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Advisory Committee Chair

Constance K Kamii

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


To explain why preschool children play a card game, Concentration illogically, 108 three-to-six-year-olds from a child care center and an elementary school in a Southern state were interviewed individually. At the beginning of the game, children were asked to match seven pairs of cards. The pairs were then separated into two rows each consisting of seven different cards. After the cards were turned face down and mixed within each row, three-year-olds often played Concentration by selecting two cards from the same row rather than one card from each row. On the basis of Piaget's theory, I hypothesized that children's low level of classificatory thinking accounts for this illogical behavior. To examine the association between children's levels of classificatory thinking and the frequency of taking two cards from the same row in Concentration, I gave a Piagetian sorting task and played Concentration with each child. The results showed a statistically significant association between the two variables. The educational implication of this study is that it is important to foster children's logical thinking in the early years so they will succeed in school, especially in subjects such as mathematics and science.

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