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ERIC Number: ED308933
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Jun
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Understanding of the Distinction between Natural and Crafted Objects.
Chen, J. Q.; And Others
This study examined whether evidence for understanding the distinction between natural and man-made aspects of the world can be found in young children. Children 3, 5, and 7 years of age were asked to make judgments about the origins of 12 objects and people's ability to change the objects. The objects were evenly divided into naturally occurring objects such as clouds and mountains, and man-made objects such as helicopters and spoons. Results suggested that the youngest children were unable to answer the origins questions correctly, while members of both older groups were able to do so. More children in all three age groups correctly indicated the origins of man-made objects more frequently than of naturally occurring ones. When asked whether people could change the objects pictured in the photographs, the youngest answered that they could not, while the older children answered that they could. Crafted objects were seen as more amenable to change than natural ones. For positive responses to the change question, age differences were found in kinds of suggested alterations consistent with earlier observations about children's conceptual development from perceptual to functional changes. Children in all age groups correctly categorized unfamiliar objects despite their inability to identify them correctly. It is concluded that by the age of 7 years, children seem able to differentiate between natural and man-made objects. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A