TRAINING BASIC RELATIONAL CONCEPTS IN PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN CHILDREN

HANNA CHAI RABINOWICH, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was (a) to determine the effectiveness of a structured individualized training program to teach poverty area preschool and kindergarten children basic relational concepts; (b) to determine whether concept mastery was related to grade; and (c) to determine whether concept mastery affects academic readiness for kindergarten children.^ Of the 134 poverty area children studied, 72 preschool and kindergarten youngsters at two locations (Blocks A and B) received the experimental training procedures. The remaining 62 children served as controls. Program duration was four months for the kindergarten and seven months for the preschool children.^ Initial concept competence was determined by both the pre-Boehm Test of Basic Concepts (BTBC) and experimenter devised mastery sheets. Mastery sheets provided an additional assessment of children's basic relational concept knowledge, and made the BTBC a more reliable measure. Training was based on individual needs. For each concept, criterion-referenced instructional objectives were stated. Criterion levels of performance determined concept mastery on the four concrete to representational levels of training. Program effectiveness was determined by the post BTBC. The effect of concept mastery on academic readiness for the kindergarten children was measured by the Metropolitan Readiness Tests (MRT).^ Results indicated that training was effective in developing basic relational concepts for the preschool and kindergarten youngsters. On the post BTBC, all experimental youngsters scored at or near ceiling levels. The initial differences between preschool and kindergarten children attributed to maturity factors virtually disappeared after training.^ Findings on the MRT were mixed. At one location, the expected relationship between concept knowledge and academic readiness was supported for the experimental kindergarten youngsters for each of the MRT analyses. The results obtained for these children indicated that training seemed particularly related to the language skills measured by the MRT. Failure to find differences at the second location was attributed to high trainer absenteeism and heterogeneity in the implementation of program procedures.^ With additional assessment provided (mastery sheets), the BTBC can be a valuable criterion-referenced measure. Structured training using criterion-referenced instructional objectives effectively developed basic relational concept mastery and contributed to the academic readiness of one of the two experimental kindergarten groups studied. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

RABINOWICH, HANNA CHAI, "TRAINING BASIC RELATIONAL CONCEPTS IN PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN CHILDREN" (1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8223613.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8223613

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