Self-explanation and planning: a microgenetic study of preschoolers' strategy use on the Tower of Hanoi.

dc.contributor.authorMiller, Michael Robert
dc.contributor.supervisorMuller, Ulrich
dc.date.accessioned2011-08-29T22:23:26Z
dc.date.available2011-08-29T22:23:26Z
dc.date.copyright2011en_US
dc.date.issued2011-08-29
dc.degree.departmentDept. of Psychologyen_US
dc.degree.levelDoctor of Philosophy Ph.D.en_US
dc.description.abstractIn early childhood, planning provides a basis for organizational skills that are useful for future school performance (Perez & Gauvain, 2009). However, research shows that preschoolers’ planning abilities are limited because they often fail to consider task demands, are inefficient at self-monitoring, and are unlikely to use strategies to their advantage (Gardner & Rogoff, 1990). The present study examined whether preschoolers could improve their planning skills by consciously drawing connections between objects and events through the use of verbal self-explanations. A microgenetic design was used in order to repeatedly measure preschoolers’ performance on the Tower of Hanoi (ToH) task over a period of 6 to 8 weeks. Forty-five children between the ages of 4 and 6 years were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 conditions: self-explanation, no self-explanation, and control. Each child was administered a pretest, 3 micro sessions based on condition, and a posttest. In addition to ToH performance, children also were measured on inhibitory control, working memory, short-term memory, and verbal ability at pretest, and on a novel planning task, the Box-ToH, at posttest. Multilevel models were used to analyze the data at the between- and within-person levels. Although no differences were found in ToH performance over time between conditions, preschoolers’ use of self-explanations and strategies were independently related to individual improvements in ToH performance over time. Moreover, preschoolers’ improvements in ToH performance were not reducible to age-related increases, inhibitory control demands, working memory, short-term memory, or verbal ability. Lastly, findings did not support preschoolers’ ability to transfer their knowledge of strategies on the ToH to the Box-ToH. Overall, the present study demonstrated that self-explanations and strategy use are both important predictors of understanding individual changes in planning performance during the preschool years. These findings have important implications in terms of improving preschoolers’ executive function skills and preparing children for early academic success.en_US
dc.description.scholarlevelGraduateen_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1828/3520
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.rights.tempAvailable to the World Wide Weben_US
dc.subjectPlanningen_US
dc.subjectSelf-explanationen_US
dc.subjectPreschool childrenen_US
dc.subjectTower of Hanoien_US
dc.subjectStrategyen_US
dc.subjectExecutive functionen_US
dc.titleSelf-explanation and planning: a microgenetic study of preschoolers' strategy use on the Tower of Hanoi.en_US
dc.typeThesisen_US

Files

Original bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Name:
Miller_Michael_PhD_2011.pdf
Size:
1.14 MB
Format:
Adobe Portable Document Format
Description:
PhD Dissertation
License bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
No Thumbnail Available
Name:
license.txt
Size:
1.74 KB
Format:
Item-specific license agreed upon to submission
Description: