Spelling strategies of primary school children and their relationship to the Piagetian concept of decentration

Zutell, Jerome Bartholomew, Department of Education, University of Virginia
Henderson, Edmund, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Estes, Thomas, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Deese, James, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
Medley, Donald, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Richards, Herbert, Department of Leadership, Foundations and Policy

There were two purposes for this study: 1) to determine whether children's spelling strategies changed according to the grade level of the child and the particular demands of the kind of word the child was trying to spell, and 2) to examine the relationship between children's spelling strategics and their cognitive development measured in terms of Piaget's notion of decentralized.

Two lists of words, each of which contained three exemplars of five spelling categories (Lax Vowel, Tense Vowel, Past Tense Marker, Consonant Doubling, and Vowel Extension) were administered to 15 children each from grades one through four. Appropriate scores based on specific spelling strategies were assigned to each child's attempts. A two-way hierarchically partitioned analysis of variance was performed on these scores to determine the effects of grade, spelling category, and their interaction. Frequency counts of the use of specific strategies were tabulated by category for each grade in order to provide more descriptive data about what the children were trying to do.

A decentration test battery (specially constructed for this study) was also administered to the 60 children. This instrument was divided into seven specific areas: conservation of number, mass, continuous quantity, weight and volume, class inclusion, and the Picture Integration Test (Elkind, in press). A canonical correlation and two R factor analyses (one with grade level controlled) were performed on the children's five spelling category scores and their scores on the seven decentration tasks in order to determine if there was a relationship between these two sets of variables.

The results of the analysis of variance indicated that the effects for grade, category, and their interaction were significant (pp p < .01). Partial correlations with grade level control was used to general a second factor analysis. The factor patterns remained the same, and the correlation between the two factors, though somewhat reduced remained significant (r = .36, p

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Psychology of spelling, Cognition in children
NoC-US (No Copyright - United States)
Issued Date: