Document Type

Ed. Specalist

Degree

*Ed.S.

Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Julia Ogg

Keywords

Academic Enablers, Early Childhood Education, Home Learning Environment, Preschool Experience, School Readiness

Abstract

Academic enablers comprise a set of beliefs and skills that significantly contribute to student success. Although these skills are crucial to academic competence, gaps exist in the research related to the development of academic enablers. Namely, previous research has not investigated how these behaviors change over the kindergarten year. Moreover, there are inconsistent findings regarding the influence of experiences prior to entering kindergarten, specifically preschool attendance and the home learning environment, on the development of academic enablers in young students. Using a sample of 83 parent-child dyads, the present study investigated academic enablers in kindergarten students. A mixed between-within analysis of variance found that girls displayed greater academic enablers at the beginning of the kindergarten year, but neither gender demonstrated growth over the kindergarten year. Additionally, hierarchical multiple regression analyses were run to determine whether environmental factors predicted academic enablers at the beginning and end of kindergarten. Findings indicated the length of preschool experience did not predict adaptive academic enablers at the beginning of the kindergarten year or the end of the year, regardless of gender. Conversely, the home learning environment predicted kindergarten students' levels of academic enablers at the beginning of the year, such that those with educationally enriched home environments displayed higher levels of academic enablers, regardless of gender. This influence was not maintained over the kindergarten year. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.

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