Shy Preschool Children Learn Less Than Talkative Children

by Thilaka Ravi on Aug 30 2012 10:31 PM

Shy Preschool Children Learn Less Than Talkative Children
A new study has found overly shy and quiet preschool kids, who show withdrawal behaviour during their curriculum, are at greater academic risk than their talkative and boisterous peers.
The study conducted by the University of Miami is one of the first to follow the social and academic progress of children throughout the preschool year.

The report revealed that such children started out with the lowest academic skills and showed the slowest gains in academic learning skills across the year.

"Everybody wants their children to be ready for kindergarten, to know their ABCs and to be able to count, but they sometimes don't understand that having social-emotional readiness is equally important," Rebecca J. Bulotsky-Shearer, assistant professor of psychology at UM College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and principal investigator of the study, said.

The study suggests that children who are shy in the classroom have trouble engaging and learning.

"Preschool children who are very introverted tend to 'disappear within the classroom,'" Elizabeth R. Bell, doctoral candidate in developmental psychology, at UM and co-author of the study, said.

"It appears that while these children are not causing problems in the school, they are also not engaging in classroom activities and interactions, where almost all learning occurs during this age," she said.

On the other hand, the study also raise the possibility that kids who are loud and disruptive may be more likely to get teacher's attention and benefit from specific educational strategies.

"I think the children who show an extreme amount of shyness and are withdrawn are most at risk of getting missed," Bulotsky-Shearer added.

The study has been published in the Journal of School Psychology.