School Entrance Or Kindergarten Entrance Age And The Policies That Guide Them

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This paper will explore the topic of school entrance or kindergarten entrance age and the policies which guide them. As I began to research and ponder the topic of school entrance or kindergarten entrance age, I found myself wondering when entrance ages were first established and why. This historical background provided a deeper understanding and broader perspective on the birth and life of kindergarten from which school entrance ages were constructed. The same difficult questions and ensuing debates seeking to answer when children should begin formal schooling, what should kindergarten look like and what is school readiness, have existed for many, many years. This historical context provided insight and set the stage for exploring the…show more content…
This paper will begin with a historical review of kindergarten and the initial establishment of policies regarding school entrance ages. The focus will then turn to current school entrance age (SEA) policies. Attention will be given to the elements included in SEA policies, as well as data on current state and international SEA policies. The two predominant theories influencing SEA policies will be presented followed by a brief look at some of the research which impacts SEA policies. The conclusion of the paper will offer an evaluation of the policies followed by a few recommendations for policymakers pursuing effective SEA policies. Historical Context The concept of kindergarten was developed by Friedrich Froebel in the nineteenth century. Froebel returned to Berlin after the war to care for his brother’s young children after his death (Muelle, 2013). This decision lead to the beginning of Froebel’s career in early childhood education. From his desire to provide meaningful education opportunities for the children in his care, Froebel’s passion for a place for children to learn and grow was ignited. He framed his kindergarten concept on Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s belief in the inherent goodness of children (Berg, 2004). Froebel advocated for the importance of including music, nature, stories, and active play through experiential learning in kindergarten. The concept we know as “Circle Time” (children
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