INSTITUTO ROSARIO DE INVESTIGACIONES EN CIENCIAS DE LA EDUCACION
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Learning Superordinate Categories: A Training Study
TAVERNA, A. Y PERALTA, O.
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY OF EDUCATION - EJPE
From an integrative approach, this work focuses on the role of conceptual mechanisms, such as comparison and conceptual-based inference, and socio-pragmatic support in young childrens taxonomic categorization. Experiment 1 assessed whether 3-, 4-, and 6-year-old children succeed in detecting taxonomic relations on their own. A clear developmental trend was found: 6-year-olds succeeded, whereas 4- and 3-year-olds relied primarily on perceptually-based categories. Experiment 2 assessed if 3-year-olds are able to change their perceptual response into a taxonomic categorization as a function of the co-occurrence of contingent category information and feedback in an interactive process with an adult (experimenter). A pretest posttest training study compared 3-year-olds´ performance in four conditions: comparison, conceptual-based, information-only and feedback-only. A perceptual-to-taxonomic shift was found only in the comparison and conceptual-based training groups. Children who only received either category information or corrective feedback did not make such a shift. The results show that social interaction with supportive adults is a mechanism that drives conceptual understanding in early childhood.