School awareness and readiness refer to a child’s preparedness and understanding of what to expect when starting formal education. It includes a range of skills and knowledge that a child should have to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally in a school setting.
School Awareness and Readiness (Introduction)
Inclusive education is becoming very popular nowadays, due to its comprehensive approach to society, it is the need of the hour keeping in mind the ignorance of disabled children by the ones having no disabilities.
Inclusion is an educational setting/school, in which students with and without disabilities are brought together to sit and get an education, leaving all inhibition of disabilities aside.
Family and community play a very important role in helping children get ready for school.
Meaning of School Awareness
Awareness means the state or condition of being aware or having knowledge, and consciousness. According to the Cambridge English dictionary, awareness means knowing that something exists or understanding a situation or subject at present based on information or experience.
According to Wikipedia awareness is the ability to directly know and perceive, to feel or to be conscious of events, objects, thoughts, emotions, or sensory patterns. It is a state wherein a subject is aware of some information. School awareness in inclusive education means knowledge about schools for children with disabilities.
Parents and families of disabled children need to know about the schools where there are provisions for the education of their child as well as resources required for their education.
Meaning of School Readiness
School readiness is an interactive process or set of relationships in which the child, his or her family, and the school interact in ways that support the child’s overall development, including mental, psychological, physical, and emotional aspects.
It is not easy to assess or find out whether a child is ready for school or not, his willingness to go to school is his own and cannot be exposed simply because there are many factors he may not express.
This search becomes more complicated when the system of the school, its operations, and its guidelines are put before him.
Readiness has two separate concepts
- Readiness for school and
- Readiness to learn
These two concepts clarify the whole picture. Sometimes it is found that a child is ready to learn but is not willing to go to school. On the other hand it sometimes also happens that a child does not have any difficulty in going to school but does not want to learn.
So, there should be some motivation so that his inclination of going to school involves a willingness to learn and habit.
School readiness is defined as the child’s ability to adapt to the school environment as well as the school curriculum.
Factors Affecting School Readiness
The following are the factors affecting school readiness:
1. Family Background
Family plays a very important role in a child’s learning process. It supports a child at many levels in his learning. Family is the real source of inspiration and involvement for him.
It provides a healthy and learning supportive environment for the child. Family background also encourages a child at each step whether he experiences success or failure, sometimes a child is not willing to go to school, here comes the role of a family which encourages him to go and learn.
it prevents a child from getting deviated, by providing him with moral support.
2. Child’s health
The health of a child is an important factor in school readiness. Children with mild disabilities can be sent to school. If a child has good health he can go to school despite his disability.
A child’s school readiness both directly and indirectly can be affected by his health issues. Healthy children learn better.
3. Socioeconomic status of the family
The socioeconomic status of the family plays an important role in school readiness, as it plays a significant role in students’ education and schooling.
Among all students with disabilities, 50% are diagnosed with this problem at the age of about 6 years, due to the poor social and economic conditions of their family and lack of proper nutrition and care. This factor is more important in the case of physically handicapped children.
These children suffer from inadequate facilities and care due to their parent’s financial condition. Children from poor families cannot afford the cost of public schools which cater to such children.
4. Type of services provided in schools
The child’s readiness for school also depends upon the type of services provided in school. If quality services are provided by the school, the child will feel at home in school then naturally he or she will prefer spending five to six hours a day in school.
5. Classroom environment
The classroom environment also plays a great role in the school readiness of children. If the classroom environment is supportive, the school readiness is high, so it becomes the duty of a teacher to create a conducive environment in the class.
Normal students of the class should be instructed to behave properly with the special ones.
6. Mother’s level of education
A mother’s education can have a significant impact on a child’s school readiness. There is a growing body of research that suggests that maternal education is one of the most important factors that contribute to a child’s academic success.
Mothers who have higher levels of education are more likely to engage in activities that promote their child’s cognitive and social development, such as reading books, engaging in educational activities, and providing stimulating environments.
This can lead to better language and literacy skills, as well as better problem-solving abilities, which are critical components of school readiness.
7. Gender differences in the family
Gender differences can also play a role in a child’s school readiness, although it’s important to note that every child is unique and will develop at their own pace regardless of gender.
Research suggests that girls often have stronger verbal skills and are more likely to be ready for school in terms of language development. They tend to have larger vocabularies and stronger literacy skills than boys at a young age, which can give them an advantage in the classroom.
On the other hand, boys tend to have stronger spatial skills and are often more physically active, which can contribute to their readiness for tasks that require visual-spatial abilities and physical coordination.
8. Residence of family in a disadvantageous area
The residence of one’s family can also have an impact on a child’s school readiness, particularly in terms of access to educational resources and support.
Children who grow up in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods or rural areas may have limited access to quality early childhood education programs, books, and other educational resources. This can make it harder for them to develop the cognitive and social skills needed for school readiness.
Additionally, families who live in unsafe neighborhoods or unstable housing situations may experience high levels of stress, which can affect a child’s emotional and behavioral development.
This can lead to difficulties with self-regulation, attention, and social skills, which are important for success in the classroom.
9. Lack of preschool education
Children who do not attend preschool may enter kindergarten with a disadvantage, as they may lack the foundational skills needed to succeed in the classroom. They may struggle with basic literacy and numeracy skills, have difficulty following instructions, and struggle to interact appropriately with their peers.
In addition to these academic and social-emotional benefits, preschool programs can also help children develop executive function skills such as self-regulation, working memory, and attention. These skills are critical for success in school and life, as they allow children to focus on tasks, make decisions, and control their emotions and behaviors.
In summary, a lack of preschool education can have a significant impact on a child’s school readiness, as it may leave them without the foundational skills needed to succeed in the classroom. Families, schools, and policymakers need to work together to ensure that all children have access to high-quality preschool programs, regardless of their income or background.
Indicators of School Readiness
As discussed earlier, school readiness refers to the set of skills, knowledge, and behaviors that children should have developed by the time they start kindergarten. Here are some indicators of school readiness that parents, teachers, and caregivers can look for:
1. Language and literacy skills
Children should be able to communicate effectively and understand basic concepts of print, such as the difference between letters and words.
2. Social and emotional development
Children should be able to regulate their emotions, interact positively with peers and adults, and follow basic rules and routines.
3. Cognitive development of the child
Children should be able to solve simple problems, remember and recall information, and demonstrate curiosity and creativity.
4. Physical development
Children should have basic motor skills, such as holding a pencil or using scissors, and should be able to sit still and focus on a task for a short period.
5. Basic Math Skills
Children should have an understanding of basic math concepts, such as counting, sorting, and recognizing numbers.
Children should be able to take care of basic needs such as toileting, dressing, and feeding themselves.
7. Social interaction
Social interaction is an important indicator of school readiness because it reflects a child’s ability to communicate, build relationships, and collaborate with others.
Children who have well-developed social skills are more likely to form positive relationships with their peers, feel confident in group settings, and engage in classroom activities effectively.
Role of a Teacher in school readiness
Teachers play a critical role in supporting school readiness for children. Here are some ways in which teachers can support children’s school readiness:
1. Creating a positive classroom environment
Teachers can create a welcoming and supportive classroom environment that encourages children to participate, take risks, and explore new ideas.
This can help children feel more comfortable in the classroom and more willing to engage in learning activities.
2. Identifying and addressing individual needs
Teachers can assess each child’s needs and strengths and tailor instruction to meet their individual needs.
This can help children develop the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in school.
3. Fostering language and literacy development
Teachers can provide opportunities for children to engage in language and literacy activities such as reading books, singing songs, and engaging in conversation.
This can help children develop language and literacy skills that are essential for success in school.
4. Promoting social and emotional development
Teachers can help children develop social and emotional skills by modeling positive behaviors, providing opportunities for peer interaction, and helping children learn to manage their emotions and behavior.
5. Providing opportunities for play and exploration
Teachers can provide children with opportunities for play and exploration, which can help them develop cognitive, physical, and social skills that are essential for school readiness.
6. Communicating with families
Teachers can work with families to support children’s school readiness by providing information about child development, sharing strategies for supporting learning at home and creating opportunities for family involvement in the classroom.
7. To promote the adjustment of the child in the educational setting
In summary, teachers play a critical role in supporting school readiness for children by creating a positive classroom environment, addressing individual needs, fostering language and literacy development, promoting social and emotional development, providing opportunities for play and exploration, and communicating with families.
By working together with families, teachers can help children develop the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in school and beyond.
In summary, many factors can impact a child’s school readiness and awareness, including social and economic factors, individual factors, access to high-quality preschool programs, and parental involvement. Indicators of school readiness include cognitive, language, social and emotional, physical, and general knowledge skills.
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