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July 1967

The Child Who Does Not Finish His Work

Author Affiliations

Goshen, Conn
From the Housatonic Psychiatric Center, Lakeville, Conn.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;17(1):9-15. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730250011003

WHEN CHILDREN begin school, they do so with varying degrees of readiness for the expectations of the classroom. One aspect of that readiness is the child's capacity to attend to, and complete, the seat work expected of him.

When the first-grade teacher assigns a task to the children most of them will perform it, requiring only group supervision. There are usually a few children who find the task tedious and require individual reminders to keep at it. There will often be one or two children who disregard individual reminders, and who will work only when the teacher is standing by their desk. Since primary-grade teachers do not have the time to supervise the child so closely, he may establish a pattern of failing to finish his work.

The seat work expected of first-grade children is minimal. When however, these children reach second or