Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 5-18

The Kindergarten Child: What Teachers and Administrators Need to Know to Promote Academic Success in all Children

  • Katherine RayAffiliated withLoma Prieta Elementary School
  • , Maureen C. SmithAffiliated withDepartment of Child and Adolescent Development, Connie L. Lurie College of Education, San José State University Email author 

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This article describes kindergarten from the perspective of the whole child. Specifically, it reviews current research on best practices to improve children’s math and language arts competencies, memory skills, and the role of kindergarten in beginning science. It also describes the social experiences children have in kindergarten with respect to their academic success. Similarly, it reviews the impact of emotional competence on school success. This article then reviews research describing three major influences on children’s kindergarten adaptation and success (i.e., transition, parental involvement, retention). The article concludes with a discussion of full-day kindergarten programs and their potential for improving the chances of all kindergarten children, especially low-income and ethnic minority children, for success in school.


Kindergarten Cognitive, social, and emotional development Transition, families Full-day programs