Preoperational spatial representation among preschool children in small-scale space Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/8336h557c

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  • This study examined the effects of stage of preoperational thought, sex and mode of exploration on preschoolers ability to represent a small-scale model configuration of objects. Forty-eight subjects between the ages of 2 years, 5 months and 5 years, 4 months were classed in spatial conceptualization as either Stage I (i.e. recognition of common objects but not of geometric shapes) or Stage II (i.e. recognition of relations of an elementary type) by the Stereognostic Recognition of Objects and Shapes Test (Laurendeau & Pinard,1970). Children were then assigned to four treatment groups each consisting of twelve subjects; Stage I boys, Stage I girls, Stage II boys and Stage II girls. Following an encountering phase at two levels, one which involved viewing a display of objects from a standing position (i.e. stationary) and another which involved movement by means of walking around the display (i.e. locomotive), subjects recalled and reconfigured a table-top layout of objects during a response phase. Children's representations of space were measured and scores for displacement, relation and order were computer calculated. A 2 (Stage: I vs. II) X 2 (Sex: males vs. females) X 2 (Mode of Exploration: stationary vs. locomotive) factorial multivariate analysis of variance was applied to the spatial representation scores of subjects. Results revealed a significant main effect for stage on the displacement scores of subjects. Stage II subjects outperformed Stage I subjects on the displacement representation task. In addition, a significant stage X mode of exploration interaction effect was obtained for subjects' displacement, relation and order scores. Post-hoc comparisons using the Scheffe test revealed Stage II subjects outperforming Stage I subjects on the displacement and order tasks in the stationary mode of exploration. The Scheffe test also revealed that Stage II subjects performed better on the displacement task in the stationary rather than locomotive mode of exploration, a result which was in contrast to theoretical expectations and previous findings on the impact of movement in space.
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