ERIC Number: EJ1145410
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
Do Teachers' Conflicting Testimonies Influence Children's Decisions about Unconventional Rules of Counting?
Enesco, Ileana; Rodríguez, Purificación; Lago, Mª Oliva; Dopico, Cristina; Escudero, Ana
European Journal of Psychology of Education, v32 n3 p483-500 Jul 2017
This study addresses the influence of schoolteachers' testimonies on children's conceptions about unconventional correct counts or pseudoerrors. A total of 158 kindergarteners and second graders were individually interviewed: Fifty children participated in the baseline group (to determine their judgments about pseudoerrors without the presence of informants), and 108 children participated in the experimental group. There were two sessions--2 weeks apart--for the experimental group: in session 1, children faced the conflicting claims provided by three teachers vs. a dissident teacher about the correctness of different pseudoerrors made by the characters of a computer game. The participants had to decide which of the informants was right, providing a rationale for their choice. In session 2, children evaluated the same types of pseudoerrors but in absence of informants (similar to the baseline group procedure). We assessed the relative influence of the majority, and whether the presentation of teachers' controversial judgments improved children's understanding of counting. The findings revealed that children's own ideas prevailed over the pressure of the majority: at both ages, children tended to endorse claims that considered pseudoerrors as incorrect counts, regardless of the source of information (majority or dissenter), and their tendency to reject pseudoerrors remained firm in session 2. Overall, results from the experimental and the baseline groups suggest that children's adherence to the conventional rules of counting is strong and little susceptible to influence and revision. We discuss the educational implications of these findings as well as the limitations of the experimental paradigm used in this and other studies in the field of testimony.
Descriptors: Elementary School Teachers, Teacher Influence, Elementary School Students, Kindergarten, Grade 2, Computation, Error Patterns, Decision Making, Mathematics Skills, Computer Games, Experimental Groups, Control Groups, Peer Influence, Group Unity
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 2
Authoring Institution: N/A