Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 71–78 | Cite as

Positive Approaches to Learning in the Context of Preschool Classroom Activities



Positive approaches to learning are considered essential for young children’s school readiness and early school success. Researchers have reported that positive learning approaches, such as attentiveness and goal orientation, are associated with higher levels of early school achievement in math and reading. The present study extends this research by examining children’s learning approaches in the context of classroom activities from a range of curricular areas. Ninety-two children from pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms took part in the study. Four approaches to learning were rated during children’s participation in seven classroom learning activities. Results showed that positive learning approaches were a significant contributor to children’s performance, but they were not equally effective in all activities. The effectiveness of a learning approach depends, in part, on the characteristics of the activity in which the child is engaged. We discuss the implications of these results for understanding the study of learning approaches, and for classroom practices designed to promote their development.


Approaches to learning Young children Classroom context School performance Socio-cultural perspective 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School in Child DevelopmentErikson InstituteChicagoUSA

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