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After critically analyzing the current kindergarten scheduling trends, there is a shift in many schools from half-day kindergarten programs towards full day kindergarten programs. A full day kindergarten or all day kindergarten program is a program in which pupils attend school each weekday for approximately six hours. The growing number of all day kindergarten programs can be attributed to a change in the American society and education in general.
To be specific the growing number can be attributed to the increase in single parents and dual employment households and finally a general belief that all day programs better prepare children for school. There has been a looming legislation, which is going to give powers to the local, state and federal governments to control standards of education. Kindergarten education is targeted by this piece of legislation because it promotes all day kindergarten programs at the expense of half-day programs.
I fully support this piece of legislation that promotes all day kindergarten programs because of the benefits that are inherent with the program. It’s my prayers that the legislation is approved so that our schools can start churning out very competitive graduates. I believe all day kindergarten programs are the best because of the following: • A research conducted in 1990s reported a consistent positive academic outcome for all children enrolled in all day kindergarten programs.
A subsequent research also showed that children who attended all day kindergarten programs scored higher points on standardized tests than their half day counter parts. Hough and Bryde found out that there is more individualized instruction in all day programs when compared to half-day programs. Individualized training makes it possible for the teacher to understand each and every need of the pupil and therefore attend to them accordingly. A research carried out by Cryan and his friends found out that there was a positive relationship between participation in full day kindergarten program and later academic success.
After comparing similar half day and full day programs in a nationwide study, Cryan found out that full day kindergarteners exhibited more independent learning, classroom involvement, and productivity in work with peers and reflectivity than half-day kindergarteners. • Other researches pointed out that there is a clear relationship between the kind of kindergarten program and the children’s behavior. Teachers rated children in all day kindergarten higher. (Cryan et al, 1992).
Other researchers who have studied social and behavioral outcomes found out those children in all day kindergarten programs were engaged in child-to-child interactions and this had a positive effect in building their learning, communication and social skills. (Elicker & Mathur, 1997). The full day kindergarteners were more likely to approach the teacher; they expressed less anger, shyness, withdrawal and blaming behavior than half-day kindergarteners. • Both teachers and parents whose children were enrolled in all day kindergarten proved that all day programs better prepared children for their first grade.
They also indicated preference for all day kindergarten because of the more relaxed atmosphere, more time for creative activities and more opportunity for students to develop their own interests. The teachers also concluded they had more time to know the children and their families thus enabling them to better meet the children’s specific needs. (Elicker & Mathur, 1997) It’s definite that there are more positives in all day kindergarten programs but it’s important to remember that what the children are doing during the day is more important than the length of the day.
Experts are warning administrators and parents against full day kindergarten programs that are academically rather than intellectually engaging in tone. Some of the intellectually engaging activities that should be incorporated in all day kindergarten programs include the following: 1. Programs that emphasize language development. 2. Programs that offer balance of small group, big group and individual activities. 3. Programs that asses pupils’ progress through close teacher observation and examination of pupils’ work. 4.
Programs that develop children’s social and interpersonal skills including conflict resolution strategies. 5. Programs that involve children in first hand experience and informal interaction with objects, other children and adults. (Rothenberg, 1995) To successfully implement this project, the government should commence creating space and teacher capacity. It should also set aside enough funds to make sure the schools can afford equipment necessary for all day kindergarten programs. References Cryan, J. R. , Sheehan, R. , Wiechel, J. , & Bandy-Hedden, I. G. (1992).
Success outcomes of full-day kindergarten: More positive behavior and increased achievement in the years after. Early childhood research quarterly, 7(2), 187-203. EJ 450 525 Elicker, J. , & Mathur, S. (1997). What do they do all day? Comprehensive evaluation of a full-day kindergarten. Early childhood research quarterly, 12(4), 459-480. EJ 563 073. Hough, D. , & Bryde, S. (1996, April). THE EFFECTS OF FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN ON STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND AFFECT. Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association, New York: ED 395 691.