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Wellbeing: A Complete Reference Guide, Volume I, Wellbeing in Children and Families by Cary L. Cooper, Susan H. Landry

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14

Consistent Environmental Stimulation from Birth to Elementary School

The Combined Contribution of Different Settings on School Achievement

Robert C. Pianta

University of Virginia, U.S.A.

This chapter starts with the premise that children's school-readiness skills and capacities are fostered through everyday interactions and relationships with adults across the settings they experience in the years prior to school. As they grow from birth, children engage in increasingly elaborated and symbolically mediated interactions with caregivers (parents and teachers) in which emotion, cognition, behavior, and communication are intertwined and organized. Out of this exceptionally complex, dynamic, multisystem process emerges the capacity, skill, and interest to read, understand, and produce written language, to self-regulate, to engage in academic activities, and to acquire knowledge of the world (Clements & Sarama, 2008; Dickinson & Tabors, 2001; Foorman & Torgesen, 2001). School readiness, which could be viewed as a “behavioral system” in much the way Bowlby (1969/1982) viewed attachment as a behavioral system, recruits and organizes many processes, among which are: interactions at home, in child care, and school with people that provide foundations for learning and self-regulation; the understanding and production of oral language; the capacity for short-term memory and attention; and even sensitivity to the properties of print and sounds (Dickinson, Anastapolous, McCabe, Peisner-Feinberg, ...

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