Original Research

Ready for kindergarten: Are intelligence skills enough?

Caroline Fitzpatrick
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 7, No 1 | a512 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v7i1.512 | © 2017 Caroline Fitzpatrick | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 November 2016 | Published: 11 December 2017


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Abstract

This study investigated how different profiles of kindergarten readiness in terms of student intellectual ability, academic skills and classroom engagement relate to future academic performance. Participants are French-Canadian children followed in the context of the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development (N = 670). Trained examiners measured number knowledge, receptive vocabulary and fluid intelligence when children were in kindergarten. Teachers rated kindergarten classroom engagement. Outcomes included fourth-grade teacherrated achievement and directly assessed mathematical skills. Latent class analyses revealed three kindergarten readiness profiles: high (57%), moderate (34%) and low (9.3%) readiness. Using multiple regression, we found that a more favourable kindergarten profile predicted better fourth-grade academic performance. Identifying children at risk of academic difficulty is an important step for preventing underachievement and dropout. These results suggest the importance of promoting a variety of cognitive, academic and behavioural skills to enhance later achievement in at-risk learners.

Keywords

School readiness; academic achievement; person-centered; classroom engagement

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