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ERIC Number: EJ1007417
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Children's Sensitivity to the Knowledge Expressed in Pedagogical and Nonpedagogical Contexts
Gelman, Susan A.; Ware, Elizabeth A.; Manczak, Erika M.; Graham, Susan A.
Developmental Psychology, v49 n3 p491-504 Mar 2013
The present studies test 2 hypotheses: (1) that pedagogical contexts especially convey generic information (Csibra & Gergely, 2009) and (2) that young children are sensitive to this aspect of pedagogy. We examined generic language (e.g., "'Elephants' live in Africa") in 3 studies, focusing on informational versus narrative children's books (Study 1), the language of 6-year-old children and adults assuming either a pedagogical (teacher) or nonpedagogical (friend) role (Study 2), and the language of 5-year-old children and adults speaking to either an ignorant alien (pedagogical context) or a peer (nonpedagogical context; Study 3). Results suggest that generics are more frequent in informational than narrative texts. Furthermore, both adults and young children provide more generic language in pedagogical contexts and when assuming a pedagogical role. Together, the studies demonstrate that pedagogical contexts are distinctive in conveying generic information and that children are sensitive to this aspect of the language input. We suggest that generic knowledge is more useful in making predictions about the future and thus more highly valued during instruction. (Contains 4 figures, 2 tables and 1 footnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada