ERIC Number: ED167293
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Reference Count: 0
A Comparison of Children's Spatial Reasoning: Rural Appalachia, Suburban and Urban New England.
Norman, Dennis K.
This study compared the developmental levels of spatial concepts in children from three different environments in the United States. Matched groups of twenty 10-year-olds were selected from a rural Appalachian community, a middle-class suburban community, and a lower-middle-class urban community, and administered a Piaget-based map drawing task. Twenty separate elements, each of which is a spatial concept applied to a map feature, were assessed for developmental level (1-6). The element scores were partitioned by individual spatial concepts, feature clusters, modal levels, and mean map drawing averages. Analyses of variance were performed on the partitioned scores to compare the groups' developmental levels. Scheffe tests for determining all possible comparisons were then performed on the partitioned scores reaching significance between the groups. Results showed that the suburban and urban groups did not differ on any of the elements of the task, and that the Appalachian children performed better than both groups on all elements. These findings support research that has demonstrated environmental influences on cognitive development. This has been interpreted as evidence that urban/suburban environments in the U.S. are not optimal for the development of all cognitive skills. (Author/MP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Spatial Concepts
Note: Based on thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for master's degree, Tufts University; Portions of paper were presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (San Francisco, California, March 15-18, 1979) ; Best copy available