Attentiveness in KG key to work-oriented skills

Attentiveness in kindergarten (KG) is the key to developing "work-oriented" skills in school children later as adults.

"Children who are more likely to work autonomously and harmoniously with fellow classmates, with good self-control and confidence, are more likely to continue such productive behaviours into the adult workplace," said Linda Pagani, professor and researchers at the University of Montreal, who led the study.

The study is based on the observations by elementary school teachers of attention skills in over 1,000 KG students, the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology reports.

All the children attended KG in the poorest neighbourhoods of Montreal, and their teachers used a carefully constructed observational scale to score them on their attentiveness skills, according to a Montreal statement.

Over time, the researchers identified the evolution of three groups of children: those with high, medium, and low classroom engagement. Researchers found that boys, aggressive children, and children with lower cognitive skills in kindergarten were much more likely to belong to the low trajectory.

"There are important life risks associated with attention deficits in childhood, which include high-school dropout, unemployment, and problematic substance abuse," said Pagani.

"Universal approaches to bolstering attention skills in kindergarten might translate into stable and productive pathways toward learning," added Pagani.

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