13th Annual Symposium on Family Issues - Early Disparities in School Readiness: How do Families Contribute to Successful and Unsuccessful Transitions into School?

Date 10/13/05 to 10/14/05
Description

Book Description

(From the publisher) - Significant disparities exist in children's behavioral and learning capacities that support successful transitions into school. In this new volume, leading researchers from a variety of disciplines review the latest data on how families influence their children's transitions into school. The inequalities that exist in school readiness, the roots of the inequalities, and the ways in which families exacerbate or minimize these inequalities, are explored. The book concludes with a review of policies and programs that represent the best practices for how families, schools and communities can address these disparities.

Each of the following topics is explored through a lead essay followed by three critiques:

  • Inequalities in school readiness and the community, school, and family characteristics that contribute to these inequalities.
  • Family processes and contextual conditions that impact the acquisition of literacy, numeracy, language, and cognitive skills.
  • The role that extracurricular activities play in shaping children's school achievement, including differences based on gender, ethnicity, race, and socioeconomic status.
  • Family processes underlying the development of behavioral control and its impact on school readiness.

Disparities in School Readiness paints a compelling, interdisciplinary portrait using a variety of types of data and data sets, including longitudinal data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Study of Early Child and recent analyses of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study from the National Center for Education Statistics. Interdisciplinary in nature, this new book appeals to researchers in family studies, human development, education, psychology, social work, sociology, economics, and public policy interested in improving children's school transitions.

Symposium Overview

Dramatic changes have occurred in the way that educators, researchers, and policy-makers think about the transition into school and the factors that influence school readiness. Once focused on discrete skills, such as identifying letters and numbers, school readiness research now recognizes the critical importance of early developmental experiences that foster the social-emotional regulation skills and executive brain functions that support and interface with specific language and cognitive capabilities to promote school engagement and capacity to learn in school.

Significant disparities exist at school entry in those core regulatory and learning capacities that support successful transition and engagement in school. Poverty is an especially invidious source of disparity. Parental functioning, including maternal depression and insularity, increases risk for child learning delays and school transition difficulties. This symposium seeks to better understand the roots of the striking disparities in children's acquisition of the many inter-related competencies (e.g., executive function, language skills, and social skills) that culminate in school readiness, paying particular attention to the roles families play in exacerbating or minimizing those disparities.

What inequalities exist in children's school readiness at school entry? What groups are particularly disadvantaged in this regard, and why? How does the portrait of inequality in school readiness today compare to that of past decades? What characteristics of regions, communities, schools, and families exacerbate (or minimize) inequalities in children's school readiness?

Being Unready for School: Factors Affecting Risk and Resilience
George Farkas, Jacob Hibel, Penn State

In Search of Meaning: Disentangling the Complex Influences on Children's School Readiness
Michael Lopez, National Center for Latino Child & Family Research, Sandra Barrueco, The Catholic University of America

Explaining the Gap in School Readiness
Jane McLeod, Indiana University

Farkas and Hibel, and a Transactional/Ecological Model of Readiness and Inequality
Lynne Vernon-Feagans, Erica Odom, Nadya Pancsofar, Kirsten Kainz, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Reply to Lopez and Barrueco
George Farkas, Jacob Hibel, Penn State

What specific family processes scaffold early brain development and the acquisition of literacy, numeracy, language, and cognitive skills, and what contextual conditions make it more difficult for families to set these processes in motion?

Family Processes that Support School Readiness: Specific Behaviors and Contextual Conditions that Set This Process in Motion
Susan Landry, University of Texas Health Science Center Houston, Karen Smith, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston

Study of the Effects of Parenting on Aspects of Brain Growth and Development Relevant to School Readiness: A Work in Progress
Clancy Blair, Penn State

Genetic Source of Reading Disability and a Proposal to Use NLSY-Children to Study Genetic and Environmental Influences on Reading Disability
Guang Guo, Jonathan Daw, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Proximal Processes in School Readiness
Kyle Snow, RTI International

How do parents conceptualize and organize non-familial experiences for their children that may subsequently enhance (or undermine) children's school achievement, and how do these orientations differ as a function of SES, race and ethnicity, and gender? How can parents play a constructive role in scaffolding their children's peer relationships, engagement in extracurricular activities, and development of skills and interests?

The Context of School Readiness: Social Class Difference in Time Use in Family Life
Annette Lareau, University of Maryland, Elliot Weininger, State University of New York, Brockport

Cultural versus Social Class Contexts for Extra-Curricular Activity Participation
Diane Hughes, New York University

Linking Social Class to Concerted Cultivation, Natural Growth and School Readiness
Sandra Hofferth, University of Maryland

Organized Activity Participation for Children from Low- and Middle-Income Families
Joseph Mahoney, Yale University, Jacquelynne Eccles, University of Michigan

How do child risk characteristics and family processes combine to undermine the development of children's behavioral control in ways that jeopardize their ability to adapt well to school? What challenges do program development specialists in this area face, and what are some creative solutions to those challenges?

Child Characteristics and Family Processes that Predict Behavioral Readiness for School
Susan Campbell, Camilla von Stauffenberg, University of Pittsburgh

Using Developmental Evidence on Behavioral School Readiness to Inform Prevention and Policy
Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Harvard University, Erin Brooke Godfrey, New York University

Behavioral Unreadiness for School: Issues and Interventions
Ray DeV. Peters, Queens University, Ontario, Diana Ridgeway, Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada

Using Family-Focused Interventions to Promote Child Behavioral Readiness for School
Karen Bierman, Robert Nix, Kerry Makin-Byrd, Penn State

Processes and Factors Influencing Family Contributions to School Readiness
Rebecca Sanford DeRousie, Rachel Durham, Penn State

Book Citation

Booth, A. and A.C. Crouter (2007). Disparities in School Readiness: How Families Contribute to Transitions into School. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

This symposium volume can be purchased from:
Taylor and Francis Group LLC
Kentucky Distribution Center
7625 Empire Drive
Florence, KY 41042
orders@taylorandfrancis.com
tel: 800-634-7064
fax: 800-248-4724

To purchase the book: www.psypress.com

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