Department of Teaching, Learning, and Teacher Education


Date of this Version

Summer 8-2011

Document Type



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Teaching, Learning & Teacher Education, Under the Supervision of Professor Guy Trainin. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2011

Copyright 2011 Kathryn A C Wilson


As the first compulsory grade in the elementary school program, kindergarten is designed to prepare students for the numbered grades. Students are eligible for entrance into kindergarten if they turn five before a state-determined cut-off date. These dates range from the June before the start of school until the January after. Because some states do not require that children attend kindergarten until 6, 7, or even 8 years old, some parents are delaying their child’s entry into the program on the assumption that their child will benefit from an extra year to grow cognitively, physically, and emotionally. The result is a large age spread for kindergarten students nationwide as well as an increased average age.

In this paper, I survey research done into the practice of delayed entry into kindergarten. For my research, I intend to address the deficiency in current research concerning the experiences of students prior to their entry into kindergarten. Which is the best scenario for students to increase their academic achievement in kindergarten: on time entry with no formal preschool experience, on time entry with preschool experience, delayed entry with no formal preschool experience, or delayed entry with formal preschool experience. Using the National Education for Statistics Kindergarten cohort, I will compare the achievement of students across theses categories. Specifically, I will focus on literacy achievement including placing students along a hierarchical line of literacy ability

Adviser: Guy Trainin