1 Assignment 2 Research Report (40%) Due Friday 15th April 2011
The purpose of this assignment is to introduce you to gathering, analysing and reporting research data. The focus is on examining Piaget’s concepts in a practical way. It links to your achievement of the Unit Outcomes 3 and 4:
3 Collect, analyse and interpret data with respect to the domains of development.
4 Develop academic essay and report writing skills
The assignment consists of clear steps which are outlined below:
Gathering the data (revisit Chapter 2 for information on ethics, observation and note taking)
Collect about 20 small items that can be sorted or categorised in multiple ways e.g. shells, ...view middle of the document...
Arrange a time to see your participants individually in a comfortable place free from distractions. You might work at a table or on the floor. Parents of a very young child may wish to be present but ask them not to help in any way as you need to find out what children of this age can do on their own.
Give the following instructions (you may adapt them slightly for the age of the person but do not give ideas of how to sort the objects)
“I have here some different sorts of shells (pictures, buttons etc). I want you to put them into groups of ones that are alike. Put similar ones (ones that are the same) into the same group. You can have as many different groups as you want”
Allow your participant time to do this. Make notes of what they say and do.
Ask: “Can you tell me…. why you have put them in these groups? OR ..how you grouped/sorted them? OR why you grouped them like this? OR for a very young child …how the things you’ve put here are all the same?”
Put the objects back into one group and ask the person to see if they can sort them a different way – into different groups but still ones that go together.
The person may group according to visual characteristics (big ones, red ones etc) or preference (I like these best) or function (these pictures are of things that go in a kitchen, or these are things you play with). It doesn’t matter what categories they use. You don’t suggest any and just say “I see” or “thank you” or repeat what they have said or use some other neutral expression when they tell you what they have done. If they can’t think of another way to group them note this and say “that’s fine”.
Continue pushing the objects back into one pile and asking the participant to regroup the objects until the participant is unable to think of any new types of groupings. (This helps you to see clearly which of Piaget’s stages the participant is in).
Thank the person very much for helping with your assignment. A young child might like a sticker and you can make your friend a cup of coffee!
Write any additional (private) comments for yourself about how the person accomplished the task.
Analysing the data
Look at how your participants grouped the objects and how they explained their grouping.
Drawing up a table of your results may be helpful.
How were their groupings similar / different?
What were their explanations? Were groupings made on physical or other characteristics?
How many different ways could they group the objects?