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Title: Performance of balance scale tasks of the challenging type
Authors: Ng, Swee Fong
Lee, Madeline Pe
Keywords: Balance scale tasks
Primary children
Issue Date: 2013
Citation: Ng, S. F., & Lee, M. P. (2013). Performance of balance scale tasks of the challenging type. The Mathematics Educator, 14(1&2), 49-65.
Abstract: Since the pioneering research of Inhelder and Piaget in the 1950, "balance scale tasks" have become synonymous with items used to study cognitive development of young children. This paper reports on the results of two studies about these tasks: study 1 about 137 kindergartners from five kindergartens and study 2 about 122 Primary 2 children from five primary schools in the western part of Singapore. The balance scale tasks were designed by the Curriculum Development Institute of Singapore. Three-quarter of the primary one children tested could compare and identify which was the heaviest object when the information was presented concretely. However, when the weights of the objects were specified relationally as a function of each other rather than in a concrete manner their performance fell dramatically. Primary three children demonstrated similar difficulties. These findings may inform future studies on how to improve children’s competencies with such tasks and how to incorporate such tasks into curricular materials.
ISSN: 0218-9100
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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