Overly shy kid is slow learner too

August 29th, 2012 - 3:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 29 (IANS) Overly shy preschool children show the slowest gains in learning skills as compared to chatty and boisterous peers, according to psychologists.

“Everybody wants his child to be ready for kindergarten, to know the ABCs and to be able to count, but we often don’t understand that having social-emotional readiness is equally important,” says Rebecca J. Bulotsky-Shearer, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and principal study investigator.

The findings show that behavioural problems in the classroom arise when there is a gap between the child’s developmental skills and the expectations of the school environment.

Shy children also have trouble engaging and learning, the Journal of Social Psychology reports.

“Preschool children who are very introverted tend to ‘disappear within the classroom’,” says Elizabeth R. Bell, doctoral candidate in developmental psychology at Miami and study co-author.

“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, according to a Miami statement.

The study is based on an analysis of 4,417 pre-kindergarten children aged three to five years from a diverse population living in a large urban district.

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