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ERIC Number: ED422122
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Jul
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Comparison of the Types of Cooperative Problem Solving Behaviors in Four Learning Centers: Computer, Dramatic Play, Block, and Manipulative.
Anderson, Genan T.
This study examined the variation in children's choice of learning centers in a naturalistic, free-play setting. The study was designed to develop a realistic picture of how 4- and 5-year-olds interact in each of 4 settings (computer, dramatic play, block, and manipulative) to allow for comparison of their behaviors between genders and across settings. Children from two classrooms at a university preschool program made up the sample. Children were videotaped without their knowledge, and their social interactions were defined as disruptive, unoccupied, teacher interaction-child initiated, teacher interaction-teacher initiated, onlooker, solitary, parallel, or cooperative. Findings showed almost no disruptive behavior in any of the centers; the highest amount of conflict was coded in the block area, which also contained the highest amount of cooperative behavior. While the ratio of time spent in a center by gender was 3:4 minutes for the dramatic play, block, and manipulative centers (3 for boys and 4 for girls), the ratio in the computer center was 5.3:2.2 (5.3 for boys and 2.2 for girls). Although the software was screened for gender bias and the computer to child ratio was 2:21, boys spent 2 to 3 times more time than girls at the computer center. Girls engaged in a higher percentage of cooperative play than boys in the computer, dramatic, and manipulative centers. Findings suggested that modifications to computer centers may need to include opportunities for cooperation among children as well as software that includes female characters and themes. (Contains 20 references.) (EV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A