ERIC Number: ED406047
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Developments in Planning: Children Respond to Contextual Change.
Whitfield, Lisa Cramer; Presson, Clark C.
In two studies, children participated in route-planning tasks in which they were asked to find the shortest path to retrieve certain items. In Study 1, children participated in two versions of the task (standard versus feedback) differing in the amount of contextual support. Forty-eight children, ages 6, 8, and 10 years, had to help their character find the shortest route to a wizard's house on a gameboard, while avoiding dragons and collecting a boat or car to cross the river, three pots of gold, and a key. In the standard condition, the benefits associated with planning were not concrete. In the feedback condition, children received a concrete reward for efficient routes. Results indicated that 8- and 10-year-olds were near ceiling in route efficiency on both tasks. Six-year-olds were less efficient than older children, but produced more efficient routes in the feedback versus standard task. Six-year-olds spent less time studying the array than 8-year-olds but not less than 10-year-olds. However, 10-year-olds were more efficient than 6-year-olds, suggesting more productive study time. In Study 2, a total of 32 children, 7 and 9 years of age, described their plans before acting, but were later informed about changes in the nature of the routes. Children had to decide whether a change in plans was necessary, and, if so, how to modify their original plans. Findings indicated that children at both ages were proficient at determining when plan changes were necessary. Detours made by 9-year-olds were more efficient than those of 7-year-olds. The quality of detours used also showed age-related differences. (KDFB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (62nd, Washington, DC, April 3-6, 1997).