ERIC Number: ED085084
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1970-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Fixed-Sequence Hypothesis: Individual Differences in the Development of School Related Spatial Reasoning.
Feldman, David H.
In order to gather data bearing on the effects of individual differences of the "invariant stages" assumption of cognitive-developmental theory, 270 black, Chinese, and white subjects from 5th, 7th, and ninth grades were administered a new, 25-item, spatial reasoning task. It was predicted that age, ethnic group, and sex would significantly influence mean levels of achievement, but that analyses of patterns of item performance would reveal a similar sequence of concept and skill acquisition regardless of ethnic group means. These predictions were called the "fixed-sequence hypothesis". Age and ethnic group were significant influences on performance; sex was not. Scalogram analyses showed that each ethnic group's performance tended to form a scalable item set, but for a somewhat different ordering of the 25 items. Thus, the results were inconsistent with cognitive-developmental theory. It was condluded that individual differences are likely to affect development when sequences are highly task specific, but that the bulk of the evidence still supports a general sequence of stages in cognitive development. Implications for developmental theory, intelligence testing, and curriculum planning are discussed. (Author/DP)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Bureau of Education for the Handicapped (DHEW/OE), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Minnesota Univ., Minneapolis. Research, Development, and Demonstration Center in Education of Handicapped Children.