School readiness: Are there social prerequisites?

Gary Ladd, Sarah L. Herald, Karen P. Kochel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


The position advocated within this article is that the construct of "school readiness" has a social component, and that attempts to evaluate children's interpersonal readiness for kindergarten should be judged in relation to their likely success at mastering specific social school entry tasks. Social school entry tasks, which most likely stem from diverse sociocultural sources, are conceptualized here as interpersonal challenges that children confront as they enter formal schooling - challenges that are inherent within kindergarten classrooms and predictive of children's future school adjustment. A related contention is that attempts to enhance children's readiness for kindergarten should be guided by research on the prerequisites of social task mastery - that is, evidence gathered during the preschool years that forecasts children's later success at social school entry tasks. Evidence bearing on these premises is reviewed as a means of considering the validity and heuristic utility of these propositions for future research on school readiness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-150
Number of pages36
JournalEarly education and development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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