ERIC Number: ED244806
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
A Comparison of the Development of Spatial Conceptual Abilities of Students from Two Cultures.
Cohen, Herbert G.
Efforts are underway to determine if there are any unique ways to Navajo thinking and thus to the way they might learn. Studies have shown a consistent lag in achievement levels for Native Americans, especially after seventh grade. At least three possible explanations for this phenomenon are viable: (1) They are deficient in the needed skills to learn school subjects. (2) They have a different pattern for learning and processing information compared to individuals in the dominant culture. (3) They possess a world view vastly different from Americans at large. Therefore, this investigation examined whether there are time delays or time advances in the development of selected spatial abilities of a Navajo student sample compared to an equivalent non-American Indian student sample. A battery of 10 Piagetian-type tasks (designed to examine projective and Euclidean spatial thinking abilities) was administered to students in grade 6 (N=22), grade 8 (N=20), and grade 10 (N=24). Results indicate that Navajo students' spatial ability develops at approximately the same rate as does spatial conceptual ability of non-American Indian students. Therefore, further investigation must be pursued to determine which factor or factors underlie the lag in achievement levels. (Author/JN)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Piagetian Tasks; Science Education Research
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (57th, New Orleans, LA, April 27-30, 1984).