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 Did children perform on these tests as Piaget would have predicted?

Assignment Specifics:

You will test 3 children on each of the conservation tasks. Test three children age 4, 5, and 6 years of age (one child of each age). Record their responses on the form attached. You should test each child individually so as to avoid contamination. Important: Read chapter 11 before attempting this assignment.

Materials needed:

12 pennies

2 glasses – clear, same size

1 glass – clear, different shape than other two

(32 oz. Clear soda bottles with labels removed and a 32 oz. clear glass can be used)

2 lumps of play dough

Conservation of number:

You will need 12 pennies for this activity. Divide the pennies into 2 lines of equal length. The pennies should be the same distance from one another. Ask each child: “Are there the same number of pennies in each row”? Record each child’s response.

After child responds, move the pennies so that one row has more spaces in-between the pennies making the one row longer. Ask each child: “Are there the same number of pennies in each row or are the rows different”? Record each child’s response.

Conservation of liquid:

You will need 3 glasses. They should be clear glass. Two glasses must be exactly the same size and shape. The third glass should be of a different shape but hold at least as much liquid as the other two.

Fill two glasses (glass A and glass B) of the same size and shape with water. (You could use colored water since it is easier to see). Ask each child: “Does each glass have the same amount of water or different amounts”? Record each child’s response.

Next pour the water from glass A into the odd glass, glass C. Make sure the child watches this process. Ask: “Does each glass have the same amount of water or does one have more”? Record each child’s response.

Conservation of Mass:

Shape the play dough into two balls that are the same size. (Do this before showing them to the children,) Show the two balls of play dough to each child. Ask: “Is there the same amount of play dough in each ball”? Record each child’s answers.

Next, rolls one of the balls into a long hot-dog like shape. Do this in front of the child. Ask: “Does each piece of clay have the same mount or does one have more”? Record each child’s response.

Personal Reflection:

One page reflection MUST accompany assignment.. Answer the following questions and add any information you believe relevant to a reflection.

Write a report on your experiments, guided by the following questions:

*     Did children perform on these tests as Piaget would have predicted?

*     In what ways were the three children different in their problem solving?

  • -How was each child’s performance influenced by perception-based thinking? By uni-dimensional thought? By difficulty reversing an operation?
  • -What can you conclude about young children’s thinking? In what ways were you impressed with these children’s problem solving? In what way was their thinking limited?


Template to track data attached.

  • attachment


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