Measuring up for big school: a role for cognitive development

Maley, Claire R., and Bond, Trevor G. (2007) Measuring up for big school: a role for cognitive development. In: Proceedings of AARE 2007 International Educational Research Conference: research impacts: proving or improving?. From: AARE 2007 International Educational Research Conference: research impacts: proving or improving?, 25-29 November 2007, Fremantle, WA, Australia.

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For over 30 years, contention has surrounded the issue of preschool children's readiness for formal schooling. A Piagetian view is that the presence and use of particular operatory structures indicative of the concrete operational stage of cognitive development are necessary for a child to achieve successful learning outcomes in the new formal education environment of primary school. In any case, the nonstandardised skills-based checklists utilised by many preschool teachers to infer children's levels of readiness for year one seem ineffectual as the debate regarding children's school readiness persists. This paper reports on the findings from a research project in which forty-two preschool children were administered a Piagetian conservation of number task as outlined in the work of Piaget and Szeminska "The child's conception of number" (1941/1952) using the Genevan méthode clinique. Participants were also routinely assessed by their teachers using the preschool's Key Indicators of Readiness for Year One (KIRYO) Checklist and, in addition, then judged qualitatively on their preschool and early year one performance by the respective teachers. Children’s performances on each of the above-mentioned indicators were scored quantitatively using detailed performance criteria derived explicitly from each item's source. Rasch analysis using the Partial Credit Model indicated that success on the conservation task was more closely aligned with children’s success in year one than was mastery of the KIRYO Checklist indicators. The implications for professional discussion and decisionmaking, as well as insights for teachers of early childhood sectors are canvassed.

Item ID: 7544
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISSN: 1324-9339
Keywords: readiness; piaget; Rasch analysis; preschool
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2010 04:08
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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