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Developmental Changes in Children's Measurement Errors
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by Kimberly M. Kiker - University of Florida
Children as old as 4th graders still make fundamental measurement errors. Specifically, some children begin measuring from the number 1 on a ruler instead of from the end of the ruler (0), an error of cardinality. The present study investigated developmental changes in children's measurement errors in 1st and 3rd graders via a 6-task testing session devised to emphasize measurement errors children tend to make. Each task made the cardinality error (measuring from 1 instead of 0) increasingly more salient to the children in an effort to facilitate recognition of their measurement errors. However, the results revealed that children do not understand the measurement principle of cardinality, and thus tend to be stable in their measurement strategies despite evidence indicating that such strategies yield incorrect answers.