ERIC Number: ED252323
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Acquisition of Piagetian Concepts among Micronesian Children.
Mullen, Gail S.
Micronesian children residing on Truk and Kosrae were examined for performance on eight conservation tasks and on one task each of centration and reversibility (generally precursors of conservation in Piaget's theory of cognitive development). A total of 75 children were tested--33 in the village of Moen, Truk, and 42 in all the villages of Kosrae. Subjects ranged in age from 5 to 13 years; 45 were male and 30 were female. Each child was tested on performance during a single individually administered session. With the exception of two older Trukese children, who spoke English well, all were interviewed in their native language. Preliminary results indicated that Micronesian children lag significantly behind their Western counterparts in acquisition of certain concepts hypothesized by Piaget as critical to concrete operational thought; they also do not appear to acquire these concepts in the same order as American and European children. Though most younger Micronesian children cannot understand or read English, the subjects tested were attending schools patterned after those in the United States, had teachers educated by United States standards, and even used United States textbooks. The fact that the children's development of certain key concepts is several years behind United States norms was seen as possibly being the result of culture, as several researchers have suggested. It was also suggested that presenting Western educational materials to Micronesian children may be inappropriate. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Centration; Concept Acquisition; Micronesia; Pacific Trust Territory; Piagetian Reversibility; Piagetian Tasks; Piagetian Theory
Note: Paper presented at the International Congress on Mathematics Education V (Adelaide, Australia).