Kindergarten Transition: Does family involvement make a difference in children's early school adjustment?
University of Kansas
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Kindergarten transition is a critical experience for children because of its potential long-term impact on school performance. Recognizing this impact, the field of early childhood education has been making great efforts to facilitate children's smooth transition to kindergarten through various approaches. One of the most widely accepted principles of kindergarten transition that guides the field is that of establishing strong and positive relationships among the key factors - child, family, school, and community - is critical in achieving successful transition to kindergarten. Although the family-school connection is one of the relationships that have been emphasized in the field, current understanding of the level of family involvement in kindergarten and the specific outcomes of family involvement is still very limited. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods, this study aims to investigate the impact of family involvement in kindergarten transition on children's early school adjustment. Quantitative analysis was conducted using regression modeling. For qualitative analysis, constant comparative method of analysis was used to analyze the transcripts of individual interview with seven families who recently sent their child to kindergarten. Although quantitative result revealed that family involvement is not a predictor for children's early school adjustment, qualitative result suggests that families believe that their involvement in kindergarten transition has a positive influence on child's early school adjustment. In addition, qualitative results provided information on barriers that interfered with family involvement in the kindergarten transition process and suggestions for schools and other families. Finally, limitations of the findings and implications for future research, policy, and practice are discussed.
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