ERIC Number: ED043395
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Preschool Child's Ability to Follow Directions.
Smothergill, Nancy L.
The first of this series of studies on the ability of young children to follow directions was designed to find out which is easier for a preschool child: to follow directions given only by demonstration or given only verbally. Subjects were 108 white, middle class, 4-year-olds enrolled in a nursery school. Each teacher tested the children in her class to determine their understanding of relational words and their ability to follow individual directions. Study results showed no significant difference between scores of children asked to follow a verbal command and those asked to follow directions given by demonstration. A second study investigated children's ability to follow either novel or additive sequential directions. There were 30 children in each group. It was found that children could handle significantly more directions in the additive condition than in the novel. A replication-extension of this study (40 subjects) showed that use of incentive did not increase the number of directions remembered. In another study, conditional directions scaled from easy to difficult were used and more than one-half the subjects successfully completed all of the conditional directions. A map study involving the need to follow symbolic code directions showed that children were able to use the code when the transfer of the code to the real life environment was fairly obvious. (NH)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Center for Educational Research and Development (DHEW/OE), Washington, DC. Div. of Educational Labs.
Authoring Institution: Syracuse Univ., NY. Syracuse Center for Research and Development in Early Childhood Education.
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Salt Lake City, Utah, November, 1969