The study explored young children's ability to estimate set sizes and use reference points such as 10. Eighteen children in a preschool-kindergarten program for the potentially gifted were asked to estimate the number of dots in a set (range 3 to 35); to gauge whether a set of dots was larger or smaller than a stated reference point of 5, 10, or 20; and to judge where a set fit in regard to two given reference points. With sets of 8, most estimates were within 25% of the actual value; with sets of 15 or larger, most estimates were not. A majority of children were successful on the task with a single reference point; performance varied on the task with two reference points. An error analysis indicated that many children could accurately place sets somewhat smaller than a reference point but had difficulty placing sets somewhat larger than a reference point. These results suggest that the children had not constructed accurate perceptual anchors but appeared to have an overexaggerated mental image of 5, 10, and 20.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal for Research in Mathematics Education|
|State||Published - 1991|