Increasing on-task behaviour in preschool children in Hong Kong

Siu Wai Kitty MA

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


The aim of this study was to examine kindergarten teachers' perceptions of different classroom management techniques and the effectiveness of a behavioural intervention technique in increasing on-task behaviour in the preschool. This study consisted of two phases. In Phase One, 100 kindergarten teachers' completed a questionnaire about their beliefs upon preschool behavioural problems and their management. Results indicated that qualified and unqualified kindergarten teachers did not differ in their views about the etiology of behaviour problems and boys were reported to have more problems than girls. Although teachers perceived the use of rewards as an effective way to manage children's behaviour, punishment was still a popular way to deal with inappropriate behaviour. The majority of 66.9 % teachers reported using behavioural techniques in the preschool but they may not have been used consistently or effectively. In Phase Two, the effectiveness of a behavioural intervention in increasing on-task behaviour in the preschool classroom was examined. Six preschoolers and their teachers participated in a behavioural intervention to increase on-task behaviour during learning activities time. Children were observed for 25 sessions and a multiple baseline design across subjects was used. Children received positive reinforcement for staying on-task. Result indicated that the intervention was very successful in increasing the target behaviour. Further disruptive and inappropriate behaviour decreased and the quantity and quality of children's work was enhanced. These gains were maintained at the follow-up phase when the intervention was faded out. Participating teachers used more positive means of discipline in the classroom as a result of the intervention thereby favourably influencing the classroom climate.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1998


Ma, S. W. K. (1998, November). Increasing on-task behaviour in preschool children in Hong Kong. Poster session presented at the Hong Kong Educational Research Association (HKERA) 15th Annual Conference: Quality Education Across Disciplines, Systems and Regions, Hong Kong Baptist University, China.


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