ERIC Number: ED288785
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Emergence of Route Map Reading Skills in Young Children.
Frank, Rita E.
There is little agreement about how the ability to read route maps initially emerges and about how it should be stimulated by early childhood educators. This study assessed the route map reading behavior of young children and the basic skills that might contribute to that behavior. In individual videotaped sessions, 120 four, five, and six year olds, assigned to either a mimetic or itinerary map condition, used a series of four route maps (three pretraining; one experimental) to locate animals in a small-scale zoo. Each child's knowledge of basic spatial ability, symbol recognition, and metacognitive skills (thought to underlie map reading performance) was assessed during pretraining. During the experimental task, where and how often children referred back to the map for guidance and contingent route traversal success, was measured. Three questions were asked: (1) What was the initial level of mastery of each skill? (2) What was the level of mastery after explicit instruction? and (3) What was the relationship of possession of these skills to successful map reading performance? Instruction improved the performance of all three age groups on all three map understanding measures. Results indicated that fragile map understanding and usage skills are emerging during the years from 4 to 6 and that the key to this emergence is an increasing capacity to successfully intercoordinate spatial ability, symbolization, and metacognitive skills. (Author/SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: An abbreviated version of this paper was presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Baltimore, MD, April 23-26, 1987).