about the prescribed curriculum and to see good teaching modeled by expe- rienced kindergarten teachers. Parents’ views were also heard by teachers who adapted their programs to connect to parents’ goals and to cultural differences. By understanding what parents want through an informal needs assessment, this program may have been particularly successful for these culturally diverse families. As Garcia and Hasson (2004) advocate, having a picture of what participants want, employing welcoming recruitment strategies, and using culturally sensitive practices with meaningful activities are key to a successful program. e interactions and respectful relationships between the teachers and parents may have also been key to benefits for children. A study of parent efficacy and involvement showed that participation in a parent readiness pro- gram actually increased parents’ feelings of self-efficacy and their involvement in their child’s learning both at school and at home (Pelletier & Brent, 2002). Given the literature connecting parent feelings of efficacy to child outcomes, this is an important mechanism through which the relatively brief Readiness Center program may have had cascading effects leading to higher child out- comes. Similarly, the establishment of positive relationships between teachers and parents may be another important mechanism, as discussed below. Gradient Criterion Reynold’s (2004) point about “gradient” was evidenced in the environment ratings in each of the centers. ECERS-R scores revealed that each center had strengths in areas suitable to that community. For example, centers located in neighborhoods where there were many recent immigrants to Canada had higher ECERS-R scores in the “Meeting Diversity” factor than did centers where there was comparatively low recent immigration. Centers with smaller space scored equally well in program components and interaction subscales; thus there was no “ideal space,” although, not unexpectedly, teachers expressed wishes for more space. Correlations between environmental features and child outcomes the following year at the same schools revealed that the two most important preschool environment components for child success were inter- action between teacher and child and quality of the academic program. e finding that quality of teacher-child interaction was related to child outcomes the following year is not surprising. Studies have pointed to interaction qual- ity as key, including an exemplary kindergarten practice study, which reported that teacher-child interaction is the single most important dimension of what parents and educators regard as exemplary practice (Corter & Park, 1993). Al- though teachers in the present study were experienced, committed educators, there was enough variability in the ECERS-R dimensions to reveal some asso- ciation with child outcomes the following year.
SCHOOL READINESS 109 Specificity Criterion Reynold’s (2004) criterion of “specificity” was evidenced in specific find- ings for specific language groups. is kind of specificity is another way of
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- Winter '12
- The Land, Readiness Center, Readiness Centers