ERIC Number: ED249461
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Developmental Stages in Children's Narrative Composition.
To relate the way in which children structure stories at different age levels to their performance on other tasks or to their general stage of cognitive development, a study required subjects of four age groups to participate in working memory tasks in two different paradigms and to generate stories involving a variety of characters. The structure of the stories was related to the general stage characteristics proposed by R. Case and to subjects' performance on the two measures of short-term memory. The 60 subjects (aged 4, 6, 8, and 10) were identified by teachers and by the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test as average in intelligence. The subjects were tested and scores on the memory tasks were obtained by averaging performance across levels. The stories generated by the subjects were tape recorded and transcribed. The first step of the analysis was to describe the structure of the stories at each of the four age levels, and determine how they were different. The story structures were described as story grammars, that stipulate a story as an episode or set of episodes temporarily or causally related. Data revealed different story structures at ages four, six, and eight, with some further development taking place at age ten. The findings suggest that elementary school aged children's narrative compositions proceed through a series of increasingly complex substages, and that a relationship exists between performance on the story tasks and on the two working memory tests. (CRH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Story Grammar
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (68th, New Orleans, LA, April 23-27, 1984).