Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Kindergarten readiness: Are shy kids at an academic disadvantage?

29.08.2012
University of Miami researchers identify specific attributes among young children that affect school performance
Parents of young children hope for a successful kindergarten experience that will set their youngsters on the right path of their educational journey. Some worry about their kids not adapting to the school environment, particularly when the children are talkative and overactive. Yet, a new study by the University of Miami (UM) shows that overly shy preschool children are at greater academic risk than their chatty and boisterous peers.

The study is one of the first to follow the social and academic progress of children throughout the preschool year. The report shows that children displaying shy and withdrawn behavior early in the preschool year started out with the lowest academic skills and showed the slowest gains in academic learning skills across the year. The findings are published online, in advance of print, by the Journal of School Psychology.

"Everybody wants their children to be ready for kindergarten, to know their ABCs and to be able to count, but they sometimes don't understand that having social-emotional readiness is equally important," says Rebecca J. Bulotsky-Shearer, assistant professor of psychology at UM College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and principal investigator of the study.

Behavioral problems in the classroom arise when there is a gap between the child's developmental skills and the expectations of the school environment, according to the study. The findings suggest that children who are shy in the classroom have trouble engaging and learning.

"Preschool children who are very introverted tend to 'disappear within the classroom,'" says Elizabeth R. Bell, doctoral candidate in developmental psychology, at UM and co-author of the study. "It appears that while these children are not causing problems in the school, they are also not engaging in classroom activities and interactions, where almost all learning occurs during this age."
The results also raise the possibility that children who are loud and disruptive may be more likely to get the teacher's attention and benefit from specific educational strategies. "There are many classroom-based interventions for children that are disruptive and acting out in the classroom," says Bulotsky-Shearer. "I think the children who show an extreme amount of shyness and are withdrawn are most at risk of getting missed."

The researcher hopes the new findings encourage the development of appropriate classroom interventions tailored to the needs of different children, as well as appropriate training and professional development for teachers, to help them identify children who need help in specific areas. "This is especially important within early childhood programs such as Head Start, serving a diverse population of low-income children and families," says Bulotsky-Shearer.

The study analyzes information from 4, 417 prekindergarten children in the Head Start Program, ages 3 to 5, from a diverse population, living in a large urban district of the northeast. Six profile types were used to describe the preschoolers: 1.Well adjusted; 2. Adjusted with mild disengagement; 3.Moderately socially and academically disengaged; 4. Disruptive with peers; 5.Extremely socially and academically disruptive; 6.Extremely socially and academically disengaged.

The teachers assessed the emotional and behavioral characteristics, as well as the academic progress of each child, at three points in time during the preschool year. The findings show that older kids and girls tended to be better adjusted to the class, exhibited less behavioral problems, and had higher levels of social literacy, language and math skills.


The study is titled "Latent Profiles of Preschool Behavior within Learning, Peer, and Teacher Contexts: Identifying Subgroups of Children at Academic Risks across the Preschool Year." Ximena Dominguez, research social scientist, at SRI International is also a co-author of the study.

The researchers would like to expand their work into other areas of the country with different demographics, to better understand the effect of classroom quality and the types of interactions that teachers are providing. This effort may be beneficial to different groups of preschool children across the country.

The University of Miami's mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of the diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world. www.miami.edu

Annette Gallagher | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.miami.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>