Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Roger Hart

Subject Categories

Accessibility | Early Childhood Education | Elementary Education


kindergarten readiness, kindergarten entry, academic redshirting


This paper examines the contemporary debate over redshirting within the context of a historical analysis of how schools in the United States have addressed children’s transition into kindergarten. It also considers how preparation for the transition to school is cause for concern that has varied greatly depending on the socio-economic conditions of children’s families. Redshirting is the term currently being used to define a child’s delayed entry into kindergarten, usually with the intention of creating an additional year for that child to develop socially and to strive academically. Central to understanding this phenomenon and how to address it is the issue of children’s kindergarten readiness. The high-pressured nature of modern schooling has increased learning demands of children in the lower grades and even kindergarten, creating confusion and resulting in fear for most parents. A historical analysis of the changing theories, policies, and practices of preparing children for the transition into kindergarten in the United States is provided as a way of shedding light on the present controversy of redshirting children prior to them making their kindergarten debut.