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COOPERATIVE PLAY AND PROBLEM SOLVING IN PRESCHOOL CHILDREN

Ramani, Geetha Balaraman (2006) COOPERATIVE PLAY AND PROBLEM SOLVING IN PRESCHOOL CHILDREN. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.

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    Abstract

    The effects of setting on cooperative play and problem solving in preschool children were examined. The study investigated whether a cooperative problem-solving setting that was more like informal social play promoted more effective cooperation and problem solving than a setting that was more structured, and whether the benefits of the play-like setting generalized to another problem solving task. The study also examined the development of cooperative problem solving skills across the preschool years. Four- and five-year-old same-age, same-sex dyads were randomly assigned to complete a problem solving building task in a more play-like, flexible, and child-driven setting or in a more structured and adult-driven setting. The older children built more complete, complex structures with a greater number of blocks than younger children. Children in the play-like setting built more complex structures and utilized observational learning more than children in the structured condition, although no significant condition differences emerged for cooperative behavior and communication. Performance differences also carried over into a subsequent joint problem solving task. Across both settings, individual differences in cooperative skills were related to children's task performance. The results suggest that problem solving skills develop through the preschool years, and that cooperative problem solving in age-appropriate play-like settings is an effective way to promote and investigate both cooperative behavior and cooperative learning in young children.


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    Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
    Creators/Authors:
    CreatorsEmailORCID
    Ramani, Geetha Balaramangrb22@pitt.edu
    ETD Committee:
    ETD Committee TypeCommittee MemberEmailORCID
    Committee ChairBrownell, Celiabrownell@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberJohnson, Carljohnson@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberSchofield, Janetschof@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberCampbell, Susansbcamp@pitt.edu
    Title: COOPERATIVE PLAY AND PROBLEM SOLVING IN PRESCHOOL CHILDREN
    Status: Unpublished
    Abstract: The effects of setting on cooperative play and problem solving in preschool children were examined. The study investigated whether a cooperative problem-solving setting that was more like informal social play promoted more effective cooperation and problem solving than a setting that was more structured, and whether the benefits of the play-like setting generalized to another problem solving task. The study also examined the development of cooperative problem solving skills across the preschool years. Four- and five-year-old same-age, same-sex dyads were randomly assigned to complete a problem solving building task in a more play-like, flexible, and child-driven setting or in a more structured and adult-driven setting. The older children built more complete, complex structures with a greater number of blocks than younger children. Children in the play-like setting built more complex structures and utilized observational learning more than children in the structured condition, although no significant condition differences emerged for cooperative behavior and communication. Performance differences also carried over into a subsequent joint problem solving task. Across both settings, individual differences in cooperative skills were related to children's task performance. The results suggest that problem solving skills develop through the preschool years, and that cooperative problem solving in age-appropriate play-like settings is an effective way to promote and investigate both cooperative behavior and cooperative learning in young children.
    Date: 20 March 2006
    Date Type: Completion
    Defense Date: 25 August 2005
    Approval Date: 20 March 2006
    Submission Date: 19 November 2005
    Access Restriction: No restriction; The work is available for access worldwide immediately.
    Patent pending: No
    Institution: University of Pittsburgh
    Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
    Refereed: Yes
    Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
    URN: etd-11192005-153828
    Uncontrolled Keywords: cooperative play; peer interaction; cooperative problem solving; preschool children
    Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
    Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 15:05
    Last Modified: 14 May 2012 10:47
    Other ID: http://etd.library.pitt.edu/ETD/available/etd-11192005-153828/, etd-11192005-153828

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