ERIC Number: ED252289
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Teacher-Controlled Attention Pattern in Normal and Developmentally Delayed Preschool Children.
Raeissi, Pouran; Baer, Donald M.
Attentional processes are said to be central to children's academic learning, yet theories of attention may not be useful in defining and measuring such learning. A formal survey of 35 preschool teachers indicated that teacher definitions were either vague and intuitive, based on many observable child behaviors (like eye orientation and being quiet), or inferred from noting the results of successful teaching. Since the most consistent theme of these definitions was whether the child was "on task," a study was designed to see whether this definition of attention was workable and informative. Observations were made of six developmentally delayed and mentally retarded children and six normal children ages 3 to 5 years. The students were observed during a preacademic time when they were instructed to complete an assigned task within the group or individually. Observers recorded on- and off-task behavior and possible distractors every 10 seconds. Results showed that normal and delayed children are typically on-task in their teacher's presence. They are appreciably off-task in their teacher's absence, more so for developmentally delayed children. It was concluded that what teachers consider inattention may be social reactions to their absence rather than generalized central or organic deficiencies. (Author/CB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (92nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 24-28, 1984).