Journal directory listing - Volume 57 (2012) - Journal of Research in Education Sciences【57(3)】September

Examining Effects of Task Descriptions as External EF for Young Children Author: Shuhui Chiu(Department of Early Childhood Education, National Taichung University of Education)

Vol.&No.:Vol. 57, No. 3
Date:September 2012


This study reviewed the development of executive function during the preschool period and proposed an educational hypothesis: young children possess a relatively immature goal setting EF; therefore an explicit goal description may serve as an external EF for them. An experimental design was applied to examine the effects of task descriptions on children’s story-authoring behaviors. Sixty kindergarteners aged 5.1 to 6.2 years participated in this study. Participants were randomly assigned to the experimental or the control group. Children in pairs were required to complete an ill-structured problem where children selected photos and recorded their narratives for each selected photo. As compared to the control group, the instructor gave a more explicit task description to the children in the experimental group. Children in the experimental group were asked to “use these photos to show us how butterflies grow up.” Children in the control group were asked to “use these photos to tell us about butterflies.” As expected, children in the experimental group were more concise in photo selection than children in the control group. The former also displayed greater logical order in arranging selected photos than the latter. Evidences derived from children’s behaviors and reasoning were consistent. Children’s narratives derived from the experimental group were also rated better in photo-story consistency and subject clarity than children’s narratives derived from the control group. Findings suggest that a precise task description may facilitate young children’s problem representation process; therefore, young children may have a clear goal in mind to guide them in completing tasks.

Keywords:children, goal-setting, task description, ill-structured problem, executive function

《Full Text》 檔名

APA FormatChiu, S. (2012). Examining Effects of Task Descriptions as External EF for Young Children. Journal of Research in Education Sciences, 57(3), 1-26. doi:10.3966/2073753X2012095703001