Children's behaviour and cognitions across different balance tasks

Messer, David J.; Pine, Karen J. and Butler, Cathal (2008). Children's behaviour and cognitions across different balance tasks. Learning and Instruction, 18(1) pp. 42–53.



Children’s understanding of the way objects balance has provided important insights about cognitive development (e.g. Siegler, 1976; Karmiloff-Smith, 1992). We investigated the performance of 86 children aged between 5 and 7 years to see whether their cognitions about balance were consistent across different types of balance task. The children did not utilise the same cognitive processes across different tasks, instead performance appeared to be influenced by perceptual characteristics and task demands. The findings emphasise that children’s ability to access their knowledge varies with task demands and that theories about cognitive development need to take greater account of this variation.

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