ERIC Number: ED073412
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1972-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Effects of Number of Positive and Negative Instances, Concept Definition, and Emphasis of Relevant Attributes on the Attainment of Three Environmental Concepts by Sixth-Grade Children: Report from the Conditions of Learning and Instruction Component of Program 1. Technical Report No. 244.
Swanson, James Edward
Three main studies were conducted to determine the effects of certain independent variables (number of positive and negative instances, presence or absence of a concept definition specifying the defining attributes, and presence or absence of emphasis of relevant attributes) on the learning of environmental concepts. Sixth-grade children who participated in the experiments each read a series of three printed lessons and took four tests dealing with the concepts population, habitat, and community. Five dependent measures were used to assess concept attainment: recognition of new concept instances and non-instances, overgeneralization, undergeneralization, recognition of the concept definition, and knowledge of interrelationships among concepts. Results included: (1) presenting examples and non-examples in a rational teaching set promoted correct classification of unencountered instances; (2) removal of negative instances from the rational teaching set resulted in significant overgeneralization; and (3) providing a concept definition with the rational set of 3 or 4 instances and 3 or 4 non-instances was not more effective in promoting concept learning than providing the rational set alone. (Author/SK)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Research and Development Centers Branch.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Research and Development Center for Cognitive Learning.