ERIC Number: ED097134
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1969-Dec-12
Reference Count: N/A
Methods of Investigating Cognitive Development of Children in Rural Kenya: Some Kamba Results. Staff Paper.
Fjellman, Janet S.
Very little cognitive development research has been done among African children, and most of the completed studies have relied on "translated" versions of Western test materials that are inappropriate to the African milieu. This paucity of research has had two affects: (1) rural African children have been represented as somewhat less advanced mentally than Western children; and (2) it has kept researchers from discerning whether the patterns of development discovered among Western children are truly universal or merely a product of Western cultural and educational systems. Described are methods developed to study how Kamba children in Kangundo, Machakos (Kenya), acquired adult semantic categories and to investigate the child's learning of certain aspects of logical thinking. Animals were chosen as a semantic domain familiar to Kamba children. The domain's structure was described, using Kikamba-speaking adults as informants who were asked to match "those which are alike" and to give their reasons for the groups they formed. Next, four sorting tests were administered to 30 Akamba children, ages 6, 7, 9, and 12. Some tentative findings were that not surprisingly, children learn more adult dimensions as they get older, and the younger child's sorting ability far exceeded his ability to verbalize the reasons, particularly with very familiar animals. (NQ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Nairobi Univ. (Kenya). Bureau of Educational Research.
Identifiers - Location: Kenya