Karen Bierman, McCourtney Professor of Child Studies
School Readiness involves the child’s preparedness to succeed in school, including effective engagement and progress in the social-emotional and academic domains of schooling. Participants in this initiative are interested in understanding the diverse skills that contribute to children’s academic success and failure, including factors associated with cognitive development, attentional control, social competence, and motivated, goal-oriented learning. The overarching goal of the initiative is to reduce gaps in school readiness and associated impairments in later school adjustment and educational attainment, particularly those associated with poverty, child or family risk factors, and neuro-developmental disability. In addition to basic research addressing the developmental processes associated with school readiness, participants in this initiative are involved in the collaborative design, implementation, and evaluation of school-based and family-focused interventions. These include classroom curricula, teacher professional development programs, family outreach and parent training programs, and social competence interventions (e.g., friendship groups) designed to foster the school adjustment of children who start school with learning delays, attention deficits, or behavior problems. Recognizing that families, schools, and communities play critical roles in supporting child school readiness and success, members of this initiative are committed to research-outreach integration, working collaboratively with communities and schools in program development, design, evaluation, and sustained implementation.
For more information about this research initiative, please contact Karen Bierman.