ERIC Number: ED313111
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Young Children's Problem-Solving Strategies: An Observational Study. Alternative Assessments of Handicapped Children: A Series of Technical Reports and Working Papers. Technical Report No. 1.
Burns, Susan; And Others
The purpose of this study was to identify features of young children's behavior that contribute to effective problem solving. A total of 24 children 4 and 5 years of age, half from low socioeconomic status (SES) families and half from high, were observed while performing perceptual/performance cognitive tasks. Five tasks were presented. All test sessions were videotaped, and observers coded behavior using a continuous time sampling procedure. Three mutually exclusive state codes measured duration of behavior; these were attention, attention and on-task manipulation, and off-task behavior. Five event codes measured task talk, visual scanning, trial and error responding, impulsive responding, and helpless confirmation seeking. Frequency of behavior that reflected problem solving strategies was recorded. Findings revealed that two of the behavior categories, "helpless confirmation seeking" and "task talk," were associated with 77 percent of the variance in test performance. Significant SES differences were found in all of the five categories of observed behavior, except "task talk." Results are discussed in terms of functional variables that are responsible for SES differences in performance.(RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.; Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: George Peabody Coll. for Teachers, Nashville, TN. John F. Kennedy Center for Research on Education and Human Development.
Note: For Technical Report No. 2, see PS 018 321.