Stimulation of competence areas in kindergartens

Underachievement in school and truancy, which result in considerable social and economic burdens both personally and for society, may be traced to characteristics of the children as early as when they attend kindergartens.

It is therefore important to take a closer look at how we may stimulate essential competence areas in the kindergartens and thus ensure that all children will have a good opportunity to succeed at school and work. Research shows that language, numeracy and self-regulation constitute important competencies for children during the transition from the kindergarten to the first grade.

Self-regulation may be described as the ability to pay attention, remember and follow instructions and inhibit inappropriate actions and behaviour. This competency has been proven to be essential for future success in life, both in terms of education and employment. In some previous studies, self-regulation was found to be more important than the IQ in terms of a child's ability to succeed at school.

In her Ph.D. project, Dieuwer ten Braak will therefore focus on how self-regulation relates to other emerging cognitive and academic skills. Research also shows that the home environment of the children, such as the parents' education and income, and degree of stimulation of language and numeracy in the home, may influence the children’s development and result in some children falling behind.

Thus, the Ph.D. project will also try to determine whether a kindergarten scheme that stimulates the children’s self-regulation, language and numeracy may strengthen these skills and ensure that the learning basis of children with different backgrounds are as similar as possible when starting school.

Dieuwer Ten Braak. Photo: Jeanette Larsen.

Dieuwer Ten Braak. Photo: Jeanette Larsen.