A study investigating two hierarchical models relating to the attainment of the concept of momentum

Murray, Brendan E. (1981) A study investigating two hierarchical models relating to the attainment of the concept of momentum. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The present study is concerned with a theoretical and empirical examination and extension of an earlier study by Raven (1967). Raven attempted to determine whether the concept of momentum followed a logical sequence, as determined from a logical analysis of the momentum concept, or a psychological sequence, as suggested by Piagetian research. The objections to Raven's study are threefold. Firstly, Raven based his hierarchy on only one task for each step in the hierarchy, with the exception of the concept of momentum where two tasks are used. Secondly, it is suggested that some of Raven's tasks do not test what is purported. Thirdly, Raven's results imply the superiority of a psychological as opposed to a logical model in the development of the momentum concept. It will be argued that Raven's logical hierarchy was inadequately developed and hence does not allow a meaningful conclusion, either with respect to the specific concept or to the relationship between psychological and logical hierarchies. -- The purpose of this study is to investigate Raven's (1967) claim that the development of the concept of momentum by young children follows a psychological rather than a logical progression. The psychological hierarchy involved is that used by Raven. The logical hierarchy is different from Raven's because of the investigator's belief that Raven's logical hierarchy was inadequately constructed, thereby biasing his findings. -- Data were obtained by the group-testing of 197 subjects from grades one to eight in a St. John's school. Two statistical tests, namely the White and Clark 'test of inclusion' and the 'ordering-theoretic' method, were used to analyse the data. The results of this analysis do not support Raven's contention that young children develop an understanding of the concept of momentum in accordance with a psychologically derived hierarchy, rather than a logical hierarchy. Instead, with little change, a logical hierarchy hypothesized by the present investigator is substantiated.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11108
Item ID: 11108
Additional Information: Bibliography : leaves 94-96.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1981
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Learning, Psychology of.

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