ERIC Number: ED151672
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Aug-30
Reference Count: 0
A Profile of the Cognitive Development of Freshman Engineering Students.
American college students are highly diverse with respect to formal intellectual development. This diversity can present educators with a difficult challenge, especially in fields that depend heavily on mathematics. The Cognitive Development Project at the University of Massachusetts is an attempt to foster the development of formal operational problem-solving skills among engineering students. As a first step in the program a written diagnostic test was given to the 400 students of the entering Fall 1976 freshman class. Areas of formal logic were: ratio reasoning; separation and control of variables; if-then reasoning; and transformations of frame of reference. This paper presents a profile of the freshman Engineering class as it appeared in September 1976. In addition to the Piagetian measures already mentioned, conventional indicators of scholastic performance are included (S.A.T. scores, first semester grade point average, and level of mathematical skill). Correlations between these various measures are presented and discussed. These statistics provide a framework for consideration of the following two questions: (1) To what extent is formal operational ability related to our traditional concept of scholastic aptitude? (2) Do formal skills tend to be developed in isolated context areas or do they generally extend to all areas? (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (San Francisco, California, August 26-30, 1977)