Graduate Program

School Psychology

Degree Name

Specialist in School Psychology

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Gary L. Canivez


Learning behaviors, "observable behavior patterns that children display as they approach and undertake school learning tasks" (Yen, Konold, and McDermott, 2004, p. 159) and "the degree to which children adopt beneficial approaches to learning" (Rikoon, McDermott, & Fantuzzo, 2012, p. 273) have been shown to account for a substantial amount of variance in academic achievement and add predictive validity for future academic achievement. Prediction of academic achievement is vital when making individual decisions concerning academic placement, diagnosis, early intervention, and student selection (Yen, Konold, & McDermott, 2004). The current study assessed the concurrent criterion validity of the Learning-to-Learn Scales (LTLS) using the Mountain Shadows Phonemic Awareness Scale (MS-PAS) as a criterion in a kindergarten and preschool sample. Participants included 88 students and 11 teachers from five schools (two public elementary schools, two public preschools, and one private preschool) located in central Illinois. Preschool and Kindergarten teachers completed the LTLS and students were administered the Mountain Shadows Phonemic Awareness Scale. Results provided support for the LTLS, including Strategic Planning, Effectiveness Motivation, Interpersonal Responsiveness in Learning, Vocal Engagement in Learning, Sustained Focus in Learning, Acceptance of Novelty, and Group Learning as they were skills moderately associated with phonemic awareness skills of preschool and kindergarten students as measured by the Mountain Shadows Phonemic Awareness Scale. Further, phonemic awareness performance was moderately related to learning behaviors and the current study provided evidence of LTLS validity based on the correlations with the MS-PAS.