ERIC Number: ED308958
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Be Successful without Understanding? The Acquisition of Game Strategies by 7- to 15-Year-Old Children.
Cauzinille-Marmeche, E.; Mathieu, J.
Identified and formalized were two distinct learning strategies employed by 120 children between 7 and 15 years of age who played a simple, computerized board game. "Hexapawn" is played by moving pawns in turn on a 3 x 3 grid, in order to be the first to reach the opponent's starting line or block the opponent. The computer always moved first. For subjects, moving second, there existed an optimal strategy which guaranteed success regardless of the computer's strategy. Alternating central and lateral attacks, the computer won only when the player made errors. Subjects played until they had won seven consecutive games, or had played 25 games. Analysis of modifications of subjects' performances across a series of games suggested two different learning models: (1) a deductive model used predominantly by 11- through 15-year-olds; and (2) a rule-based model used predominantly by the youngest subjects. In the deductive model, the acquisition of a good strategy is based on a logical analysis of successes and failures, implying an increasingly sophisticated goal structure, and progressively deeper anticipation processes. In the rule-based model, the evolution of game strategies proceeds from a hypothesis testing process applied to the possible moves in the different board positions. This model expresses a context-bound strategy which consists of locating the critical situations. A developmental trend was observed from the rule-based model to the deductive model. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: France