ERIC Number: ED213528
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Age Differences in Symbolic Representation: Fluidity in Representational Construction.
This paper reports a cross-sectional, developmental study of the fluidity of children's mental functioning (representational skills) in contexts involving the representational use of blocks. Data were collected from a sample of 40 children from a laboratory school: 20 four-year-olds and 20 seven-year-olds, with an equal number of boys and girls in each group. Each child was taken to an experimental room and was invited to play with a set of table-top building blocks while answering questions about prior experience with block play. After returning the blocks to their box, the child was directed to listen closely to the story of "Little Red Cap." Subsequently, the child was told to use the blocks to represent the story. Children's block construction behavior was videotaped. Upon completion of the construction task, the child was asked to describe in detail what the blocks showed. The children's descriptions were recorded and photos of all block representations were taken. If the judges determined that the first-placed block appeared to be reoriented in space in the course of construction, they categorized the child as "fluid." Initial analyses indicated that four-year-olds' constructions were more frequently "fluid" than were seven-year-olds' constructions. Among four-year-olds only, sex differences were found. Boys' constructions were more fluid than girls'. Post hoc analysis revealed that most reorientations or fluid constructions were due to blocks falling. Results are discussed. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Blocks; Symbolic Representation
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development (Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 17-21, 1981).