The benefits of attending kindergartens have been shown in different longitudinal studies. However, a recent study published in Children and Youth Services Review pointed out, studies about the effects among ethnic minorities are rare, as the different language used in the education system might undermine the effect of attending kindergarten. In this regard, Ling Li and colleagues conducted a study among Zhuang students in China for the relationship between attending kindergarten and reading literacy.
The data of this study was obtained from a larger study for junior high school students conducted in a rural area of southwestern China. It only included Zhuang students in the analysis. In total, there were 457 Zhuang students from 106 schools who were randomly sampled in this study. The participating students completed a questionnaire including questions about individual particulars, family factors, early education experience, after school time, parental expectations, and self-expectations. Their Chinese reading literacy levels were also assessed by the Public released Chinese version of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) exam.
The analysis showed that:
- Students with and without preschool attendance showed a significant difference in Chinese reading literacy.
- In addition, monthly family income, extracurricular reading time, and parental expectation for academic achievement also posed significant effects on Chinese reading literacy
- When controlling for family and children factors, however, the effects of preschool attendance ceased to be significant.
However, the authors remarked a limitation that the data was collected by a retrospective method. They suggested large-scale, longitudinal studies in the future with considerations in children and family backgrounds in the analysis.
Source (Open Access): Li, L., Chen, X., Wu, D., & Li, H. (2020). Effects of attending preschool on adolescents’ reading literacy: Evidence from the ethnic minority children in China. Children and Youth Services Review, 116, 105211.