Readiness for school: A study of parent, teacher, and preschool provider perspectives

Donna Elizabeth Williamson, Florida International University


A possible gap exists between what parents and preschool providers know concerning children's readiness for school and what they should know when compared to teacher expectations. Students are experiencing difficulty in early schooling as a result of this gap in perspectives. This study's purpose was to describe, explain, and analyze the perspectives of parents, teachers, and preschool providers concerning school readiness. The qualitative strategy of interviewing was used with six parents, six teachers, and two preschool provider participants. Interview transcripts, field notes, member checking, and document analysis were used to interpret data and support findings. Categorization and coding organized data and aided in theory development. Major findings of the study include: (a) All participant groups stress social skills, communication skills, and enthusiasm as most valuable for school readiness; (b) All participant groups agree parents have primary responsibility for readiness preparation; (c) Many participants suggest variables concerning family, economics, and home life contribute to a lack of readiness; (d) Parents place greater value on academic skills than teachers or preschool providers; (e) Preschool programs are identified as having the potential to significantly influence readiness; (f) Communicating, providing positive learning experiences, and providing preschool experience are valuable ways to prepare students for school, yet, differences were found in the types of experiences noted; (g) Participant perspectives indicate that informing parents of readiness expectations is of major importance, and they offer suggestions to accomplish this goal such as using public libraries and pediatrician offices as houses for written information and having kindergarten teachers make presentations at preschools. This study concludes that parents and preschool providers do have knowledge concerning readiness for school. They may not, however, be in a position to carry out their responsibilities due to the intervening variables that inhibit the amount of time, interaction, and communication they have with the children in their care. This study discloses the beliefs of parents and preschool providers that children are ready for school, while teachers conclude that many children are not ready. Suggestions for readiness preparation and information dissemination are significant findings that offer implications for practice and future study.

Subject Area

Preschool education

Recommended Citation

Williamson, Donna Elizabeth, "Readiness for school: A study of parent, teacher, and preschool provider perspectives" (2003). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3115859.