KURAM VE UYGULAMADA EGITIM BILIMLERI, vol.14, no.3, pp.1043-1047, 2014 (SSCI)
This research critically investigated the implementation in Turkey of starting elementary-school first grade at age 5 (60 months) according to teacher feedback. While the study is designed as qualitative, a kind of single case study approach is used with a group of 50 volunteer first-grade teachers serving in 15 elementary schools in the Eskisehir city center. In forming the group, a purposeful sampling technique was used from criterion sampling. The data were obtained through interviews held in March and April 2013, and the descriptive method was used for data analysis. Some important findings were: Reducing the age to 5 has caused so many differences in both age (a range of more than 12 months) and readiness level that the gaps between students of different readiness levels have become even wider, and many difficulties have been encountered in their education and training. Starting the first grade earlier had negative effects on students' physical, cognitive, and mental development, and it adversely affected not only the students, but also the teachers, who want to abandon this implementation. The study found that the age of 6 remains appropriate for starting the first grade of elementary school.