Understanding spatial intelligence through the problem-solving of young children from culturally different backgrounds: An analysis of behaviors and products
AuthorCorkill, Gail Waechter
AdvisorMaker, C. June
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn this study the behaviors observed and the products created by Hispanic and Navajo children, ages four to five, are described. Each child participated in a performance-based assessment of problem solving designed to identify young children with gifts and talents. The assessment process entails careful observation of children's problem solving and resultant products to determine an individual's abilities and interests in each of the intelligences posited by Gardner (1983). All children were videotaped in the classroom while engaged in solving problems on the spatial activity of the assessment. An embedded, multiple case study design (Yin, 1994) was used as the formal research strategy to address the research questions posed. Case study methods and qualitative techniques were used. Thus, a total of eight single case studies were conducted. The primary purpose of the study was to describe in detail the behaviors that could be observed and the characteristics of the products created by young culturally diverse children on a problem solving task involving spatial abilities. A secondary purpose of the study was to determine if careful observation of the spatial problem solving behaviors exhibited by the children, combined with an evaluation of final products constructed, could clarify and extend the understanding of the spatial area of intelligence. The researcher delineated three broad categories of observed behaviors and three broad categories of characteristics of finished products. No sex-related differences were found between young female and male children. However, clear qualitative differences between young Navajo and Hispanic children were found in the spatial problem solving behaviors and in the ways that spatial representations were characterized. Similarly qualitative differences were found in the eye patterns and solution strategies used by young children who were characterized as highly able problem solvers on the spatial task. The behaviors noted and the characteristics of products created by the children in this study allowed the researchers to further define spatial intelligence children across the core capacities of the spatial domain.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Special Education and Rehabilitation