ERIC Number: ED220214
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Length Versus Distance: Bridging Gaps in Preschoolers' Knowledge.
Miller, Kevin; Baillargeon, Renee
The Piagetian finding that young children believe objects to be closer together when part of the distance between the objects is covered was explored among subjects of 3, 4, 5, and 6 years of age. In a standard Piagetian task, children were presented with two blocks of wood and asked whether they were "near together" or "far apart." A screen was placed over part of the distance between the blocks, and children were asked whether the blocks were "nearer together,""farther apart," or "still the same distance." Three distances were used (12, 18, 24, and 36 inches); six trials were presented at each distance with screens varying in height, width, and orientation. A second task required the child to choose a stick that would exactly fit between two blocks placed at three of the distances used in the Piagetian task. Results indicate that some understanding of the relationship between distance and length exists approximately 2 years earlier than indicated by performance on the Piagetian task. It is suggested that Gibson's ecological view--that organisms are primarily attuned to determining what the environment affords them--could provide the basis for a theory of transition into successful performance on Piagetian concrete-operational tasks. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Concrete Operations; Length; Piagetian Tasks
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (90th, Washington, DC, August 23-27, 1982).