ERIC Number: ED234908
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Accessing Cognitive Skills in Preschool Children of Middle and Low Income Families.
Golomb, Claire; McLean, Lynn
The present study (1) explores the extent to which the standard format of the conservation assessment task may mask conserving abilities of preschoolers and (2) investigates how the wording of a typical conservation task may affect the type of justifications offered by children of two different socioeconomic backgrounds. Subjects included 48 4- to 6-year-old preschool and kindergarten children (25 girls and 23 boys). Half were from middle-class families, and the other half were from low-income families. The experimental design included three phases: a pretest to establish the nonconserving status of all participants, a limited conservation training intervention, and conservation posttests. Subjects were grouped by socioeconomic status and assigned to either the training condition or to one of the two control conditions. Results indicated that logical problem-solving strategies considered typical of the concrete operational period can be tapped at an earlier age, provided the task is structured in a manner that diminishes the role of irrelevant cues and facilitates the emergence of logical reasoning skills. It is concluded that findings supported Piaget's conception that reversible thought processes form the core of the solution to the conservation problem and that justifications emanate from a coordinated and reversible structure. Overall, low-income children performed as well as middle-class children, a fact that confirms the generality of the cognitive strengths uncovered. (BJD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cognitive Research; Piagetian Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Symposium of the Jean Piaget Society (12th, Philadelphia, PA, June 3-5, 1982).