Shelly Patrick Presents Research at Symposium

Study looks at the use of personal encouragement in regulating the behavior of preschool students.  


Shelly Patrick ’09 presented, “Personal Encouragement in Preschool Students” at the Symposium for Artists & Scholars on April 17, 2009 at Randolph College.

Patrick conducted the research project with her faculty mentor, Peggy Schimmoeller, associate professor of education, while an undergraduate student at Randolph College.

An abstract of her project follows...

The ability to regulate negative emotions and impulsive reactions is one of the important components for children’s social-emotional competence. This action research project was designed to minimize noise while preschoolers moved through the halls in a public elementary school. Baseline data that recorded behaviors that occurred while lining up and walking down the hall was collected ten times over a period of one week. Personal encouragement was then used with a subgroup of children to determine if the encouragement would decrease inappropriate behaviors. Preliminary analyses on preschool data indicates significant differences between the baseline data and the intervention data. Personal encouragement reduced acting-out behaviors, resulting in students’ ability to self-regulate while encouragement was given by the teacher. However, children found it difficult to sustain self-regulation without adult support.

The Student Symposium of Artists and Scholars provides Randolph College students from all classes and disciplines the opportunity to present the results of their research, scholarship, and creative work to the entire College community and beyond.

The two-day symposium, modeled after a typical academic conference, features oral presentations of student research, readings of creative work, musical performances, and exhibitions of student artwork. The symposium also includes a poster session, reception and a keynote address from a noteworthy academic speaker.

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