Educational Research Journal


1986.第1卷(Vol. 1).pp. 54–57






During the formative years of 2–5, which are termed as the preoperational period by Piaget in the child's intellectual development, changes in cognitive styles and cognitive abilities and hence attainment and achievement are expected. These changes can also reflect educational philosophy, curriculum emphases and teaching methodology if the end-product of preschool education is assessed.

In this study, a random sample consisting of one-quarter of the Primary 1 pupils in 25 Primary Schools covering different types of ability group in various locations in Hong Kong was used. The testing was conducted for three years in succession, i.e., 1982, 1983, and 1984, at the beginning of each year on a different but parallel sample of pupils, so that trends of cognitive changes, if any, can be identified.

The two main cognitive domains, namely, verbal and numerical were used in the investigation. A Chinese test was used to give scores on the following concept areas: lexical units, characters, punctuations, matching clauses, completion of lexical units, rearrangement of lexical units, rearrangement of sentences, and writing sentences. A Mathematics test was used to give scores on the following concept areas: counting, rearrangement, time reading, number series, measurement, shape, coins, addition, symbols, subtraction, reasoning, and transposition.

Means and standard deviations for the three years under study were computed. Analysis of variance and t-test were used to identify significant differences among the three groups of pupils and between two groups of pupils at a time respectively.

The present results seem to indicate that cognitive abilities across the three years fluctuate, and this fluctuation varies in both the verbal and numerical domains. Also, reasoning mathematics appears to be emphasized in preschool learning. This has important educational implications that as far as mathematics is concerned, less emphasis has been placed on rote learning and hence better intellectual development may follow in later years.