Date: May 2009
Creator: Geddes, Jeffrey D.
Description: A child's ability to learn in school and school performance are affected by various factors. Variables that affect learning and academic performance in 46 children, 4 - 7 years old, were examined. Children, parents, and teachers completed questionnaires rating children's attitudes and behavior toward school. Children completed a computerized matching-to-sample (MTS) task. The MTS trained the children to form 3 stimulus classes. One stimulus class included three arbitrary stimuli, the others contained a positively or negatively valenced stimulus, a school-related stimulus, and an arbitrary stimulus. Class formation performance was assessed. Rate of learning predicted attitudes toward school, school attitudes predicted academic performance; however a hypothesized mediation effect of attitudes was not demonstrated. No significant differences in rate of forming stimulus classes containing emotionally valenced and school stimuli were found. Future directions for intervention in the early education of students who have poor attitudes toward school are discussed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries