ERIC Number: ED154904
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Effect of Message Structure in Verbal Instructions to Kindergarten Children.
Partridge, Mary Janice; And Others
This study examines the effects of different kinds of verbal instructions given by teachers on the performance of young children, investigating whether task performance is significantly affected by small changes in verbal content or in the sequence of components of an instruction. Kindergarten children (48 boys and 52 girls) were randomly assigned to four groups and required to complete ten tasks involving selected tracing of geometric shapes. Each group received one of four kinds of instruction: (1) simple core instruction, a positive statement of the task to be completed; (2) simple core instruction with the implicit negative "just" included; (3) simple core instruction followed by an explicitly negative statement; and (4) simple core instruction preceded by the explicit negative. Subsequently, the Development Test of Visual-Motor Integration was administered. Results indicated that instruction types 1 and 4 produced superior performance relative to instruction type 3. No other contrasts were significant. Results suggest that teachers should be aware of the effects of small differences in messages on the performance of young children. (CM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Educational Research Inst. of British Columbia, Vancouver.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Toronto, Canada, March 27-31, 1978)