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Title: Executive function, social-emotional skills, and academic competence in three preschool programmes : pathways to school readiness
Author: Shimamura, Hanako
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 8477
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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Research findings indicate that executive function (EF), social-emotional skills, and pre-academic competence significantly promote children's school readiness and later success. School readiness broadly refers to a combination of skills necessary to function successfully in school and lack thereof may increase the risk of children's school problems. Therefore, it is essential for school systems to provide appropriate and timely support to the development of these fundamental skills. The present study focused on three particular preschool programmes: Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and the traditional play-based (British Columbia Early Learning Framework: BCEFL) programmes in Western Canada. Although they are popular, there is little empirical research that examines and compares the benefits of these programmes to the development of school readiness skills. As such, the present study aimed to 1) determine the effectiveness of these three preschool programmes in Western Canada on the development of children's school readiness; and 2) examine other sources of influences in the child, family and school in relation to the development of school readiness skills. Overall, 119 preschool children (48 Montessori, 42 Reggio Emilia, 29 BCELF) participated in the study. Observation was conducted once in the autumn of 2015 for each classroom using the CLASS observation tool. Teachers and parents of participating children filled in a series of questionnaires regarding the quality of their relationship with their child and their perceptions of daily EF and social-emotional skills of their child. The researcher also assessed individual children's fluid intelligence, EF, and pre-academic competence. The results showed that 1) although Montessori education appeared to be the most effective in facilitating numeracy skills, no curriculum stood out as notably more effective than any of the others at improving other areas of school readiness skills; 2) well-run classrooms where teachers were effective in time, behavioural, and attention management were most effective in promoting children's numeracy skills; 3) EF, social-emotional skills, and pre-academic competence exhibited an overlapping developmental process over time; 4) relational quality in both home and school environments significantly affected the development of school readiness skills, especially social-emotional skills; and 5) adults' perceptions of children's EF and social-emotional skills had a significant consequence for how teachers and parents formed their relationships with their children.
Supervisor: Evangelou, Maria ; Malmberg, Lars-Erik Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available