Toward the Development of an Observation Measure of Interest and Attention for Literacy Tasks in Kindergarten Students
Coughlan, Kelly A
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Kindergarten students (N = 95) in three schools and seven classrooms were observed for on-task versus off-task behavior during three literacy instruction opportunities; small group instruction, whole group instruction and the less structured library setting over the 2011 - 2012 school year. Students' early literacy skills were assessed before and after observations in order to determine whether students who were observed to be visually on task during literacy would have greater improvement in literacy skills over the kindergarten year. No differences in visual attention by observation of eye gaze were found between students who made low improvement, moderate improvement or high improvement over the school year. A teacher's ability to engage students is a benchmark of effectiveness under President Barack Obama's Federal Race to the Top Education Reform Initiative. Implications for use of observed student engagement as a measure of teacher classroom effectiveness and alternative strategies for gauging teacher effectiveness are discussed.
- Education - Seattle