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Kindergarten Readiness and Retention: A Qualitative Study of Teachers' Beliefs and Practices

Publisher: American Educational Research Journal, 25
Page Numbers: 307-333

The issues concerning teachers' beliefs about and use of retention were explored in a qualitative study. Clinical interviews with teachers, participant observation in kindergarten classes, analysis of documents, and interviews with parents revealed that teachers' beliefs about the development of school readiness could be described and ordered along a dimension of nativism, that these beliefs relate to their use of retention as a solution to unreadiness or incompetence, and that elements of the organization of the schools in which they teach may also account for beliefs and practices. Teachers' endorsement of retention diverges both from extant propositional knowledge and from the perceptions of other interested groups.