Term of Art: Readiness

“The degree to which an individual is prepared developmentally to learn a new skill. Readiness is a term often used in early education to describe a child’s acquisition of prerequisite emotional, social and cognitive skills for academic learning.

For example, reading readiness would include pre-reading skills such as letter identification, print awareness, and rhyming. When a child has demonstrated mastery of such skills, that child would be ready to learn to read.

However, the concept of readiness can be applied to any stage of learning. For example, readiness for algebra must mean an individual has mastered certain mathematical calculations.

Normal three- to six-year-olds acquire academic and social readiness naturally when brought up in a literate environment, but developmentally delayed, learning disabled, or environmentally deprived children may need extra training or early intervention to prepare them for learning. Early school failure or unnecessary referrals can be prevented with some extra attention in early education to bolster children’s readiness for school.”

Excerpted from: Turkington, Carol, and Joseph R. Harris, PhD. The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

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