience were better equipped to meet
the demands of the formal school situation. Moreover, cognitive
development is highly dependent upon the kind of
verbal interactions between parents and child, and this, in
turn, has a marked impact on the child's scholastic performance.
The study also revealed that the parents of non-schoolready
children are, by and large, more authoritarian in their
relationship with their children and in their views about
how children should be reared.
The report ends with an indication of various steps that
can be taken to promote schoolreadiness among preschool
children. It is suggested that the implementation of these
steps would lead to a smaller number of non-ready six-year-
olds seeking admission to Class i at the beginning of