Examining Kindergarten Policies and Practices to Foster Self-regulation

Collaborative scholarship in assessment, evaluation, and knowledge mobilization

Examining Kindergarten Policies and Practices to Foster Self-regulation

Ontario’s full-day kindergarten program was launched in a time and context in which a growing body of evidence points to the importance of play and self-regulation in promoting healthy child development. Therefore, it was not surprising that play and self-regulation were important components of both the Draft Full-Day Kindergarten Program (2010) and the revised Kindergarten Program (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2016). Despite expanding efforts to foster self-regulation in play-based environments, there is limited understanding of what self-regulation is and how best to support it in the day-to-day life of a classroom. One of the major challenges is that there is no universal definition for self-regulation, and with differing definitions comes varying ways of measuring self-regulation. Guiding this study is 3 objectives: 1) to examine the ways self-regulation skills are defined and promoted in policy and practice documents in Canada; 2) to compare this practice-oriented conceptualization of self-regulation with theoretical models of self-regulation, and 3) to develop and disseminate recommendations based on improving clarity in understanding what self-regulation is and how best to foster it in early years contexts. Accordingly, this study represents an important step in supporting kindergarten learning by supporting early years educators and researchers in understanding and fostering self-regulation in kindergarten.

Forthcoming Publications

Braund, H., & Timmons, K. (under review). Operationalization of self-regulation in the early years: How does it compare to theoretical underpinnings?

Timmons, K., Sharp, E., & Bozek, E. (in preparation). Examining early childhood policies and practices to foster self-regulation:  A selective review of curricula.

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