ERIC Number: ED361121
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Using the Notion of a Central Conceptual Structure To Explain the Development of Children's Understanding of Human Behaviour.
By the age of 4, children typically have separate schema for relating events in the physical world and for relating events to associated mental states. Generally, these schema cannot be coordinated until around 6 years of age, when the ability to use them together yields a structure for assigning intentionality. This intentional structure develops until by adolescence the capacity exists for interpreting personal/character traits and history. These social structures develop throughout early and middle childhood and adolescence and are subject to societal processing constraints. To determine variations in development across cultural and class lines, a comparison was undertaken of performance in story composition and identification by middle socio-economic status (SES) children in Canada, the United States, and Japan and low-SES children in North America. While little difference was found in central social structure for the middle-SES groups in the three countries, low-SES group performance on tasks measuring central intentional structure was considerably below that of the middle-SES subjects. This difference might stem from differences between middle and low SES parent language usage, with middle groups using questions to have children display known information (similar to standard classroom questioning) and treating events in a decontextualized manner, thus aiding the development of children's intentional structure. (Charts of cognitive structures, tables, and 31 references are included.) (BCY)
Descriptors: Child Development, Children, Cognitive Processes, Cognitive Structures, Comparative Analysis, Concept Formation, Cross Cultural Studies, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Foreign Countries, Performance Factors, Piagetian Theory, Preschool Children, Preschool Education, Social Cognition, Socioeconomic Status, Story Telling, Thinking Skills
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario).
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; Japan; United States