Browsing by Subject "KINDERGARTEN"

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  • Kikas, Eve; Tang, Xin (2019)
    This study examined relations between child-reported teacher emotional support, teaching practices, and children's task-persistent learning behaviour. The study was carried out in Estonia, where a students' first teacher advances with his/her students and teaches all primary subjects in the first 3years of schooling. In total, 660 sixth-grade children reported about their first teacher's emotional support. Teachers' child-centred and teacher-directed practices were observed with the Early Childhood Classroom Observation Measure (ECCOM); results included 38 teachers in Grade 1, and 37 in Grade 3. Within the same grades, teachers reported on their affection for students, as well as their behavioural and psychological control over students. Teachers also evaluated each of their student's task persistence. As shown by ECCOM results, retrospective student-reported teacher emotional support tended to be positively related to child-centred practises, and negatively related to teacher-directed practises in Grade 3, while also negatively related to teacher-reported psychological control in Grade 1. Although higher perceived emotional support was related with more persistent learning behaviour on an individual level, general task persistence was predicted primarily by teacher-reported practices at the classroom level.
  • Salmi, Saara; Kumpulainen, Kristiina (2019)
    Despite vast research on school transitions, less attention has been paid to understanding children's own sense-making of their transition from preschool to first grade. Drawing on sociocultural and dialogic approaches, this study addresses this gap by investigating children's experiencing (perezhivanie) of their school transitioning nested in the interaction between their motives and perceived demands. The data are derived from an ethnographic research project with 19 first-graders aged six to seven years old attending a Finnish primary school. The children were invited to draw their transition experiences and narrate their drawings to their peers and the researchers. The visual narrations were videotaped, transcribed, and analysed. The findings highlight the children's dialogic sense-making processes of their educational transitioning. The study reveals that the children's motives were related to opportunities to engage in physical activities, play, make relationships, and make sense of their changing positions and identities in relation to transitioning to primary school. The results also illuminate how the children actively created subversive spaces for pushing the demands of school rules and routines to fulfil their subjective motives. Altogether, the study demonstrates the potential of visual narrative methods in contributing to a nuanced understanding of children's sense-making of their school transitioning, including the dialogic processes of what it entails to become a 'primary school child'.
  • Holopainen, Leena; Kofler, Doris; Koch, Arno; Hakkarainen, Airi; Bauer, Kristin; Taverna, Livia (2020)
    The aim of this study was to use path modelling to establish how rapid automatized naming (RAN), verbal short-term memory (VSTM), letter-sound connection (LSC), phoneme blending (PHB), and Raven tasks predict reading in Finnish and German. Students (N = 769) from Finland, Germany, and Italy (German-speaking children from South Tyrol) were followed from first grade until the end of second grade. Firstly, in all countries, LSC was found to be the strongest predictor for reading in first grade. Secondly, Finnish students' word-reading skills were better than those of German and Italian students throughout the follow-up period, but word-reading level in first grade predicted word-reading level after one year only for Italian and German students. Thirdly, rapid automatized naming (RAN) and verbal short-term memory (VSTM) predicted reading skills in each orthography and country with a different power and at different phases, implying that the educational system also has a role in predicting reading skills.
  • Vandenbroucke, Loren; Verschueren, Karine; Desoete, Annemie; Aunio, Pirjo; Ghesquiere, Pol; Baeyens, Dieter (2018)
    Working memory is important for a variety of life domains,. including for children's school functioning. As such, it is crucial to understand its development, antecedents and consequences. The current study investigates the development of different working memory components (phonological loop, visuospatial sketchpad, central executive), the influence of different aspects of the teacher-student relationship (closeness, conflict, dependency) and its predictive value for academic achievement (reading, spelling, mathematics) across the transition from kindergarten to first grade. The sample consisted of 107 kindergarten children. Working memory tasks were administered at the end of kindergarten and first grade. Teachers reported on teacher-student relationship quality in the middle of first grade. Standardized tests were used to assess academic achievement at the end of first grade. Results indicate moderate to large increases in the phonological loop and visuospatial sketchpad and large gains in the central executive. Dependency of the student towards the teacher significantly predicted visuospatial sketchpad performance at the end of first grade. Reading was significantly predicted by the visuospatial sketchpad and phonological loop in kindergarten, while for spelling the visuospatial sketchpad was important. Finally, mathematics was predicted by performance on the phonological loop and the visuospatial sketchpad. The current study indicates the importance of the affective quality of the teacher-student relationship for working memory performance, which in turn is important for academic achievement. It is therefore critical to attend to the early detection and prevention or intervention of working memory problems in the classroom in order to prevent future academic problems. Additionally, maintaining a positive relationship with students and encouraging their independent exploration may be important when preventing such problems, complementary to cognitive or other types of training and intervention.
  • Holopainen, Leena; Koch, Arno; Hakkarainen, Airi; Kofler, Doris (2020)
    We investigated the predictive power of cognitive skills and background variables of 769 first and second grade children learning to read two orthographically different languages Finnish and German in three countries Finland, Germany and Italy. Main results from stepwise regression models showed that in all countries word reading at first grade was best predicted by letter-sound-connection, as found in other transparent orthographies. In Italy and Finland also phoneme blending, a demanding phoneme awareness skill, was a good predictor. Surprisingly, in Germany initial phoneme identification which is a basic phone awareness skill, and mother's occupation predicted first grade reading. At second grade in Finland and Germany the strongest predictors of word reading were rapid naming, in Finland also short-term-memory and in Germany and Italy reading level at the first grade. Results indicate that both orthographical and educational differences in the three countries can account for different predictors in reading.