Original Research

Early childhood development educators’ perceptions of learners’ readiness for Grade R

Ngami P. Pewa, Jabulile Mzimela
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 14, No 1 | a1234 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v14i1.1234 | © 2024 Ngami P. Pewa, Jabulile Mzimela | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 June 2022 | Published: 09 April 2024

About the author(s)

Ngami P. Pewa, Department of Early Childhood Education, Faculty of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Ashwood, South Africa
Jabulile Mzimela, Department of Early Childhood Education, Faculty of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Ashwood, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Early childhood is a formative period during which distinguishable development has projections of bearing desirable outcomes within an individual. Hence, physical, language, cognitive, emotional and social independence are healthy components of a typical child’s development that early childhood development (ECD) educators deem essential for Grade R readiness.

Aim: This article aims to explore ECD educators’ perceptions of typical 4-year-old learners’ aspects of development and how this supports their readiness for Grade R.

Setting: This study was conducted in an ECD centre in a marginalised rural context of the Mandlankala area, Empangeni, north of Zululand.

Methods: An interpretive qualitative case study methodological design framed within Bronfenbrenner’s person-proximal processes-context model was adopted. Purposive convenient sampling was used to select three ECD educators from an ECD centre. Semi-structured interviews and learners’ physical, language, cognitive, emotional and social behaviour observations were used to generate data. Data were analysed thematically.

Results: Findings revealed that early childhood educators perceive 4-year-old learners’ readiness for Grade R differently based on criteria such as their personalities based on developmental milestones and the educator’s experience in the field and training.

Conclusion: This study concluded that the learner’s level of physical, language, cognitive, emotional and social development influences their readiness for Grade R.

Contribution: School readiness skills allow school teachers to expand and further develop learners’ skills in the specific areas of social interaction, play, language, emotional development, physical skills, literacy and fine motor skills.


Keywords

early childhood development; early childhood development educators; Grade R; parental involvement; school readiness.

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