ERIC Number: EJ946728
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
The Nature of Preschoolers' Concept of Living and Artificial Objects
Margett, Tessa E.; Witherington, David C.
Child Development, v82 n6 p2067-2082 Nov-Dec 2011
This study investigated preschoolers' living kinds conceptualization by employing an extensive stimulus set and alternate indices of understanding. Thirty-four 3- to 5-year-olds and 36 adult undergraduates completed 3 testing phases involving 4 object classes: plants, animals, mobile, and immobile artifacts. The phases involved inquiries participants generated, what biological properties they attributed and their assignment of "alive" to the 4 classes. The study also focused on preschoolers' conceptual coherence by examining their responding across indices. Results revealed both competence and confusion in preschoolers' living kinds conceptualization relative to adults'. In addition, demonstrations of coherence across testing situations suggest that the beginnings of an abstract, biologically organized framework for understanding of living and nonliving kinds are in place in the preschool period.
Descriptors: Testing, Preschool Children, Undergraduate Students, Biology, Attribution Theory, Task Analysis, Concept Formation, Classification, Animals, Plants (Botany), Developmental Stages, Child Development
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A