Posted: February 26th, 2023
ing Attention Spans in Reading of Pre-K Students in Head-start Program
An Applied Dissertation Submitted to the
Abraham S. Fischler College of Education
and School of Criminal Justice in Partial
Fulfillment of the Requirements for the
Degree of Doctor of Education
Nova Southeastern University
This applied dissertation was submitted by Xxxxx Xxxxxx under the direction of the persons listed below. It was submitted to the Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice and approved in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education at Nova Southeastern University.
Shery Bennett, EdD
Barbara Christine, EdD
Kimberly Durham, PsyD
Statement of Original Work
I declare the following:
I have read the Code of Student Conduct and Academic Responsibility as described in the
Student Handbook of Nova Southeastern University. This applied dissertation represents my original work, except where I have acknowledged the ideas, words, or material of other authors.
Where another author’s ideas have been presented in this applied dissertation, I have acknowledged the author’s ideas by citing them in the required style.
Where another author’s words have been presented in this applied dissertation, I have acknowledged the author’s words by using appropriate quotation devices and citations in the required style.
I have obtained permission from the author or publisher—in accordance with the required guidelines—to include any copyrighted material (e.g., tables, figures, survey instruments, large portions of text) in this applied dissertation manuscript.
February 10, 2023__________
Improving Attention Spans in Reading of Pre-K Students in Head-start Program: A Phenomenological Perspective]. Ternesha Pittman, 2023: Applied Dissertation, Nova Southeastern University, Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice. Keywords:
The first paragraph must contain all of the elements shown in this sample. The applied dissertation title, your name (surname last), and the year must be identical to the title, name, and year on the title page.
Single-space within each paragraph, but double-space between paragraphs. Do not indent the first lines of paragraphs. The narrative portion (i.e., after the informational first paragraph) of the abstract should be 220-270 words. The abstract must not exceed one page in length. See section 2.04 of the APA manual for content guidelines.
[INSERT DESCRIPTION OF DISSERTATION- Example Follows]: This applied dissertation was designed to provide better access to current information for the students and staff in a middle school. The printed materials located in the school’s media center were outdated, scarce, or inadequate. Electronic databases were available in the media center for online searching and information retrieval. However, the students did not know how to use databases as a source for completing class assignments or how to browse within these online services to find additional information. Teachers also did not know to use electronic information to enrich their lessons.
The researcher developed lesson plans and strategies to train students and teachers on two online services available in the media center. Daily sessions on these databases provided students and teachers with training in (a) e-mail usage, (b) searching and locating current events information, (c) printing from the screen, (d) saving messages, and (e) dialing into the online services. Teachers were encouraged to continue to use these services for curriculum enrichment and as an additional source for future lesson plans.
An analysis of the data revealed that students were more likely than teachers to use the online databases. The most successful activities were those that involved students in research information about current events. Although teachers planned assignments that required the use of online services, they did not want to provide additional time for students to be in the media center.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction 1
Statement of the Problem 1
Definition of Terms 2
Purpose of the Study 4
Chapter 2: Literature Review 6
Conceptual Framework 9
Reading and Academic Development 11
Extended Further Research 14
Shortcomings of Previous Research
Critiques of Literature
Theory of Attention
Factors Associated with Attention Problems in Preschoolers
Problems with Focus of Preschoolers
Attention and Cognitive Development in Kindergarten
Significance of Children’s Concentration of Persistence for Future Success
Research Question Considerations
Chapter 3: Methodology 24
Xxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx 25
Xxxxxxxxxxx xx Xxxxxxxx 27
Chapter 4: Findings 29
Xxxxxxxxxx xxx Xxxxxxxxx xx Xxxxxxxxx 29
Xxxxxxxxxxx xx Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxx 39
Xxxxxx xx Xxxxxx Xxxxxx 43
Chapter 5: Discussion 46
Xxxxxxxx xx Xxxx 57
A Title in Initial Caps and Lower Case—Begin a Second Line Directly Below the First Line 60
B Title in Initial Caps and Lower Case 62
1 Title in Initial Caps and Lower Case 10
2 Title in Initial Caps and Lower Case 48
Title in Initial Caps and Lower Case 47
Chapter 1: Introduction
Statement of the Problem
Comment by Dr Shery Bennett: Statement of the Problem
This should include (a) a clear statement that the problem exists, (b) evidence that supports the existence of the problem, (c) evidence of an existing trend that has led to the problem, (d) definitions of major concepts and terms (this can be provided below in a subsection), (e) probable causes related to the problem or impact of the problem , and (f) what will be your focus within the larger problem with the intended site/participants.
[This should be a substantial part of Chapter 1 (minimum 1-2 pages)]
Phenomenon of Interest
Discuss the phenomenon/ problem in general; set the literary hook to draw the reader’s interest.
Background and Justification
Provide evidence from the literature showing that the problem exists and the relevance (justification for studying the phenomenon). The phenomenon should be discussed within the specific context and include assumptions, biases, and perceptions found in the literature.
[This should be a substantial part of Chapter 1 (minimum 1-2 pages)]
Deficiencies in the Evidence
Include a brief discussion of the gaps in the research literature (citing current sources) in relation to your problem and the specific gap(s) that your proposed study will address.
[It is expected that your study addressing this gap(s) will add to the body of knowledge on your topic.]
Discuss who would benefit from reading this dissertation and why.
Definition of Terms
Provide academic definitions (with references) of terminology used in this dissertation, that may be specific to this phenomenon or discipline.
Purpose of the Study
In this section, begin with a clear purpose statement as shown below:
The purpose of this qualitative study (specify approach/ design) will be to______(explore, examine, investigate, further understand ) the ________(central phenomenon/focus/ academic gap) for _______(participants: person, process, groups) at ______________(site).
[Ensure that qualitative terminology used in the purpose statement aligns with your specific approach (case study, phenomenology, grounded theory, narrative, ethnography, etc.). Also ensure that you do not identify the site by name, or any description that would enable identification of the site.]
Then, follow with additional sentences that elaborate on this purpose statement.
[This section should be a minimum of one paragraph.]
The problem addressed in this study is the difficulty pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs maintain attention while engaged in reading activities. Research has shown that attention span is a critical aspect of reading development, as it directly impacts a child’s ability to process and understand the material they are reading (Ledford et al., 2008).
Evidence supporting the existence of the problem includes studies that found pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs often struggle with attention and focus during reading activities (Gathercole et al., 2008). Additionally, research has shown that attention span in young children is a strong predictor of later academic achievement (Raver, 2002). There is a trend of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs having difficulty with attention and focus during reading activities. The setting for this study will take place at elementary schools in Southeastern Florida for pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs.
Probable causes of the problem include lack of parental involvement, teacher-directed reading and computer-based instruction, and lack of individualised instruction (Ledford et al., 2000). The specific and feasible statement of the problem is to determine the effectiveness of different strategies, such as parental involvement, teacher-directed reading, and computer-based instruction, in improving the attention spans of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs. At the same time, they are engaged in reading activities (Tian et al., 2020).
The problem can be attributed to various factors, including the increasing use of technology in the classroom, changes in family dynamics and parenting practices, and a general decline in physical activity levels (Kim et al., 2018). Research has shown that excessive screen time can lead to decreased attention spans and difficulty focusing on other tasks, such as reading (Benton et al., 1987). Additionally, some families have become more reliant on technology for entertainment and education, leading to less time spent on traditional activities such as reading together (Schuck et al., 2018). Furthermore, the sedentary lifestyle many children lead today is a contributing factor, as physical activity has been linked to improved cognitive function and attention (Geri et al., 2017).
The problem of decreased attention spans in Pre-K students in Head-start programs is compounded by the fact that these children are at a critical stage in their development when their brains are rapidly forming and growing. During this time, children develop foundational skills and knowledge that will set the foundation for future success in school and beyond (Basso et al., 2016).
In conclusion, the problem of decreased attention spans in Pre-K students in Head-start programs is a growing concern that affects not only the students but also their families and teachers. The problem is complex and can be attributed to various factors, including technology, changes in family dynamics, and a decline in physical activity (Kim et al., 2018). Given the critical stage of development these children are in; the problem must be omitted to ensure that these students have the best chance for success in their future education and life.
The Research Problem
Comment by Dr Shery Bennett: These headings are from the quantitative template. You mentioned this is a qualitative study so the subheadings must be the ones I copied and pasted here from the template. I am emailing you the qualitative template again.
The research problem in this study is the gap between the desired level of attention and focus pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs should have while engaged in reading activities and the level of attention and focus currently observed (Bassok et al., 2016). While it is acknowledged that attention span is a critical aspect of reading development, pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs often struggle with attention and focus during reading activities.
The gap in attention span can negatively impact their ability to process and understand the material they are reading and can also predict lower academic achievement in the Future (Tang & Posner, 2009; Gaston et al., 2016). The research problem is to investigate the strategies that can effectively close this gap and improve the attention span of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs. At the same time, they are engaged in reading activities, and how parental involvement can be effective in this regard (Bauer & Schanzenbach, 2016).
The gap between what is desired and what is observed in this situation concerns educators, parents, and researchers. Understanding the underlying causes of this problem is essential, as finding effective solutions to improve the attention spans of pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs (Doherty et al., 2002). This research problem is particularly relevant in today’s world, where technology and digital devices are becoming increasingly prevalent and may affect children’s attention spans.
In general, the research problem of Improving Attention Spans in Reading of Pre-K Students in Head-start Program is a critical issue that deserves attention and research. By finding effective solutions, we can ensure that pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs receive the support they need to succeed in their education and beyond (Kim et al., 2018). A successful solution will not only benefit these students but also have a positive impact on their future academic careers and lives
Background and Justification
The problem of difficulty in maintaining attention while engaged in reading activities among pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs is well-documented in the literature (Reid et al., 2015). Research has shown that attention span is a critical aspect of reading development, as it directly impacts a child’s ability to process and understand the material they are reading (Ledford et al., 2008). Studies have found pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs often struggle with attention and focus during reading activities (Gathercole et al., 2008; Wasik et al., 2009). Additionally, research has shown that attention span in young children is a strong predictor of later academic achievement (Raver, 2002).
Furthermore, parental involvement in reading activities has been shown to positively affect children’s reading skills, vocabulary, and comprehension (Karweit, 1989; Wasik et al., 2009). Studies have also found that computer-based instruction can effectively improve reading skills, especially for students with poor reading skills (Kim et al., 2018). The problem of difficulty in maintaining attention while engaged in reading activities among pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs is relevant as it can negatively impact their ability to process and understand the material they are reading and can also predict lower academic achievement in the Future (Bauer & Schanzenbach, 2016). Thus, it is important to investigate strategies that can effectively improve the attention span of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs. At the same time, they are engaged in reading activities and investigate parental involvement’s role.
Deficiencies in the Evidence
While there is a significant body of literature on the problem of difficulty in maintaining attention while engaged in reading activities among pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs, there are some areas for improvement in the evidence that needs to be addressed (Kikas et al., 2018). One area of need about the problem is more research on the specific strategies that can effectively improve the attention span of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs while they are engaged in reading activities (Murray et al., 2018; Silverstein et al., 2001). While some studies have investigated the effectiveness of parental involvement in reading activities, there needs to be more research that specifically examines the impact of parental involvement on the attention span of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs. At the same time, they are engaged in reading activities (Alvarado et al., 2017). Additionally, while some studies have investigated the effectiveness of computer-based instruction on reading skills, there needs to be more research on the effectiveness of computer-based instruction on the attention span of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs. At the same time, they are engaged in reading activities (Ledford et al., 2008). Comment by Dr Shery Bennett: You must paraphrase your writing, not copy and paste. Redo all this section. Your own words, font Times New roman and black ink font size 12
Another need for the problem is more research on the long-term effects of attention span improvement on students’ academic performance and Success (Kook & Greenfield, 2021). While some studies have investigated the relationship between attention span and academic achievement, there needs to be more research on the long-term effects of interventions to improve attention span on academic performance and success in pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs.
Given these deficiencies in the evidence, there is a need for further research to investigate the specific strategies and parental involvement that can be effective in improving the attention span of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs. At the same time, they are engaged in reading activities and the long-term effects of attention span improvement on students’ academic performance and Success (Kook & Greenfield, 2021).
Moreover, while some studies have looked into how well computer-based instruction affects reading abilities, there needs to be more data on how well technology affects pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs’ attention spans when participating in reading activities (Bauer & Schanzenbach, 2016). Lack of Study on the long-term consequences of attention span enhancement on students’ academic performance and success is another area of need regarding the issue (Kook & Greenfield, 2021). Research on the long-term consequences of interventions to increase attention span on academic performance and success in pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs still needs to be completed, despite several studies examining the association between attention span and academic achievement.
In conclusion, there are deficiencies in the evidence related to the problem of low attention span in pre-kindergarten students while reading (Basso et al., 2016). The literature needs a comprehensive understanding of the underlying causes of this problem and the effectiveness of interventions aimed at improving attention span. This study aims to address these deficiencies in the evidence and provide new insights into this important issue. Given these deficiencies in the evidence, there is a need for further research to investigate the specific strategies and parental involvement that can be effective in improving the attention span of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs. At the same time, they are engaged in reading activities and the long-term effects of attention span improvement on students’ academic performance and Success (Kook & Greenfield, 2021).
The audience affected by the problem of difficulty in maintaining attention while engaged in reading activities among pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs includes the pre-kindergarten students themselves, as well as their families, teachers, and the broader community. Pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs who struggle with attention and focus during reading activities may have difficulty processing and understanding the material, which can negatively impact their reading development and academic achievement. It can lead to difficulties in later grades and potentially impact their future success.
In addition to the pre-kindergarten students, their families, and communities are also affected by this problem. Parents and caregivers play a critical role in supporting their children’s education and development. A lack of attention span in reading can lead to difficulties in communication and bonding between children and their families (Kim et al., 2018). Furthermore, a lack of attention span can also impact these students’ educational attainment and future success, which can have ripple effects on their communities.
The setting for this study will take place at Southeastern Florida, pre-kindergarten, a Head-start program. Head-start programs are federally funded programs that provide comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families. The classrooms in these programs typically include students between the ages of 3 and 5 who come from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, with an average of 20 to 40 students.
In Southeastern Florida, pre-kindergarten is in an urban area, with classrooms and students ethnically and culturally diverse (Raver, 2002). The study will focus on implementing different strategies such as parental involvement, teacher-directed reading, and computer-based instruction in these classrooms and the impact these strategies have on the attention span of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs. At the same time, they are engaged in reading activities.
The study will take place in multiple pre-kindergarten settings within the Head-Start program to provide a comprehensive understanding of the problem. It will help ensure that the study’s findings are representative of the population of pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs and are not biased by the specific characteristics of a single setting (Karweit, 1989).
In conclusion, the setting for the Study of Improving Attention Spans in Reading of Pre-K Students in the Head-start Program will be pre-kindergarten classrooms within the Head Start program (Kook & Greenfield, 2021). This setting provides an ideal environment for observing and assessing students’ attention spans and implementing interventions to improve their attention spans. (Karweit, 1989).
In this study’s context, the researcher will design and conduct the study, collect and analyse data, and interpret and report the findings. The researcher will be responsible for ensuring that the study is conducted ethically and rigorously, with appropriate safeguards in place to protect the rights and well-being of participants.
In addition, the researcher will collaborate with other members of the research team, including educators, administrators, and other professionals, as needed. This collaboration would be critical in ensuring that the study is designed and implemented feasibly and that it considers the needs and perspectives of all stakeholders involved.
The researcher will also be responsible for disseminating the study’s findings to the wider academic community and relevant stakeholders, including educators, policymakers, families, and communities. This dissemination would be critical in ensuring that the study’s findings are used to inform the development of policies and programs that support the education and development of pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs.
In conclusion, the role of the researcher in the Study of Improving Attention Spans in Reading of Pre-K Students in the Head-start Program is critical. The researcher will be responsible for designing and conducting the study, collecting and analysing data, and interpreting and reporting the findings. The researcher will also collaborate with other research team members and disseminate the study findings to relevant stakeholders.
Purpose of the Study
This study investigates the effectiveness of different strategies, such as parental involvement, teacher-directed reading, and computer-based instruction, in improving the attention spans of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs. At the same time, they are engaged in reading activities (Kook & Greenfield, 2021). Additionally, the study aims to examine the role of parental involvement in promoting the attention span of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs. At the same time, they are engaged in reading activities (Kim et al., 2018). The study seeks to provide insight and evidence on the best methods to improve attention span in young children, which will benefit educators, parents, and policymakers (Wrońska et al., 2015). Ultimately, the study aims to improve the reading development and academic achievement of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs, which can positively impact their future success.
This study aims to determine the effectiveness of interventions to improve the attention span of pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs. At the same time, they engage in reading activities (Ludwig & Phillips, 2007). This information will be critical in informing the development of educational programs and policies that support the education and development of young children in Head Start programs and will provide insights into the strategies and approaches that are most effective in improving attention span and promoting success in reading activities
Pre-Kindergarten (PK) and Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) are educational programs designed for children who are 4 or 5 years old and have yet to start kindergarten (Basso et al., 2016). Public schools usually offer Pre-Kindergarten (PK) programs. They are usually free of charge to families, although some programs may have specific requirements such as income limits or language proficiency (Basso et al., 2016). These programs are intended to provide early education to children to prepare them for kindergarten and future school success.
Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten (VPK) is a state-funded program in some states, such as Florida. It is intended to provide free educational opportunities for children four years old before kindergarten (Basso et al., 2016). The program is made available by public and commercial providers, and the teaching follows state-mandated guidelines that concentrate on educational, social, and emotional growth.
PK and VPK programs prepare children for kindergarten by providing early education focusing on literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional development (Rodriguez, 2013). They also offer opportunities for children to interact with their peers, build their language and communication skills, and develop their cognitive abilities while providing parents and caregivers with support and resources.
Head-start is for a limited number of children and their families in the United States; Head Start is a federal program that offers a wide range of early childhood education, health, nutrition, and intervention services (Hines, 2017). Initiated in 1965 as part of the War on Poverty, the program is now administered by the Department of Health and Human Services and helps more than a million children annually. Comment by Dr Shery Bennett: This is copied and pasted from the source you are to paraphrase the writing not copy and paste.
Head Start services are designed to enhance students’ cognitive knowledge and foster their social and emotional growth to prepare them for school success (Bauer & Schanzenbach, 2016). The program provides early childhood education that includes activities that help children, help develop social and emotional, as well as language, reading, and numeracy skills (Pianta et al., 2021). The program also provides health and nutrition services, such as physical exams, dental care, and nutrition education, to help ensure that children are healthy and ready to learn.
Small group reading is a teaching approach in which a teacher works with a small group of students, typically 4-6, to provide targeted and differentiated instruction in reading (Kikas et al., 2018). It is an effective way to provide individualised instruction, adapt to the varying demands of children, and carefully track their development.
Teacher-directed reading is a teaching approach in which the teacher actively guides students through the reading process, providing explicit instruction, modelling, and feedback (Kikas et al., 2018). The approach emphasises the teacher’s role in leading and directing the reading instruction and the student’s role in actively following and engaging with the instruction.
During teacher-directed reading, the teacher introduces a new text or concept, provides background knowledge, and seeks a reading purpose (Lerkkanen et al., 2016). Then the teacher modelled the reading process, demonstrating strategies such as how to make predictions, identify main ideas, or use context clues. Next, the students practised these strategies with the teacher’s guidance, asking and answering questions, making connections, and applying their learned strategies.
Computer-based instruction refers to using computers and technology to deliver educational content and assessments to students. Computer-based instruction has become increasingly popular as technology has advanced and becomes more widely available (Kook & Greenfield, 2021). In Pre-K and Kindergarten (VK), computer-based instruction has been used to teach various subjects, including reading. The use of computers in early childhood education has been found to have both positive and negative effects on student learning and development.
Chapter 2: Literature Review Comment by Dr Shery Bennett: You need 26 pages minimum for chapter 2. You have 13 pages for chapter 1 so you have 13 pages for chapter 2
Introduction Comment by Dr Shery Bennett: Chapter 2: Literature Review
[This chapter must be a minimum of 30 pages and include at least 30 current, peer-reviewed research articles. It is advisable to submit the list of all references intended for this chapter to your chair prior to beginning writing this chapter.]
This chapter should contain the following elements and be well-organized using appropriate APA level headings: (a) an introductory paragraph: (b) a discussion of the theoretical perspective (theoretical lens) within which the study will be grounded; (c) a historical context of the overall phenomenon of investigation, if applicable; (d) the bulk of this chapter should be a synthesis of the relevant research findings and theoretical literature on this problem area, including additional evidence on the nature and the importance of the phenomenon; an elaboration of the gaps and limitations in the literature; a clear discussion of how further research should extend, differ from, or replicate past studies; and an articulation of the unique contribution that will be made by this study.
The research questions should be aligned to the purpose statement and grounded in the research gap/s identified in this chapter. Qualitative dissertations have main research questions, and some of these may also have sub-questions.
Main research questions may be written as follows:
· What are the experiences of _________ (participants) as they make meaning of__________ (central phenomenon/ gap)?
The literature review on improving attention spans in the reading of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs shows that attention span is a critical aspect of reading development. Studies have found pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs often struggle with attention and focus during reading activities (Gathercole et al., 2008; Wasik et al., 2009). Research has also shown that attention span in young children is a strong predictor of later academic achievement (Raver, 2002).
Several studies have also investigated the effectiveness of different strategies in promoting the attention span of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs while they are engaged in reading activities. For example, parental involvement in reading activities has been shown to positively affect children’s reading skills, vocabulary, and comprehension (Karweit, 1989; Wasik et al., 2009). Additionally, studies have found that computer-based instruction can effectively improve reading skills, especially for students with poor reading skills (Kim et al., 2018).
The literature review for this study will synthesise the existing research on attention span, reading activities, and pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs. The review will focus on identifying the effective interventions that improve attention span in young children, as well as exploring the underlying mechanisms and processes that contribute to changes in attention span (Basso et al., 2016). The review will also examine the factors that may influence the effectiveness of interventions, such as the age of the students, the setting in which the interventions are implemented, and the type and intensity of the interventions.
The literature review will inform the study’s design and provide a foundation for interpreting the findings (Zhao et al., 2019). By synthesising the existing evidence on attention span and reading activities in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs, the literature review will provide a comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of the current state of knowledge in this field issue (Kook & Greenfield, 2021). It will be essential to ensure that the study is designed and implemented in a rigorous and evidence-based manner and that the findings are relevant and meaningful for the education and development of pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs.
However, there are also some areas for improvement in the literature. There needs to be more research on the specific strategies that can effectively improve the attention span of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs. At the same time, they are engaged in reading activities and, specifically, on the role of parental involvement in this regard.
Reading and Academic Development Comment by Dr Shery Bennett: What source is this taken from? Please develop the study as a summary of numerous other studies on improving attention spans of prekindergarten students.
The problem of attention span in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs is a well-documented issue that has been the focus of numerous studies and interventions over the past several decades (Hines, 2017). The evidence suggests that attention span is a critical predictor of academic achievement, particularly in reading and language development.
Studies have shown that children with short attention spans are at increased risk for reading and academic performance difficulties, which can persist throughout their educational careers (Ludwig & Phillips, 2007). To address this problem, researchers have explored various interventions to improve attention span in young children, including cognitive and behavioural interventions, environmental modifications, and technology-based interventions.
The findings of these studies are largely consistent and suggest that a combination of these interventions can effectively improve attention span in pre-kindergarten students’ activities (Ludwig & Phillips, 2007). Specifically, the literature suggests that interventions incorporating technology, such as computer-based games and educational software, are particularly effective in improving attention span. These interventions are more effective when combined with other interventions, such as behaviour modification and environmental modifications.
Overall, the literature findings on attention span and reading ability in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs highlight the importance of addressing this issue to support these students’ academic and developmental outcomes (Vaughn et al., 2002). By synthesising these studies’ findings, we can better understand the nature and importance of this problem and develop more effective interventions that can improve attention span and support the educational success of young children in Head Start programs.
How Further Research Should Extend
Further research on improving attention spans in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs should build upon the foundation of previous studies while also seeking to address some of the limitations and gaps in the existing evidence (Vaughn et al., 2002). It can be done by replicating previous studies to confirm the effectiveness of various interventions and by conducting new studies that test different interventions or explore new perspectives on the problem (Ludwig & Phillips, 2007).
One critical variable that future research should consider is the role of individual differences in attention span and reading ability, as well as other factors that may contribute to these difficulties, such as socioeconomic status, parental involvement, and access to resources. By exploring these factors, researchers can understand the problem and develop more effective interventions considering individual students’ unique needs and circumstances.
Another important area for future research is the effectiveness of technology-based interventions in improving attention span and reading ability in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs (Ludwig & Phillips, 2007). While previous studies have shown that these interventions can be effective, much is still to be learned about the best way to use technology to support student learning and how these interventions can be integrated into existing educational programs and practices.
Finally, future research needs to address how to sustain the gains in attention span and reading ability achieved through various interventions (Bauer & Schanzenbach, 2016). It will require long-term studies that track the outcomes of students over time, as well as research into how schools and educators can support and reinforce the gains achieved through these interventions.
In conclusion, there is a clear need for further research on the problem of attention span in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs to build on the foundation of previous studies and address some of the limitations and gaps in the existing evidence (Vaughn et al., 2002). By exploring critical variables and important questions in this area, researchers can gain a deeper understanding of the problem and develop more effective interventions that support the academic success of these young students (Basso et al., 2016).
Shortcomings of the Previous Research
It is crucial to evaluate the advantages of earlier studies and pinpoint their drawbacks to avoid them in future studies while reviewing the literature on increasing the attention spans of pre-kindergarten pupils in Head Start programs. By doing this, researchers may improve upon the shortcomings of earlier studies and build on their strengths.
One of the areas for improvement of prior research in this area is a need for more consistency in measuring attention span and reading ability. It can make it difficult to compare the results of different studies and to draw accurate conclusions about the effectiveness of different interventions (Basso et al., 2016). To avoid this limitation, future research should use consistent measures and make efforts to standardise these measures across different studies.
Another limitation of previous research is that many studies have been conducted with small sample sizes, limiting their findings’ generalizability (Bauer & Schanzenbach, 2016). To address this limitation, future research should aim to include larger sample sizes, especially when testing new interventions, to increase the power of the study and make more accurate conclusions about the effectiveness of these interventions (Ludwig & Phillips, 2007).
Additionally, much earlier research concentrated on rapid results after the intervention, such as attention span and reading skills (Ludwig & Phillips, 2007). However, it is important also to consider the long-term outcomes of these interventions and how they may impact students over time. To address this limitation, future research should include longer-term follow-up assessments to track the sustainability of any gains in attention span and reading ability.
On the other hand, some of the strengths should be investigated more in future studies. Using control groups, which helps to account for uncontrollable factors and provides more accurate evaluations of the efficacy of treatments, is one of these advantages (Bauer & Schanzenbach, 2016). Utilising randomised controlled trials, which improve the study’s internal validity and offer greater proof of the efficacy of therapies, is another strength.
In conclusion, by identifying the shortcomings of prior research and building upon their strengths, researchers can conduct more effective and robust studies on improving attention spans in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs (Vaughn et al., 2002). By doing so, researchers can contribute to a growing body of knowledge in this area and provide valuable insights into how to support the academic success of these young students.
Critiques on Literature
The literature review is an important foundation for any research proposal, as it provides a comprehensive understanding of the existing evidence on a given topic. However, it is also important to critically evaluate the literature to identify any controversial methodological decisions that may need to be addressed in the proposal (Bauer & Schanzenbach, 2016). This essay will critique the literature on improving attention spans in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs, highlighting some of the controversies and limitations of previous studies that need to be considered when designing a new study.
One of the controversies in the literature on this topic is the use of different measures to assess attention span and reading ability (Basso et al., 2016). While some studies have used standardised measures, others have used more informal assessments or subjective ratings by teachers or parents. This variability in measures can make it difficult to compare the results of different studies and draw accurate conclusions about the effectiveness of different interventions. As such, researchers need to carefully consider which measures to use in their study, considering the strengths and limitations of each measure, to ensure that their results are accurate and reliable.
Another controversy in the literature is the need for more consensus on the most effective interventions for improving attention span and reading ability in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs (Gathercole et al., 2008). Some studies have focused on providing additional educational resources, while others have focused on behavioural interventions, such as reward systems or educational games (Ludwig & Phillips, 2007). This intervention variability makes it difficult to determine which approach is most effective, and researchers must consider this when designing their study.
Additionally, there needs to be long-term studies on the impact of interventions on this population’s attention span and reading ability. While some studies have shown positive short-term effects, it is still being determined whether these effects are sustainable over time or how they may impact students in the long term. (Wasik et al., 2009). As such, researchers need to consider the need for longer-term follow-up assessments to understand the impact of interventions on this population fully.
In conclusion, the literature on improving attention spans in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs highlights several controversies and limitations that need to be taken into consideration when designing a new study (Basso et al., 2016). By critically evaluating the literature, researchers can make informed decisions about the measures to use and the interventions to focus on. The need for longer-term follow-up assessments to contribute to a growing body of knowledge in this area and provide valuable insights into how to support the academic success of these young students (Peck et al., 2005).
Theory of Attention
Unusual is the notion that children exhibit signs of inattention. A child may find it challenging to be in an environment with several readily distracting stimuli. It takes work to concentrate on more than just one item. (Rojas, 2016) assert that many individuals frequently fail to pay attention. They need help to maintain their focus on what is most essential at any given time. It may endanger lives; for instance, accidents may occur if motorists disregard traffic signals at intersections.
According to them, paying attention consists of six distinct components. Several examples include attention span, previewing and planning, selectivity and saliency evaluation, distractibility, alertness and arousal, self-monitoring and self-regulation, and attention span. Awareness is the initial stage in attracting someone’s attention to the previously listed topics. This argues that to concentrate, one must be actively engaged in an activity. The next step is exercising discretion. At any one moment, many stimuli are continuously entering the system (Brendamour & Chai, 2016). The brain must choose which of these goals should be prioritised. The ability to pick which organisation-influencing actions to do is the “determination of salience.” This component is essential for daily tasks. The teacher would offer the essential instructions for the pupils to execute a task in class. Since writing all laws on paper is impossible, the brain must choose the most significant ones. The capacity to rapidly shift attention is the third need for attracting notice. Any unpleasant ideas, whether internal or external, are included. To focus on the current action, you must eliminate them. The attention span requirement is the fourth prerequisite.
It requires the perseverance and stamina necessary to complete the task at hand. Like the requirement for physical energy to run a marathon, mental energy is required to maintain concentration while working. The next step includes preliminary planning and analysis. Before launching a project, it is essential to analyse all possible outcomes and choose the strategy that would provide the best results (Brendamour & Chai, 2016). Before raising their hands to respond to a question on the teacher’s presentation, students should carefully consider their answers and refrain from shouting. The next phase of responsibilities includes self-control and self-monitoring. This is an essential step, especially when a project is well along. Enhanced self-discipline and behaviour monitoring boost concentration.
(Mackay, 1973) aims to clarify and explain the information filtering process. Using the bottleneck approach, the author illustrated how the water flow reduces as the bottleneck grows narrower. According to the Broadbent attention model, it is difficult for a person to absorb several sensory information simultaneously. Donald Broadbent pioneered the vast majority of data processing technologies. Conducted a study on air traffic controller operations. Broadbent conducted a “dichotic listening” study to understand this issue better. (Mackay, 1973) asserts that all input data is stored in a sensory buffer before being processed further and that one input is then selected based on its physical properties. Because our capacity to absorb information is limited, a filter has been devised to protect us from being exposed to overwhelming data. In addition, he asserts that unselected inputs are still there after the sensory buffer has been cleared. Broadbent was captivated by the processes that enable individuals to focus their attention (selective attention). He bombarded them with stimuli to achieve his goal. The data revealed unequivocally that individuals could concentrate on one activity simultaneously.
Consequently, the author developed the “filter” concept and the “single channel” technique. This method considers the sensory information that different physical qualities give. According to the research results, external stimuli are one of the most effective methods to boost a person’s capacity to concentrate for an extended time (Washington, 2017). The brain will be better able to focus and pay attention to the task at hand if the activity and instructions are presented one at a time. During a fine mobility task, such as threading a button onto a bottle, the brain may focus on a single action, such as picking up the button.
Factors Associated with Attention Problems in Preschoolers
It is believed that environmental (Washington, 2017) variables have a role. 2002 research by Biederman and Faraone revealed a genetic link between early developmental variances in newborns’ attentional control. In a recent study that followed over 2,000 Canadian children from 5 months to 8 years, preterm birth, low birth weight, prenatal tobacco exposure, non-intact family, young maternal age, paternal history of antisocial behaviour, and maternal depression were found to be the strongest early predictors of attention problems. In this longitudinal study, children between the ages of 5 months and eight years were investigated (Washington, 2017). Similar to the preceding example, a recent Israeli study discovered that various child developmental characteristics were substantially associated with the later occurrence of ADHD (from birth to one month.
Among these risk variables were a family history of social problems and ADHD, a lower maternal education level, and an older maternal age. Between the ages of 3 and 18 months, a smaller head size, a delay in reaching motor and verbal milestones, and a demanding temperament were all highly associated with the later development of ADHD. As part of the Family Life Project, researchers studied the behaviour of children aged three to five. Their objective was to determine the risk variables for attention deficit disorders. They concluded that a single latent factor remained throughout the preschool years and triggered the appearance of symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity. They also noticed that the degree of education of the carers was the greatest predictor of symptom severity (Mackay, 1973).
Since the beginning of this decade, concerns concerning young children’s use of screen media and the link between this behaviour and the appearance of attention issues at a younger age have progressively increased. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth indicates a correlation between daily television watching between the ages of 1 and 3 and attention issues at age 7. Some study indicates that brief exposure to television may have an immediate effect on the cognitive development of youngsters (Mackay, 1973).
According to newly published research, children who had just seen a fast-paced television show—specifically, a well-known animated cartoon about an underwater sponge—performed lower on the Tower of Hanoi test than children who had not seen the program (Lillard & Peterson, 2011). It is unknown if increased television viewing adds to or accelerates a reduction in attention span. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against restricting screen time for infants younger than two years of age and against permitting older children to watch more than one to two hours of high-quality media daily (Lillard & Peterson, 2011).
Problems with Focus in Preschoolers
Children’s attention problems are often a feature of early infancy. Up to 40% of preschool-aged children already have attention problems that are serious enough to worry parents and preschool teachers (Lillard & Peterson, 2011). Between 3 and 15% of people in community samples, including those who do not meet the requirements for an ADHD diagnosis, exhibit signs of inattention. It has been observed that the percentage of clinical referrals is approaching or above 50% (Mahone, 2005). For instance, up to 72.7% of toddlers are labelled as “motor-driven” or “constantly active” (Lillard & Peterson, 2011). When toddlers exhibit inattention, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is seldom identified (ADHD). It may be a sign of various illnesses or ailments, such as hearing loss, language difficulties, intellectual disabilities, or other psychopathologies, that coexist with ADHD. It is more difficult to identify “disordered” attention, given the variance in caregiver perceptions of attention and the prevalence of ADHD symptoms in this age range (Mahone, 2005).
However, inattention is a common trait unrelated to early childhood development (Mahone, 2005). Preschoolers with attention issues have been better detected and treated during the last 20 years, especially those disorders that share symptoms with ADHD, such as distractibility and hyperactivity. The United States and other countries are becoming more interested in this (Mahone, 2005). Some theories contend that early detection and treatment of attention problems reduce the negative impacts of pediatric illnesses, making it simpler to get the right diagnosis or, more crucially, proving that no diagnostic is required.
The most common condition seen in preschoolers is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and prevalence estimates show that it is becoming increasingly common (). 2% of children in a sample of 38,666 general pediatric patients under the age of five were found to have ADHD, according to (Mahone et al., 2005), even though (Connor, 2000) claimed that the incidence might reach 59% in child psychiatric clinics. Participants in each of these studies were under the age of five. Subsequent research assessed 200 children under six who had been sent to an outpatient mental health clinic, and 86% met the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. Compared to their generally developing classmates, preschoolers with poor attentional abilities are substantially more likely to have social, developmental, and academic challenges. These worries could be linked to many developmental deficiencies.
Childhood attention problems are linked to teens’ poor social development and a higher risk of requiring emergency medical care (Mahone et al., 2005). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in early childhood has been linked to later academic failure and grade retention, even at subthreshold levels (Mahone & Schneider, 2012). Six years later, children with behavioural issues are more likely to fulfil the official diagnostic criteria for ADHD. By 18, these kids are far more likely than other kids to experience sadness and suicidal thoughts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that between 1998 and 2009, one in eleven American children between the ages of 5 and 17 had been given an ADHD diagnosis (CDC).
In contrast, during the last 20 years, there has been a sharp increase in the proportion of young women with attention problems. A recent, extensive epidemiological study including 3,907 kids showed that 49% of females and 51% of boys had ADHD. The research found that 8.7% of kids met the DSM-IV-TR criteria for ADHD (Froelich et al., 2007).It may be difficult to discern between attentional issues affecting normally developing children and those specifically linked with ADHD (or other co-occurring illnesses) until the age of four. However, early identification and treatment of preschoolers’ attention deficit disorders may lessen some negative effects (). Although early identification and treatment of toddlers’ attention issues may lessen their negative effects, this is the case (Mahone & Schneider, 2012). Studies show that future reading, spelling, and arithmetic difficulties are more probable in children with the inattentive ADHD subtype. However, youngsters who initially exhibit unusually impulsive and hyperactive traits are more likely to acquire ADHD later. While Egger and colleagues found that the inattentive subtype of ADHD is present in fewer than one in 1,000 preschoolers in the general population, other studies have questioned the importance of this subtype throughout the preschool years.
Others have questioned the applicability of the Hyperactive-Impulsive subtype of ADHD to young children (Mahone & Schneider, 2012). Therefore, it is essential to establish exact, impartial methods for assessing newborns’ attention. Based on individuals who use the criterion’s expectations, diagnostic thresholds are often noticed (such as parents and teachers). As a result, the definition of a “disorder” may alter over time. Additionally, relying only on a child’s parents or teachers to describe their symptoms might result in an overdiagnosis.
Additionally, fewer kids are diagnosed with ADHD when the impairment criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association—APA, 2000) are carefully followed (Mahone & Hoffman, 2007). Although ADHD is currently classified as a categorical phenomenon in the DSM-IV-TR, it is anticipated that these changes will be made in the DSM-V. Due to the potential that the condition displays dimensional oscillations rather than a category item, this is the circumstance (Mahone & Schneider, 2012).
Attention and Cognitive Development in Kindergarten
The development of the neurological system may be seen beginning two to three weeks after conception (Mahone & Hoffman, 2007). The brain’s attentional control mechanisms are among the earliest to emerge and continue to grow until early adulthood. The route of functional development, however, does not follow a linear pattern; rather, it moves along a region-specific path that reflects the maturity of several brain systems. A child’s brain achieves 80% of an adult’s size by age two (Delevan, 2009). When a child reaches two, myelination and synapse development stop occurring, and neurons start forming complicated dendritic trees. While the main auditory cortex begins to develop at three months old, the prefrontal cortex only matures at fifteen months.
After age five, cortical architecture, ongoing neuronal growth, and experience-dependent pruning of ineffective synapses are the hallmarks of brain development. Synaptic density will eventually decrease to 60% of its prior high (Delevan, 2009). The dynamic process of moulding and limiting skills via experience, which may change the expression of genes, and a process of active brain growth, which is mostly genetically determined, impact the functional development of attention throughout the preschool years (Mahone & Hoffman, 2007). According to (Mahone & Hoffman, 2007), experiential canalisation is a theory outlining how biology and experience combine to provide useful development. This “shaping” occurs throughout normal development due to enhanced myelination and cortical thinning. It happens inadvertently all through development and is linked to improvements in attentional control. Developmental issues with attention, such as ADHD and others, may result from aberrant pruning fueled by experience.
The prefrontal cortex must undergo a lengthy process that starts early childhood and lasts far into adolescence to acquire regulated (top-down) attention. The prefrontal cortex experiences several quick alterations at this age that last well into early adulthood (Luna et al., 2001). Evidence suggests that the prefrontal cortex develops and connects throughout early life, resulting in top-down attention management and other “higher” cognitive functions. Electrophysiology is the most popular technique for assessing infants and children’s prefrontal development. Thus, frontal EEG power, thought to indicate neural excitability, is associated with regulated attention in infants.
The development of a person’s attentional capacity is often assessed behaviorally during the first year of life using several visual attention paradigms (Luna et al., 2001). Frequent, protracted visual fixations characterise the first three months of a baby’s existence. It is due to the visual attraction that young toddlers have for objects with curves and edges, like faces or checkerboards, for example. At this age, infants find it difficult to concentrate on anything beyond what is in front of them. The unrealised developmental potential of the parietal lobes is thought to be the root of this problem, and pathways from the basal ganglia to the superior colliculus have begun to enlarge (Luna et al., 2001Habituation and paired comparison are two common experimental paradigms with infants. The tools used to gauge a baby’s growth currently encompass variations of both concepts.
The emergence of an infant’s preference for novel experiences is thought to be linked with the development of the parietal cortex and the cortical visual system, typically occurring between the ages of four and six months. Infants reach this stage when they stop staring at things for lengthy periods. The duration of the gaze lengthens between 7 and 12 months and changes from automatic to conscious control. This growth continues throughout the toddler and preschool years (Rossi et al., 2001).
According to their gender, boys and girls develop brain networks that aid attentional management at noticeably different rates (Rossi et al., 2001). Folklore holds that females start school a year sooner than boys because they are three weeks more developed at birth (Delevan, 2009). Although there has been less focus on gender differences in problem behaviour in infancy and the early years, by the age of 4, boys tend to behave more aggressively and impulsively than girls. Due to their earlier neurobiological, cognitive, motor, and social development in early infancy, females may exhibit certain behaviours that delay the onset of some ADHD symptoms in young children. The quantity of white matter increased linearly between the ages of 4 and 20. In contrast, the changes in grey matter were discovered to be nonlinear, regionally specific, and different for boys and girls. Men’s brains had 10% more gray matter than women’s, although women’s peak development occurred considerably younger (10.5 year’s vs 14 years).
Significance of Children’s Concentration-Persistence for Future Success
Throughout childhood, various social and academic outcomes have been related to several attention spans and perseverance characteristics. It has been shown, for instance, that attention span persistence and related concepts such as self-regulation, executive function, and effortful control may be used to predict more severe social outcomes, such as social competence and maladjustment (Delevan, 2009). Furthermore, these components are essential for both social and emotional rehabilitation. Extensive research has shown, for instance, a correlation between attention span, perseverance, and associated attributes such as self-control (Duncan et al., 2007). The capacity of children to pay attention and endure challenging situations has always been assessed, even though different research has employed varied criteria and methods. Research on executive function, learning-related abilities, effortful control, and behavioural regulation will be examined. Each of these investigations constructs and employs unique structures while considering attention span persistence.
A recent study has shown that attention span perseverance is a robust predictor of short-term performance outcomes, even after accounting for the student’s current level of achievement and other relevant traits, such as intelligence (Delevan, 2009). The researchers discovered, for instance, that changes in early behavioural management throughout the preschool year highly predicted changes in reading, mathematics, and vocabulary. Even when researchers considered individuals’ behavioural control and accomplishment starting points, this remained the case (Rossi et al., 2001). Children’s ability to manage their behaviour at the start of kindergarten was an outstanding predictor of their success in reading, mathematics, and vocabulary at the end of the school year, as well as their improvement in arithmetic skills, according to a comparative study. Another research found favourable relationships between young children’s attention spans, cognitive capacities, and achievement levels (Duncan et al., 2007). Reading and arithmetic competence between kindergarten and sixth grade and reading and math progress between kindergarten and second grade were strongly predicted by a child’s learning-related skills in kindergarten. It was unaffected by the child’s IQ, early achievement, and other environmental circumstances ().
Several components of attention management abilities accurately predict academic achievement and long-term performance. Attention between the ages of 5 and 6, with an average effect size ranging from 0.08 to 0.11 for reading and mathematics, was a strong predictor of reading and arithmetic ability between kindergarten and the beginning of puberty. This circumstance negatively impacted reading and mathematics (Duncan et al., 2007). Even though it was conducted on adolescents, recent research by (Yoon et al., 2007) offers more evidence of the significance of attention span persistence, also known as task persistence, for future performance. Task perseverance in early adolescence at age 13 reliably predicted males’ middle-aged income, occupational level, and educational attainment, with impact sizes ranging from 0.08 to 0.34 for occupational level. Important studies have shown that early self-control, operationalised by perseverance and attention span, predicted adult outcomes such as physical health, drug dependency, income, and criminal conduct (Yoon et al., 2007). In addition, research has connected concentration deficits to poorer academic achievement and performance standards. After adjusting for various background characteristics, such as the child’s IQ, recent research found that teacher evaluations of concentration issues at age six strongly predicted math and reading achievement at age seventeen.
This research demonstrates that attention and persistence are critical in infancy and reliable predictors of various social and academic accomplishments in adulthood. Overall, these findings support the notion that toddlers need these skills. Important life objectives, such as graduating from college, depend highly on concentration and perseverance under adversity. Another study indicates that a parent’s socioeconomic status (SES), cognitive ability, past academic accomplishment, and educational and professional aspirations substantially affect a child’s intellectual development and academic performance (Yoon et al., 2007). Along with parental socioeconomic status, early cognitive ability and academic performance, gender, and age, we expected that early attention span perseverance would be a major and substantial predictor of future accomplishment and college completion.
In summary, the literature on improving attention spans in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs highlights the importance of this issue and provides a foundation for further research (Basso et al., 2016). However, the literature also highlights controversies and limitations, such as variability in measures used, lack of consensus on effective interventions, and need for longer-term studies (Ludwig & Phillips, 2007). It is important for researchers to critically evaluate the literature to address these limitations and make informed decisions about their Study (Kim et al., 2018). By doing so, researchers can contribute to the growing body of knowledge in this area and provide valuable insights into how to support the academic success of young students in Head Start programs (Kerns et al.,1999).
Research Question Considerations
Clearly defined research questions guide the study and ensure that the findings are directly relevant to the problem. In improving attention spans in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs, several key questions must be addressed (Gathercole et al., 2008; Alvarado et al., 2017).
1. What are the underlying causes of short attention spans in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs (Wasik et al., 2009)? This question is crucial in understanding why some children struggle with attention in the classroom (Vaughn, 2002). To address this question, researchers need to consider various factors that contribute to attention span, such as biological, environmental, social, and psychological factors.
Biological factors such as genetics, sleep patterns, and nutrition can affect attention span. Environmental factors, such as the quality of early childhood education and the level of stimulation provided in the learning environment, can also impact (Hines, 2017; Ali et al., 2019). Social factors, such as family dynamics, social support, and community resources, may also play a role. Psychological factors, such as executive function and emotional regulation, may be critical in understanding the underlying causes of short attention spans in pre-kindergarten students (Raver, 2002; Pashapoo et al., 2018).
Researchers will likely need to collect data from various sources, including but not limited to parent and teacher surveys, academic assessments, and observations of children in the classroom (Raver, 2002). The data collected will then need to be analysed using statistical methods to determine the relative impact of each of these factors on attention span (Wasik et al., 2009). This information can then be used to develop targeted interventions to improve attention span and academic performance in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs.
2. What interventions are effective in improving attention spans in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs (Raver, 2002)? This question is important because it will help to identify the most effective strategies for addressing this problem and improving academic outcomes for these students.
3. What are the long-term effects of interventions to improve attention span on academic performance and success in pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs (Raver, 2002)? Attention span is an essential aspect of learning, and it is crucial to understand how interventions to improve it can impact academic performance and success in pre-kindergarten students (Vaughn, 2002).
Pre-kindergarten students are in a crucial stage of their development and are starting to lay the foundation for their future academic careers (Gathercole et al., 2008). Thus, it is essential to understand the impact of interventions to improve attention span on their academic performance and Success (Wasik et al., 2009). This information can provide valuable insights into the development of early childhood education programs, particularly in Head-start programs, where many children from low-income families receive their education. The research question also highlights the importance of considering the long-term effects of interventions (Raver, 2002). While short-term gains in attention span may be observed, it is essential to understand the sustainability of these gains and their impact on academic performance and success over time. Such information can improve the development of early childhood education programs and guide future research in this area.
4. How does parental involvement specifically impact the attention span of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs while they are engaged in reading activities?
The role of parental involvement in a child’s education cannot be overstated (Gathercole et al., 2008). The quality and quantity of parental involvement can profoundly impact a child’s academic performance and Success (Gathercole et al., 2008).
In the case of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs, it is important to understand how parental involvement impacts their attention span. At the same time, they are engaged in reading activities (Ludwig & Phillips, 2007). It is a crucial area of inquiry, as attention span plays a crucial role in learning and development, particularly during the early years of a child’s education.
To understand the impact of parental involvement on attention span in pre-kindergarten students, it is necessary to consider a range of factors that may influence this relationship (Raver, 2002). For example, the quality of parent-child interactions, the type of support provided by parents, and the level of engagement of parents in their child’s reading activities are all factors that may impact attention span (Pianta et al., 2021). Factors such as the child’s temperament, cultural background, and socioeconomic status may also impact this relationship.
By exploring the impact of parental involvement on attention span in pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs, the study can contribute to a deeper understanding of the importance of parental involvement in early childhood education and provide practical insights into how to improve the educational experiences of young children (Gathercole et al., 2008). This knowledge can inform the development of effective interventions and programs aimed at improving attention span and academic performance in pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs, ultimately contributing to the success and well-being of these children (Raver, 2002).
In conclusion, by formulating well-defined research questions, the study will be better equipped to address the problem area and make meaningful contributions to the literature (Rapport et al., 2001). By answering these questions, the study will provide valuable insights into the factors contributing to short attention spans and effective strategies for addressing this issue in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs (Raver, 2002). Additionally, the research questions provide a comprehensive and focused direction for the study, and their answers can contribute significantly to the body of knowledge in early childhood education (Pianta et al., 2021). By exploring the long-term effects of interventions aimed at improving attention span, the study can provide valuable insights into the development of early childhood education programs and help improve pre-kindergarten students’ academic performance and Success in Head-start programs. Comment by Dr Shery Bennett: You have two in conclusions. Here and below combine and minimize. The focus is the research questions.
Attention span in reading is a critical factor in literacy development in pre-K students. To ensure that students in a Head-start program have the best chance at success, it is important to focus on strategies to improve their attention spans in reading (Baue & Schanzenbach, 2016). This literature will provide an overview of the research on attention spans in reading and suggest various strategies to help improve the attention spans of pre-K students in Head-start programs (Strand et al., 2019).
Research has shown that several key factors can influence pre-K students’ attention spans in reading. One factor is the quality of the reading material (Kerns et al., 1999). Materials with interesting topics, engaging illustrations, and interactive activities can help to keep pre-K students engaged and help them sustain their attention spans (Kim et al., 2018). Another factor is the length of the reading material; shorter text sections are more likely to keep pre-K students engaged than longer ones. Furthermore, the amount of time spent on reading can affect the attention spans of pre-K students (Vaughn, 2002). Research has shown that students who read for short periods with frequent breaks can better sustain their attention spans than those who read for longer periods without breaks.
Various strategies can be employed to help improve the attention spans of pre-K students in Head-start programs (Antzaka et al., 2017; Armstrong, 2017). First, selecting high-quality materials with interesting topics and engaging illustrations is important. Additionally, text sections should be kept short, with frequent breaks in between (Bauer& Schanzenbach, 2016). Teachers can also provide activities to help support the reading material, such as drawing or colouring activities related to the text. Furthermore, providing students with positive feedback and recognition for their efforts can keep them motivated and engaged. Finally, allowing students to share their thoughts and ideas about the material can help further engage them and keep their attention.
Conclusion Comment by Dr Shery Bennett: Include what you had above and minimize
In conclusion, attention span in reading is an important factor in literacy development in pre-K students (Brown et al., 2005). To help improve the attention spans of pre-K students in Head-start programs, it is important to focus on selecting high-quality materials with interesting topics and engaging illustrations, as well as providing students with activities to support the reading material, positive feedback and recognition, and an opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas (Barkley, 2002). With these strategies, pre-K students in Head-start programs can be given the best chance at success.
The following research questions will be researched in this study:
1. What are the underlying causes of short attention spans in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs?
2. What interventions are effective in improving attention spans in pre-kindergarten students in Head Start programs?
3. What are the long-term effects of interventions to improve attention span on academic performance and success in pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs?
4. How does parental involvement specifically impact the attention span of pre-kindergarten students in Head-start programs while they are engaged in reading activities?
Chapter 3: Methodology Comment by Dr Shery Bennett: This is not required for the proposal development. You can not work on this until you fix the paraphrasing of all the sources you have in chapter 2.
In this chapter, it is strongly recommended that only methodological textbooks and articles be cited as references when justifying methodological choices and decisions.]
Aim of the Study
This section should be a minimum of a paragraph and should include a restatement of the purpose of the study and the expected contributions of the proposed investigation to the field.
Qualitative Research Approach
Provide some background to the approach/ design (narrative, phenomenology, case study, ethnography, historical studies, grounded theory, etc.) and why this is an appropriate strategy for your research. This section should include the following (with references from methodological textbooks/ articles): (a) identify and describe the approach/ design to be used; (b) provide some background information about the approach/ design (e.g., its discipline of origin, applications, and for phenomenology, the specific type, whether transcendental, IPA, etc.); (c) discuss why it is an appropriate approach/ design, and (d) describe how the use of this approach/ design will inform the sources of data collection, and the steps of data analysis.
Consistent with the purpose statement and the research questions, (a) identify the relevant characteristics of the participants (this should also include demographic information such as age, gender, ethnicity, etc.); (b) state and justify the number of participants (including inclusion and exclusion criteria); (c) discuss the type of sampling (e.g., purposive, criterion, snowball, etc.) with methodological references to support this decision; (d) describe the research site where you will recruit participants, and (e) your role in the research site, if applicable (e.g. organization, online platform, etc.)
Data Collection and Instruments
Identify data sources (individual interviews, focus group interviews, observations, documents, visual and audio materials, etc.) Describe in detail and justify each data collection method and the data collection instrument used. If you developed or modified the instrument, describe the process in detail, including references that influenced its development and how you established trustworthiness/validity of the instrument.
[Write up each instrument under a separate 3rd level APA heading.] Some of the commonly-used instruments in qualitative research include, the interview protocol (sometimes referred to as questionnaire or interview guide), observation checklist and data extraction form (sometimes referred to as document checklist or document form). Include relevant information pertaining to each instrument such as the source or developers of the instrument. Permission for use of the instrument in your study must be granted by the developer or you must state why permission was not necessary. Both the instrument and permission letter or email must be included in the appendix section. If an original instrument is created, you must identify the influencing literature. Next, describe how the instrument was validated. Ensure that your validation process includes an expert review panel and the pilot testing of your instrument with your intended participant group.
[Do note that the pilot testing can only be done after preliminary IRB approval and information collected during the pilot study, cannot be considered as data for your study, nor should pilot study individuals be included as participants in your study. After conducting the pilot study you will need to submit the revised instrument for final IRB approval to begin data collection.]
Specifically, this is the “how-to” section of the chapter; a detailed description of the process of data collection based on the research questions. This begins from the final IRB approval, through the recruitment, the consent process, the data collection (describing the number of interview/ observation sessions, length and location of these sessions, and process of document collection if doing document analysis) through the member checking process checking. This section should read like a step-by-step recipe of how the study will be conducted. This section could also include a timeline of the data collection process and should be detailed enough to be replicated by another researcher.
This section should be a minimum of 2-3 pages. Please note that this section can later be copied and pasted when completing your online IRB application]
Describe how you will organize all your qualitative data (interview transcripts, document forms, observation checklists, etc.) including the transcription process if interviews were conducted, as well as your audit trail. Then, identify the model for data analysis (Saldana’s model, IPA, VSAIEEDC, etc.) and describe the steps involved in conducting analysis of your data. If data will be collected from multiple sources, explain the data analysis model/ strategy for each. If using a qualitative data analysis software (NVivo, MAXQDA, Quirkos, ATLAS.ti, Dedoose, etc.), discuss the specific qualitative software, Make sure that the language used when describing the analysis is reflective of the approach/ design used for the study. For example, a phenomenological study has specific language when describing the stages of analysis.
This section should describe all the steps you will take to maintain ethical standards of the study. This includes voluntary participation and ability to withdraw at any time without penalty, steps taken to preserve anonymity and security of the data (password protected, encrypted, etc.). In qualitative research, ethical considerations must also include the power differential between the researcher and participant, and how this will be addressed.
This section should demonstrate aspects of the trustworthiness of both the data and the analysis. What makes the finding of your study credible? Steps taken to check the accuracy of the data collected and the interpretation might include the following: (a) member checking—asking participants to check the accuracy of the data and/or the findings (b) triangulation of the data – using corroborating evidence, (c) memos – notes while conducting interviews or immediately after, (d) field notes – making notes throughout the entire research process to document your thinking and decision-making.
Potential Research Bias
In this section, describe your own biases related to the topic, describe your personal and professional experiences with, and perceptions about your research topic and lingering questions that remain, that led you to conduct this investigation. Also, explain how you will manage potential bias, utilizing strategies such as bracketing/ epoché, journaling, etc.
Include any limitations, restrictions, or constraints that may affect the dissertation outcomes. Limitations are not necessarily negative but rather make explicit the boundaries of the investigation, particularly as it pertains to recruitment and data collection. For example, the sample size in qualitative research is typically small, hence, it should not be considered a limitation. However, if during recruitment, the intended sample size was not achieved then it can be discussed as a limitation.
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Chapter 4: Findings Comment by Dr Shery Bennett: Leave this here for the final paper.
This chapter usually has the most variation in its organization. Begin with an introductory paragraph to describe how you will present your findings in this chapter. Then, restate you research questions, as well as the research approach that you have used. This chapter present your data that should include quotes from interviews with participants and/or selected texts from analyzed documents, as evidence of the significant findings and themes. These are generated from analyses of your transcripts, documents, observation checklists and/ or other data sources.
Chapter 5: Discussion Comment by Dr Shery Bennett: You will just retain the this for final paper,
In this chapter, you will interpret your findings from Chapter 4 (with references). Incorporate the following: (a) preconceptions and ideas as discussed in your introduction as well as through the analysis process (with references), (b) place your findings in the context of the existing literature and in some cases, practice (with references). (c) how your findings are similar or dissimilar to previous research findings.
This is the where we hear your voice in the dissertation. Include the following:
Meanings and understandings
· Implications of the study
· Relevance of the study
Interpretations and reflection:
· Significance and substance
· Importance to discipline
· Critique of findings with recommendations for change and future research
Last Name, F. I. (date).
References should be included in correct APA style (7th ed.).
Make sure to use a hanging indent and to double space the entire reference list. Please include the DOI as a URL if it is available. As a reminder the city of publication is no longer included.
Smith, J., & Creswell, R. (date).
Make sure references are in alphabetical order and the hyperlink is in plain, black font (no underlining or blue font). To do this hit Enter after you type the URL and then go back and remove the underlining and change the font to black.
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