The School Readiness of Red Deer's Kindergarten Children - Family

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					                                       UEY Red Deer Preliminary Results
                                              Research Forum:
                                              December 1, 2009


      The School Readiness of Red Deer’s Kindergarten Children:
A Preliminary Report on the Results of the Early Development Instrument (EDI)




                                                                           1
The School Readiness of Red Deer’s Kindergarten Children A
Preliminary Report on the Results of the Early Development Instrument,
is one of several reports and products released by the Red Deer
Understanding the Early Years Project.




The UEY Red Deer Project is funded by the Government of Canada‟ s
    Understanding the Early Years Initiative.
 The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the
   author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of
                                Canada.
                                                                         2
            The Early Development Instrument (EDI)
   Developed by the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University
    in Hamilton, Ontario
   Designed to assess how children are faring as a group in a community
    in five areas or domains of early development
   Examines how well children are prepared to participate in school
       activities-school readiness
   Does not provide diagnostic information about individual children, and
       does not measure school performance

 Results can be used to
        report on areas of strength and deficit for populations of children,
        monitor populations of children over time,                         3
        predict how children will do in later school years.
            What is meant by “readiness to learn?”
             Children are born „ready to learn.‟
The human neurosystem is
pre-programmed to develop
various pathways and skills,
depending on the
experiences that a child
receives.




School Readiness refers to
the child‟s ability to meet the
tasks and expectations at
school. The EDI is a
measurement of readiness to
learn at school.
The EDI looks at children’s development in 5 areas or domains

1. Physical health and well-being
Includes:
          gross and fine motor skills:
          holding a pencil,
          running on the playground,
          motor coordination
          adequate energy levels for classroom activities
          independence in looking after own needs
          daily living skills




                                                                5
2. Social Competence
Includes:
          curiosity about the world,
          eagerness to try new experiences,
          knowledge of standards of acceptable behaviour in a public place,
          ability to control own behaviour,
          appropriate respect for adult authority,
          cooperation with others,
          following rules
          ability to play and work with other children

3. Emotional Maturity
Includes:
          ability to reflect before acting,
          a balance between too fearful and too impulsive
          ability to deal with feelings at the age-appropriate level
                                                                              6
          empathic response to other people's feelings
4. Language and cognitive development
Includes:
          reading awareness,
          age-appropriate reading and writing skills
          age-appropriate numeracy skills
          board games,
          ability to understand similarities and differences,
          ability to recite back specific pieces of information from memory

5. Communication skills and general knowledge
Includes:
          skills to communicate needs and wants in socially appropriate ways
          symbolic use of language,
          story telling,
          age-appropriate knowledge about the life and world around;

Two additional indicators look at                                              7
Special skills and Special problems
                        Sample EDI Questions
How would you rate this child’s:
   Level of energy throughout the school day?
   Ability to tell a story?
   Ability to play with various children?


                               Would you say that this child:
                                  Is able to write his or her own name?
                                  Follows directions?
                                  Appears fearful or anxious?

                                                                           8
The Red Deer Collection of Information

 Kindergarten teachers in Red Deer Public and Red Deer Catholic
Schools completed the EDI for their students in March of 2009, after
a training session on the procedure.

 Approximately 104 questions for each student were completed.

 Only children who had been in the kindergarten class for at least
one month were included.

 Signed parental permission was obtained.

 The findings are based on a sample of 850 kindergarten children.     9
The Red Deer Collection of Information con’t

 Completed EDI surveys were shipped to the Offord Centre
at McMaster University in Hamilton for scoring and comparison to
the Canadian sample of 176,621 children.


 Results were returned to the Red Deer Understanding the Early
Years Project.




                                                                   10
Key Findings:
  In all 5 developmental areas, the Red Deer kindergarten children
 achieved higher average scores than the Canadian sample.

  Of the sample of Red Deer kindergarten children,
          17.8% scored low in at least one area of development
          9.4% of the children scored low in at least two areas of development

  The greatest strength for children was in the area of physical readiness for
 school



                                                                          11
Key Findings con’t
 On the physical health and well being sub-domains, the gross and fine
motor skills sub-domain had the fewest children with developmental
readiness.

 The Multiple Challenge Index, a measure of wide-ranging challenges
indicated by low scores on 3 or more developmental domains showed that
2.1% of the Red Deer sample had multiple challenges, compared to 3.9% of
the Canadian sample.

 The results revealed that communication skills and general knowledge
was the most challenging area for Red Deer‟s kindergarten children.


                                                                     12
       Comparison of average scores in each of the 5 EDI domains
                Red Deer and Canadian scores

       10

               8.89   8.80
        9                         8.68                                  8.54
                                         8.32        8.28                      8.44
                                                            8.04                         8.15
        8                                                                                       7.65

        7

        6                                                                                                 Red Deer
Mean




        5                                                                                                 Normative II


        4

        3

        2

        1

        0
            Physical health and Social competence Emotional maturity   Language and   Communication and
                well-being                                                cognitive   general knowledge
                                                                        development
                                                      Domains



                                                                                                                     13
Percentages of children who scored low on at least one or two of the five EDI
domains, compared to the Canadian sample


                                                      Percentages


                                           Red Deer                  Canadian
                                                                    Normative II
                                                                      sample


         Low on at least one
         developmental readiness domain     17.8%                     27.2%



         Low on at least two
         developmental readiness domains    9.4%                      13.6%




                                                                                   14
Vulnerable children are considered to be those whose scores fall below the 10th
percentile. These children are not at all developmentally ready to handle the tasks
 and expectations of school. (Children with identified special needs are not
included in these results).
Table 2: Percentage of Vulnerable Children in one or more domains, from the Red De

                                                     % Vulnerable
      Domains
                                                 Red Deer Cut-offs

      Physical Health and Well-Being                   12.5%

      Social Competence                                11.3%

      Emotional Maturity                                9.4%

      Language and Cognitive                           10.0%
      Development
      Communication skills & General                   13.6%
      Knowledge                                                            15
Significant differences were found between girls and boys. With respect
to every domain girls scored higher than boys.
Note: This is a consistent developmental phenomenon across all sites
where the EDI has been implemented
Table 5 depicts the comparative mean score on the five domains for boys and girls.


                                                                    Statistically
      Domains                    Girls                Boys          Significant?
                           N     Mean    SD     N     Mean   SD
      Physical health
      and                  433   9.07    1.15   417   8.69   1.36       Yes
      well-being

      Social competence    433   9.08    1.20   416   8.26   1.76       Yes
      Emotional maturity
                           433   8.67    1.20   413   7.86   1.55       Yes
      Language and
      cognitive            433   8.78    1.44   417   8.29   1.72       Yes
      development
      Communication
      skills and general   433   8.43    2.11   417   7.85   2.41       Yes
      knowledge                                                                 16
The mean age of Red Deer children assessed was 5.71 years. Children
above the mean age recorded better levels of readiness to learn than
children below the mean age.
Note: This is a consistent developmental phenomenon across
all sites where the EDI has been implemented.
Table 4: Effect of age of child on mean scores in EDI domains

                                                                Statistically
     Domains              Above mean age      Below the mean    Significant?
                                                   age
                          N     Mean   SD     N    Mean SD
     Physical health
     and                  432   9.08   1.24   418   8.69 1.27          Yes
     well-being

     Social competence    432   8.95   1.43   417   8.39 1.62          Yes
     Emotional maturity
                          430   8.47   1.35   415   8.08 1.50          Yes
     Language and
     cognitive            432   8.89   1.35   418   8.18 1.73          Yes
     development
     Communication
     skills and general   432   8.54   2.11   418   7.73 2.38          Yes
                                                                                17
     knowledge
Children with English as their first language had higher language and cognitive
development, communication skills and general knowledge scores than children who
with English as their second language. It is important to use caution in interpretation of
this table, given that this group is only 3.4% of the children in the sample.
Table 5: Effect of English as Second Language (ESL) Status on mean scores in
EDI domains

                                                                              Statistically
 Domains                  ELS                        Not ESL                  Significant?
                            N       Mean      SD       N     Mean       SD
 Physical health and
 well-being                  29      9.02    1.19     818      8.89    1.27        No

 Social competence           29      8.77    1.54     817      8.68    1.55        No
 Emotional maturity
                             29      8.00    1.47     813      8.30    1.43        No
 Language and
 cognitive                   29      7.62    1.95     818      8.50    1.57        Yes
 development
 Communication skills
 and general                 29      5.28    2.42     818      8.26    2.20        Yes
 knowledge
                                                                                      18
Children in French immersion programs scored higher on all the four domains compared
to children without French immersion.

  Table 6: Effect of French Immersion on mean scores in EDI domains

                                                                     Statistically
   Domains               French Immersion      No French             Significant?
                                               Immersion
                           N     Mean    SD      N    Mean     SD
   Physical health and
   well-being             132    8.84   1.18    716    8.91   1.26       No

   Social competence      132    9.18   1.15    715    8.60   1.59       Yes
   Emotional maturity
                          132    8.77   1.25    711    8.20   1.43       Yes
   Language and
   cognitive              132    9.06   0.96    716    8.45   1.66       Yes
   development
   Communication
   skills and general     132    8.56   1.82    716    8.09   2.32       Yes
   knowledge

                                                                                19
Children with Aboriginal status (self-identified as North American Indian, First Nation,
Metis, or Inuit-Census 2006 definition); scored significantly lower in all five domains
when compared to children with non-Aboriginal status. It is important to use caution
in interpretation of this table, given that this group is less than 5% of the children
in the sample.

Table 7: Effect of Aboriginal Status on mean scores in EDI domains

                                                                           Statistically
 Domains                        Aboriginal              Non- Aboriginal    Significant?
                              N   Mean     SD         N   Mean SD
 Physical health and
 well-being              41       8.40     1.53    802     8.93     1.22        Yes

 Social competence       41       8.18     1.64    801     8.72     1.53        Yes
 Emotional maturity
                         41       7.81     1.60    797     8.32     1.41        Yes
 Language and
 cognitive               41       7.91     1.73    802     8.59     1.57        Yes
 development
 Communication skills
 and general             41       7.38     2.71    802     8.22     2.21        Yes
 knowledge                                                                            20
Early interventions programs are defined as speech/language therapy, Head Start, a
school-based program for mild/moderate or Program Unit Funded children, or if
similar services were provided in the home.

Table 8: Effect of attending an early intervention program on mean scores in EDI
domains

                                                                      Statistically
       Domains            Early Intervention    No Early Intervention Significant?
                          N      Mean     SD     N      Mean SD
 Physical health and
 well-being              103     8.76    1.44     703     8.91   1.25       No

 Social competence       103     8.63    1.62     702     8.71   1.51       No
 Emotional maturity
                         103     8.18    1.60     700     8.27   1.42       No
 Language and
 cognitive               103     8.55    1.85     703     8.53   1.58       No
 development
 Communication skills
 and general             103     7.71    2.66     703     8.23   2.20      Yes
 knowledge
                                                                                   21
Language and religion classes are such things as Sunday school, or Hebrew or
Spanish classes. The influence of language and/or religious classes was limited to
two domains of children‟s readiness to learn at school.
Table 9: Effect of attending language or religious classes on mean scores in EDI
domains


                         Language/ Religion       No Language/        Statistically
 Domains                      Classes            Religion Classes     Significant?
                          N    Mean SD           N      Mean SD
 Physical health and
 well-being              87      9.10   1.32    612     8.87   1.27       No

 Social competence       87      8.96   1.47    612     8.67   1.52       No
 Emotional maturity
                         86      8.63   1.42    610     8.24   1.43       Yes
 Language and
 cognitive               87      8.97   1.23    612     8.49   1.60       Yes
 development
 Communication skills
 and general             87      8.42   2.09    612     8.17   2.22       No
 knowledge
                                                                                 22
No significant differences were found in developmental readiness scores with
respect to the types of non-parental care arrangement. Non-parental care
arrangements include care at a day care centre, family day home, or in the child‟s
own home by relatives or non-relatives.

Table 11: Effect of type of non-parental care arrangement on mean scores in EDI
domains
                                                                         Statistically
       Domains                 Full Time             Part Time           Significant?
                          N      Mean    SD        N   Mean SD
Physical health and
well-being               131     8.84    1.33     100     8.81    1.24       No

Social competence        131     8.55    1.61     100     8.86    1.32       No
Emotional maturity
                         131     8.15    1.56     100     8.29    1.61       No
Language and
cognitive                131     8.24    1.86     100     8.74    1.31       Yes
development
Communication skills
and general              131     8.03    2.38     100     8.47    1.83       No
knowledge                                                                          23
There was a link between scores of children who attended part-time preschool
educational activities and the EDI domains. Part time preschool activities are
programs that do not provide full day child care and do not involve an early intervention
component. On all five domains children who attended part-time preschool have
significantly higher scores than children who did not attend.
Table 10: Effect of attending part-time preschool on mean scores in EDI domains


                               Preschool              No Preschool Statistically
   Domains                   N   Mean SD             N    Mean SD Significant?
   Physical health and
   well-being               303     9.11    1.09    370     8.78   1.37      Yes

   Social competence        303     8.84    1.43    370     8.54   1.58      Yes
   Emotional maturity
                            303     8.49    1.33    369     8.06   1.51      Yes
   Language and
   cognitive                303     8.86    1.45    370     8.29   1.65      Yes
   development
   Communication skills
   and general              303     8.60    1.98    370     7.82   2.38      Yes
   knowledge
                                                                                    24
 The 5 developmental domains of the EDI contain16 sub-domains, with the exception of
 Communication Skills and General Knowledge, which does not have sub-domains.
 The following table shows the sub-domains for each domain.
Physical Health Social              Emotional        Language and Communication
and Well-Being Competence           Maturity         Cognitive       Skills &General
                                                     Development     Knowledge
Physical           Overall social   Prosocial and    Basic literacy  Communication
   readiness          competence       helping                          skills and
for school day                         behaviour     Interest           general
                   Responsibility   Anxious and      in literacy        knowledge
Physical              and respect      fearful       numeracy and
independence                           behaviour     memory
                   Approaches to    Aggressive
Gross and fine        learning         behaviour     Advanced
    motor skills   Readiness        Hyperactivity         literacy
                       to explore      and                                      25
                      new things       inattention   Basic literacy
Key components of communication and general knowledge include effective
communication, ability to participate in story-telling or imaginative play, clear
articulation, demonstration of adequate general knowledge, and proficiency of
children in their native language.
                           Communication and General Knowledge




                          53.8                          24.4                21.9




        0%          20%            40%            60%              80%             100%
                                                                                          26
                Ready for school         Middle            Not Ready for school
Next Steps
Policy makers, schools, service providers, libraries, and community
organizations can use the results to make decisions about programs
and allocation of resources.

EDI results for Red Deer will be mapped, as is done in British
Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Manitoba

Through Alberta Education, all school districts in Alberta will be
involved in collecting information on the readiness to learn of
kindergarten children, using the EDI Instrument.

The Red Deer EDI results will become part of the provincial project

Collection of the information on new groups of kindergarten students
                                                                       27
will allow trends to be examined.
Next Steps
Policy makers, schools, service providers, libraries, and community
organizations can use the results to make decisions about programs
and allocation of resources.

EDI results for Red Deer will be mapped, as is done in British
Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Manitoba

Through Alberta Education, all school districts in Alberta will be
involved in collecting information on the readiness to learn of
kindergarten children, using the EDI Instrument.

The Red Deer EDI results will become part of the provincial project

Collection of the information on new groups of kindergarten students
                                                                       28
will allow trends to be examined.
For more information, contact Laurie Lafortune, Red Deer
    Understanding the Early Years Coordinator at Family
        Services of Central Alberta: 403-309-8224
                    llafortune@fsca.ca


Research Summaries and the full report will be available at
                     www.fsca.ca


        Thank you for your participation!
                                                           29

				
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