CONSTRUCTIVE ABSTRACTION OF LOGIC AND MATHEMATICAL CONCEPTS THROUGH INTERACTIVE GAMES

Period of Performance: 01/01/1994 - 12/31/1994

$65K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Laboratoryrador Educational Pr
Po Box 15023
St Louis, MO 63110
Principal Investigator

Abstract

THERE IS A DEFINITE TREND IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AWAY FROM ROTE LEARNING METHODS TOWARD MORE CHILD DIRECTED, ACTIVITY-BASED LEARNING. AS CHILDREN ACT UPON AND CHANGE THE EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT, THEY INTERNALLY CONSTRUCT KNOWLEDGE. CONSTRUCTIVISM STRESSES HANDS-ON INTERACTIVE LEARNING THROUGH PROBLEM-SOLVING ACTIVITIES THAT PROVOKE THOUGHT AND REFLECTION. MANY EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS HAVE ENDORSED AND INTEGRATED GAMES AS A PRIMARY MEANS OF MATHEMATICS AND LOGIC EDUCATION. SOME GAMES CAN PROVIDE AN EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FOR CHILDREN TO COMPARE, SERIATE, EQUATE, COUNT, AND ESTABLISH A CONCEPT OF NUMBER AND LOGIC. UNFORTUNATELY, THESE GAMES WEREN'T DESIGNED FOR THIS SPECIFIC PURPOSE, AND OFTEN DON'T PROVIDE THE LEVEL OF INTERACTION DESIRED. FURTHERMORE, TODAY'S SOPHISTICATED CHILDREN OFTEN TIRE OF SIMPLE GAMES. RESEARCHERS ARE TESTING THE HYPOTHESIS THAT INTERACTIVE GAMES CAN MORE EFFICIENTLY PROMOTE CONSTRUCTIVE ABSTRACTION OF THE CONCEPT OF NUMBER, CONCEPT OF INCLUSION, CONCEPT OF CONSERVATION, AND OTHER BASIC MATHEMATICAL AND LOGICAL THOUGHT FUNCTIONS. COGNITION OF THESE CONCEPTS AT AN EARLY AGE WOULD LAY THE FOUNDATION FOR DEVELOPMENT OF HIGHER RATIONAL POWERS AND INDEPENDENT THOUGHT. FURTHERMORE, IT WOULD DIRECTLY IMPROVE MATHEMATICS PERFORMANCE, CONFIDENCE, AND ENTHUSIASM IN LATER EDUCATION.