Ready for What?: Constructing Meanings of Readiness for Kindergarten

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SUNY Press, 1993 - Education - 313 pages
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This book looks at readiness from a different perspective, arguing that we must move away from the readiness-as-child characteristic so prevalent in education and the popular press. Instead, readiness is explained as an idea constructed by parents, teachers, and children as they interact in their neighborhoods and communities.

Graue describes three communities in the same school district: a middle-class, suburban town of professionals; a rural, working-class community; and a group of Hispanic, working-class families making their way through their children's kindergarten experiences. In each setting, the local meaning of readiness is the underlying theme in the actions taken by parents and their attitudes about their children's first public school experience.
 

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Contents

Many Views of Readiness
1
Trends in Policy Related to Readiness
2
Readiness as a Child Characteristic
4
A Change in the Representation of Readiness Issues
14
Theoretical Framework
19
Social Construction
20
Vygotskian Theory
26
Activity Theory
31
Kindergarten at Norwood
121
But Is He Ready?
122
Working Toward First Grade
140
Learning About Circles
163
The Meaning of Readiness at Norwood
184
Rochester
187
Kindergarten at Rochester
190
And Then There are My Kids
196

Studying Readiness
37
Constructing the Researchers Role
45
Thomas Kindergarten Curriculum
51
The Kindergarten Curriculum Objectives
52
The District Report Card
57
Comparing the Core Conceptual Objectives and the Kindergarten Report Card
61
Fulton Elementary
63
Kindergarten at Fulton
66
Getting a Good Start
67
Kindergarten Tasks at Fulton Elementary
88
Learning to Write
91
How Was the Meaning of Readiness Constructed at Fulton Elementary?
116
Norwood
119
Scissors
203
Closing the Gap
204
Modality Groups
206
What is Readiness in This Situation?
222
Conclusions
229
Kindergarten at Fulton Norwood and Rochester
240
Constructing Readiness
248
Readiness and the Kindergarten Experience
252
Implications for Practice
254
Appendices
267
Bibliography
293
Index
305
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About the author (1993)

M. Elizabeth Graue is Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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