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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Investigating social and emotional school readiness and assessment : a multiple case study approach Mitchell, Allison


This study utilized a qualitative, multiple case study design to investigate how social and emotional school readiness is defined and to determine what strategies are pursued within one community in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia to assess social and emotional school readiness in preschool and kindergarten aged children. Nine key stakeholders were contacted and interviewed regarding their understanding of social and emotional school readiness including the various intervening factors that foster social and emotional competence. Factors thought to inhibit and facilitate assessment practices for this population were addressed. The data revealed no definite consensus on what constitutes social and emotional school competence or readiness. Social and emotional competence, certain personality characteristics, specific classroom skills and language development were thought to be recurrent themes in respondents' definitions. Several intraindividual (gender, age, temperament) and interindividual (culture, parenting, programs) factors were found to influence social and emotional school readiness. As anticipated, assessment practices were found to be largely informal in nature. Factors inhibiting assessment appear to be related to limited time and resources, particularly, having access to culturally appropriate and psychometrically sound assessment tools as well as trained individuals to administer and interpret assessments. Further research is needed to determine whether interventions can be designed to promote social and emotional learning and if there is empirical evidence that social and emotional competence improves children's early school success.

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