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First-Grade Readiness Key To Later Success

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., Dec. 2 (UPI) — The level of school readiness as first-graders begin school helps predict their educational outcomes as they approach middle school, U.S. researchers say.

Katerina Bodovski and graduate student Min-Jong Youn at Pennsylvania State University’s Educational Theory and Policy program found a strong relationship between first-grade students’ behaviors and skills, and their achievement in reading and mathematics at the end of the fifth grade.

Bodovski and Youn used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study — Kindergarten Cohort, a large, nationally representative set of data for elementary school students.

Specifically, the researchers looked at several dimensions of first-grade behavior including:

– Approaches to learning, e.g., eagerness to learn, attentiveness and organization.

– Interpersonal skills, e.g., forming friendships, getting along with others.

– Externalizing problem behaviors, e.g., arguing and fighting.

– Internalizing problem behaviors, e.g., anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem.

Of these dimensions, approaches to learning appeared to be the most substantial element in predicting later math and reading achievement, the researchers said.

“Although other behaviors may be important for different outcomes, only approaches to learning — often referred to in educational literature as student engagement — had a significant association with later achievement,” Bodovski said in a statement. “As long as children are engaged, interested, and focused on tasks, little disruptions or even arguments among them are less crucial.”

The findings were published in the Journal of Early Childhood Research.

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  • s c

    So, if kids are ‘ready’ at the 1st grade level, then what happens before they get to the 8th grade? Are they damaged by indifferent parents, pressures that result in parental alcoholism and drug addiction, fickle job security and perhaps peer pressure on kids to join gangs or maybe parents learning that they weren’t ready to be parents?
    Something happens, or American education wouldn’t be so pathetic or so incredibly expensive in relation to the “quality” of students produced by those public schools BEFORE those kids are 14 years old.
    Face it, people, the common denominator in USELESS education is the government’s role in creating problems and maintaining them for easy votes per ‘social issues.’ Let teachers worry about THEIR self-esteem, and get back to BASICS.
    Uncle Scam has had 54 yers to get it right, and the old fart doesn’t give a damn about public schools. His ‘solution’ is always to throw more money at the problem. And, don’t forget to keep the ‘right’ people in office because they’ve done such a FINE JOB in making American schools what they are [UTTER FAILURES].
    HOMESCHOOL, PRIVATE SCHOOLS OR PRIVATE SCHOOLS, people. Your kids are IN DANGER, and Uncle Scam DOES NOT CARE. If you don’t live away from a population center, odds are that your kids are SCREWED.

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