Children’s Socio-Emotional Development: Promoting School Readiness Through the Pre-School

2194 Words Jun 9th, 2012 9 Pages

One of the objectives of preschool education in Nigeria as stated in the National Policy on Education is smooth transition from home to school, that is, school readiness. This involves socio-emotional development in addition to cognitive development. Children whose socio-emotional development is hampered have been reported to be disadvantaged educationally right from elementary school to the later years in career. This paper therefore examined the role of the preschool in making children ready for school through the promotion of their socio-emotional development. Recommendations are also made to policy makers as well as classroom
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Boyd et al (2005) summarized the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD’s ) research as showing that higher quality preschool programs defined by high teacher-student ratios, group sizes and higher teacher qualifications, results in more responsive teaching, better preparedness for school and fewer behavior problems from children (NICHD, 2001). High quality preschools possess qualities including small group sizes and high adult-child ratios, competitive staff compensation and benefits as well as professional development.

Children cared for by teachers who are competent and highly qualified during their preschool years have been found to be less likely to display behavior problems in kindergarten and demonstrate increased social skills through elementary school (Peisner-Feinberg et al, 2001). High teacher-student ratios allow for the development of relationships, which provide stability in transitions to new classrooms, contribute to increased social skills, and improve emotional stability (Howes & Hamilton, 1993).

In order for children to develop good social and emotional skills in pre-schools, Abell & Azria (2005) recommend that the teacher ought to:
• Use positive discipline to teach self-control.
• Take time to understand children’s point of view.
• Show empathy for their feelings.
• Help them think about how their behavior toward others can create or solve

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