Psychological Study of Preoperational Fifth Grade Children
Uploaded by spootyhead on Apr 18, 2007
Psychological Study of Pre-Operational Fifth-grade Children
The article I will be summarizing is entitled, Making conservationists and classifiers of preoperational fifth-grade children, and was written by Linda Bakken, Johnnie Thompson, and Frances L. Clark. Piaget's theory of cognitive development assumes that mental development is a process that is directed by maturation and experiences like the environment. Piaget also suggests that, as children get older, genetic factors play a decreasing role, however the environments impact on cognitive development rises. Also, Wadsworth proposed that children who are raised in surroundings with limited opportunities to explore will develop more slowly than will children raised within a more provoking environment; their ultimate development also will remain lower. The goal of the study at hand was to analyze children who were identified as cognitively preoperational and, through the use of hands-on experiences, determine if their mental development could be raised to concrete operational level performance.
Piaget called the second stage preoperational thinking because a mental operation involves logical thought, and children at this stage do not yet have this ability to think logically. Instead, children develop the ability to deal with the world symbolically or representational. That is, they develop the ability to imagine doing something, rather than actually doing it. For example, a child in the sensori-motor stage of development learns how to pull a toy along the floor. A child reaching the preoperational stage of development develops a mental representation of the toy and a mental picture of pulling the toy. If the child can use words to describe the action, it is accomplished mentally and symbolically through the use of words. One of the major accomplishments during this period is the development of language, the ability to think and communicate by using words that represent objects and events. The elementary school years are crucial for developing successful cognitive functioning.
In 1994 Webster and Ammon found that both classification and serration are relevant in reading and writing performance. Pasnak, Holt, Campbell, and McCutcheon said that concrete operational tasks of number conservation, classification, and serration generalized to "increased academic achievement in mathematics concepts and verbal comprehension,.” and Arlin concluded that the operations of conservation, classification, and serration are positively related to reading and mathematics achievement.
The hypothesis for this study I read about was that elementary fifth-grade students who were diagnosed as cognitively functioning at the preoperational level would expand...