Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Special Education

First Committee Member

Nancy Sileo

Number of Pages



Teachers of preschool-aged children influence the development of preschool-aged children. As more children are enrolled in preschool centers, teachers of preschool-aged children need to be equipped with many strategies to encourage child development. One way teachers can encourage child development is to provide activities and structure so the child will engage with the environment; This study examined the effects of training teachers of preschool-aged children to use selective attention and how training effected child engagement during circle time activities. Two classrooms in each of two preschool centers were selected. Teachers were trained on how to use the selective attention approach while measuring teachers' use of verbal praise and praise cues. Verbal praise and praise cues were used as contingent teacher attention on children exhibiting circle time expectations. Specific definitions of verbal praise and praise cues are provided. It was hypothesized that teachers' use of selective attention would increase as well as child engagement in circle time activities; Four teachers were trained on how to implement selective attention. The rate of verbal praise and praise cues was measured. Six children in each classroom (n=24) were observed. A momentary time sampling procedure was used to collect data relating to child engagement. All teacher and child observations were video taped. Teacher training sessions were also videotaped; Findings suggested the four teachers increased the use of selective attention via verbal praise and praise cues. Though, teacher participant three did not improve her use of praise cues. Implementing the selective attention approach in preschool classrooms did not have an effect on child engagement. Child engagement data showed variable levels of engagement in baseline and intervention.


Attention; Behavior; Behavior Management; Child; Effects; Preschool; Selective; Selective Attention; Teachers

Controlled Subject

Early childhood education; Special education

File Format


File Size

4976.64 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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