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The effects of teacher attention on following instructions in a kindergarten class1

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Abstract

A kindergarten class, composed of five girls ages 4.8 to 6 yr, participated in the study. In each of 20 daily sessions a sequence of 10 simple instructions was given to the class, In baseline sessions, the teacher did not interact with the students, other than to give instructions. During these sessions, the children followed the teacher's instructions 60% of the time. When the teacher began attending to each child if she followed an instruction, the mean percentage of instructions followed increased to 78%. Subsequently, the teacher again employed the baseline procedures and the percentage of instructions followed decreased to 68.7%. When the teacher again provided attention dependent on the children's following the instructions, the percentage of instructions followed increased to 83.7%. The results are consistent with research that has treated instructions as discriminative stimuli. The general findings are that consequences of instructed behavior determine the extent to which the instructions are followed.

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