Approaches to learning and school readiness in Head Start: Applications to preschool science

Andres S. Bustamante, Lisa J. White, Daryl B. Greenfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Approaches to learning are a set of domain-general skills that encompass curiosity, persistence, planning, and engagement in group learning. These skills play a key role in preschoolers' learning and predict school readiness in math and language. Preschool science is a critical domain for early education and facilitates learning across domains. However, no studies to date have examined how approaches to learning affect science outcomes in preschoolers. This study addressed this gap in the literature by testing predictive associations between approaches to learning and gains in science, as well as, math, vocabulary, and listening comprehension, across the school year, in a sample of preschoolers from low-income families. Results indicated that approaches to learning significantly predicted gains in science, and trended towards predicting gains in math, but not vocabulary or listening comprehension. These findings highlighted the potential of approaches to learning to facilitate early science learning for children from low income families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-118
Number of pages7
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
StatePublished - May 2017


  • Approaches to learning
  • Domain-general skills
  • Head Start
  • Preschool science
  • School readiness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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