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School readiness: perceptions of occupational therapists and pre-school teachers

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posted on 2013-06-13, 15:15 authored by Michelle Kennedy
As many of the skills that early childhood educators focus upon are also a focus in occupational therapy1, the area of school readiness is paramount to the profession (Cronin and Mandich 2005). On-going debates surround the meaning of school readiness but emerging consensus recognises it is a multi-dimensional concept, which must reflect the child’s personal readiness and consider contextual influences (Kiernan et al 2008). This pilot qualitative study explored perceptions that occupational therapists2 and pre-school teachers have of school readiness, and consequently implications for the professional practice of OT’s. The aims were to ascertain the skills and abilities participants perceived as most important in preparation for school, explore collaboration between OT’s and pre-school teachers and investigate the importance of social and emotional development for school readiness. Four individual, semi-structured interviews were completed; two OT’s and two pre-school teachers. Thematic analysis revealed three themes: starting school as a period of transition; importance of social and emotional development for school readiness and the experience of mainstreaming children. Findings suggest that both professions place emphasis on social and emotional development rather than academic knowledge. Play emerged as a context for child development. An ecological understanding of child development emerged as a consideration for practice.

History

Degree

  • Master (Research)

First supervisor

Gowran, Rosemary Joan

Note

non-peer-reviewed

Language

English

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