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The effects of adult guidance and peer discussion on the development of children's representations: evidence from the training of pedestrian skills

Tolmie, Andrew and Thomson, James and Foot, Hugh and Whelan, Kirstie and Morrison, Sheila and McLaren, Brian (2005) The effects of adult guidance and peer discussion on the development of children's representations: evidence from the training of pedestrian skills. British Journal of Psychology, 96. pp. 181-204. ISSN 0007-1269

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Abstract

It was hypothesised that practical training is effective in improving children's pedestrian skills because adult scaffolding and peer discussion during training specifically promote E3 level representation (linguistically-encoded, experientially-grounded, generalisable knowledge), as defined by Karmiloff-Smith's (1992) representational redescription (RR) model. Two studies were conducted to examine in detail the impact of this social input, in the context of simulation-based training in roadside search skills. Five- to eight-year-olds were pre-tested on ability to detect relevant road crossing features. They then participated in four training sessions designed to promote attunement to these, under peer discussion condition vs adult guidance conditions (Study 1), and adult-child vs adult-group conditions (Study 2). Performance at post-test was compared to that of controls who underwent no training. Study 1 found that children in the adult guidance condition improved significantly more than those in the peer discussion or control conditions, and this improvement was directly attributable to appropriation of E3 level representations from adult dialogue. Study 2 found that progress was greater still when adult scaffolding was supplemented by peer discussion, with E3 level representation attributable to children's exploration of conflicting ideas. The implications of these findings for the RR model and for practical road safety education are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Controlled Keywords: 5 - 10; UK; Non specific setting; Skills development; Peer learning
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Psychology and Human Development
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (2)
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2009 15:09
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2013 11:55
URI: http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/id/eprint/349
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