Speer, William R. (Professor of education)||Barstad, Rodney M.
M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)
College of Education
Reading readiness||Kindergarten--Illinois--De Kalb
The problem. The purpose of this investigation was to ascertain whether parents of kindergarten children in the DeKalb Public Schools were aware of the value that informal activities can have in the kindergarten program for the development of their child’s reading ability and whether these parents realized that there is no real value in beginning formal reading activities in the kindergarten. For purposes of this study the investigator assumed that an informal activity approach to reading in the kindergarten agrees with principles of learning and child development and that parental understanding of such a program is important for a sound kindergarten program. Procedures. The information needed for the investigation was obtained by means of a questionnaire which was distributed to all parents of kindergarten children in the DeKalb Public Schools. The questionnaire consisted of a list of twenty activities which children might sometimes experience in the kindergarten. For purposes of this study seven of the activities were classified as formal activities, and thirteen of the activities were classified as informal. The parents were asked to indicate whether they felt each activity had value, had no value, or whether they were uncertain as to its value. They were also asked to rate the five activities which they felt were of the most importance in helping to develop their child's reading ability in the kindergarten. The percentage of response for the questionnaire was 90.2 per cent. Percentages were calculated for each activity to determine the percentage of parents who felt each activity was beneficial, had no value, or were uncertain as to its value. The percentage of parents who responded in each of these three ways was also calculated for the entire group of formal activities and the entire group of informal activities. The ratings which parents assigned to the five most important activities were ranked according to the frequency of response, the mean rank, and the average deviation. Findings and conclusions. The data indicated that over one-half of the parents apparently believed that nine of the thirteen informal activities are beneficial in the kindergarten program for furthering the development of their child's reading ability. Less than one-half of the parents indicated that there is value in the remaining four informal activities. Nearly 70 per cent of the parents felt that all seven of the formal activities aid in the development of their child's reading ability. Slightly more than three-fifths of the parents indicated that the informal activities are valuable as preparation for reading. Almost four-fifths of the parents felt that the formal activities were of value. Of the five activities which received the highest ratings, one was an informal activity, and four were formal activities. The findings of this investigation point to the conclusion that although many DeKalb parents did apparently see some value in almost three-fourths of the informal activities, there were many parents who did not see any value in these activities for aiding reading development. The results showed even more greatly that many parents evidently did not see the value in delaying formal activities until some time after the kindergarten year. Prom the data received, it seemed evident that more parents saw value in formal activities than in informal activities. Apparently a definite need does exist in the DeKalb Public Schools for the administrators and teachers to plan a more effective program of interpretation of the kindergarten reading program to parents. Parents are entitled to know the reasons why informal activities do further the development of their child’s reading ability in the kindergarten and why formal activities have no lasting benefit for the kindergarten child.
Hannon, Helen Louise, "An investigation of the DeKalb kindergarten parents' understandings of an informal activity approach as preparation for reading" (1966). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 1377.
vii, 86 pages
Northern Illinois University
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