The evaluation of toys : selection criteria and expert consensus

Smith, Joyce Elaine Anne (Murphy) (1983) The evaluation of toys : selection criteria and expert consensus. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This research examined, in an educational and developmental framework, expert consensus on toy evaluation criteria. The work was aimed at discovering a) whether or not experts could concur about the "overall goodness" of toys, and b) whether particular characteristics of toys, namely their safety, durability, play value, educational-developmental value and interpersonal-social value were similarly viewed. -- The study asked five main questions: 1) Do raters perceive significant differences among the toys? 2) Do Academics and Practitioners rate toys in similar ways 3) Do individual experts agree in their ratings? 4) Is there agreement among the two groups of raters on the ratings of specific toys? and 5) Are there significant correlations between a) the overall goodness score and the summated variables score and b) the educational developmental value and play value scores? -- To answer these questions, six academics and six practitioners were asked to rate 62 pictorially presented toys on the six criteria listed above. Ratings were done on a 7-point Likert-type scale. From these ratings, six criterion variable scores plus one summative score were obtained. -- While it was found that experts, as a group, concur in their rating of a toy, it was also found that the rating of a single expert may not necessarily be consistent with that of other experts. Post hoc analysis determined that for most variables, four expert's opinions are needed for a reliable rating. -- Results also suggest that the raters appeared to rate according to two possible factors, one reflecting the toy's construction and the other its use. Other significant trends are also noted. -- The findings of the study are discussed relative to Schmidt's (1973) views of development and education. Some limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are offered. -- It is suggested that the Toy Evaluation Instrument used in this study may be useful in further attempts to explore the potential of toys as educational aids. It is also suggested that much of the value of the work may be in its practical nature and in its implications for parent training.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 7838
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 90-96.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1983
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Toys--Evaluation

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