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ERIC Number: ED407155
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Acquisition of Some Conversational Time Concepts by Pre-School Children.
Scott, Catherine
This study explored children's development of a "mental time line" and considered the propositions that younger children view the temporal domain as bi-polar, while older children display signs of using finer gradations on their mental time ruler that approach conventional structures of clock and calendar time. Subjects were a group of Sydney (Australia) children aged three to six years attending day care, with 20 children in each age group (3,4,5,6 years giving a sample size of 80). Children were asked to identify something that "happened a long time ago," something that is "going to happen a long time from now," something that "happened a little while ago" and something that will "happen in a little while." Results suggested that older children were more likely to give valid responses to the questions. For each pair of questions (long/short time in past; long/short time in future), valid responses were compared to determine if events cited differed appropriately in their distance from the present. There was a strong tendency for 3-year-olds to give examples to pairs of recall and prediction questions that came from the same "place" on the temporal ruler, with this tendency diminishing markedly after 3 years of age. Older children showed signs of more finely divided temporal rulers and greater mastery of markedness. The use of conventional ways of time measurement and of naming temporal locations and intervals was unusual, but usage increased with age. Precise location of events using conventional terminology was more frequent for recent versus distant events. There was increased differentiation of the past and the future with increasing age. (KDFB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A