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ERIC Number: ED162761
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Role of Play in the Development of Insightful Tool-Using Strategies.
Vandenberg, Brian
This experiment investigates the relation of a free play experience to subsequent performance on problem solving tasks among children aged 4 to 10. Ninety children were divided into 3 age groups and were assigned in pairs of free play and non-play treatment conditions. Children were paired by block design test scores to control for perceptual motor differences. In the free play condition children were placed in the task setting and allowed to manipulate the experimental materials. Free play behavior was quantified by checklist guided observation. Children in the non-play condition were asked a series of questions about the materials. After treatments were individually administered, the child was given 2 tasks to perform. The most difficult task required the child to join sticks to get a colored block located behind a transparent barrier. The less difficult task required that the child remove a sponge from a transparent pipe. Increasingly informative hints were provided as required. Among the results it was found that the combined play group performed significantly better on the more difficult task. The 6- and 7-year-old children appeared to benefit most from the free play treatment. No relation was found between the number of acts performed in the free play condition and subsequent task performance. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Filmed from best available copy; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (86th, Toronto, Canada, August 28 - September 1, 1978)