An analysis of the effect of mathematics readiness education at the kindergarten level on the growth of conceptual ability of number as measured by Piaget's stages of the development of number Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/cj82kb377

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  • The purpose of this study was to test two assumptions. They are that factors in a child's background correlate with the notion of conservation and that additional mathematical instruction will result in a higher level of maturity of the notion of conservation as well as increased achievement in mathematical skills. To test these assumptions 45 kindergarten students attending the Campus Elementary School during the spring term of the 1969- 1970 academic year at Oregon College of Education were studied. To test the assumption that increased mathematical instruction will result in a higher level of concept maturity of the notion of conservation and increased achievement in arithmetic, a pretest-posttest design was used. The independent variable measured for this assumption was readiness information. It was measured in one instance by using Piaget's experiments to determine the understanding of conservation and in another instance by an arithmetic test to measure achievement in arithmetic. To test the assumption that factors in a child's background are related to the acquisition of conservation skills, chronological age, nursery school experience, IQ, and placement in the family constellation were measured. The dependent variables in the assumption that readiness instruction implies increased achievement and a higher level of maturity of the concept of conservation were arithmetic performance as measured by an arithmetic test and change in status of the levels of concept maturity of the notion of conservation as measured by Piaget's experiments. To measure the relationship of background variables age, IQ, family constellation, and nursery school experience to the level of concept maturity of the notion of conservation a biserial correlation was determined. The level of concept maturity was the dependent variable measured in the second assumption. The instruments used to collect the data for this study were an analysis of the level of maturity of the concept of conservation determined by the replication of Piaget's experiments; One to One Correspondence (Flowers), and Discontinuous Quantities (Beans); The American School Achievement Test: Arithmetic Readiness, to measure arithmetic achievement; and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, to measure IQ. The assumption that increased readiness instruction in arithmetic would result in a higher level of concept maturity and increased achievement in arithmetic developed two hypotheses. They were tested in the null form at the . 05 confidence level, using the Student's t-test and the chi-square test with one degree of freedom. These hypotheses were: 1) There are no significant changes between the control and experimental groups in the level of understanding of the concept of conservation. 2) There is no significant difference between the experimental and control groups in arithmetic achievement as measured by an arithmetic readiness test. The results of the testing of these two hypotheses were not of statistical significance; therefore the null hypotheses were not rejected. The assumption that background variables chronological age, IQ, nursery school experience, and place in the family constellation relate to the variable level of maturity of the notion of conservation was measured by biserial correlation. Hypotheses measured were: 1) There is no significant correlation between the IQ of a child and his ability to conserve. 2) There is no significant correlation between the chronological age of the child and his ability to conserve. 3) There is no significant correlation between the place of a child in a family constellation and his ability to conserve. 4) There is no significant correlation between the fact that a child has nursery school experience and his ability to conserve. The results did not culminate in a statistically significant correlation and the null hypotheses were not rejected. The theory of cognitive development formulated by Jean Piaget provided the theoretical framework for this study. Specifically, Piaget's concepts about the development of number in young children were examined. Replication of Piaget's experiments is a fruitful experience for the educator to gain insight into cognitive growth in young children and to enable the educator to provide more meaningful kindergarten experiences.
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