Cognitive maturity and the development of early reading skills
Colter, Marvin W.
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The problem of this thesis was to demonstrate a relationship between the development of cognitive skills and reading abilities in the five to seven year old child. Cognitively, the child of this age is, according to Piaget, in an early "concrete" stage of development. The concrete mode of thought appears relevant to a child's ability to learn to read effectively; formal school learning begins between five to seven years in the first grade. Cognitive ability was assessed by adapting tests used by Piaget to explore such areas as conservation of quantity, serial order and spatial orientation. Reading ability was ascertained by the Ginn Reading Achievement Test, adapted so that a larger range of reading ability was represented in the test. Beyond the general relationship, certain aspects of reading abilities of vocabulary acquisition, comprehension, and word analysis suggested an underlying common cognitive structure with specific cognitive tests. Subjects from two suburban elementary schools. Their age at the beginning of the study was between five years nine months and six years nine months. Presence of the following factors, due to their influence on reading, was sufficient to exclude a child from the experimental sample: severe physiological difficulties, emotional disturbance, and a Goodenough Draw a Man intelligence quotient of less than 90. The final experimental N was 56 [TRUNCATED]
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