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Title of Thesis

Institute/University/Department Details
National Institute of Psychology/ Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad
Number of Pages
Keywords (Extracted from title, table of contents and abstract of thesis)
concrete operational thought, school education, child development, cognitive development

The state of children In Pakistan was reviewed with a view that it has important bearing upon future of Pakistan. The significance of childhood in the development of human mind was pointed out. The situation of .primary education of children requires immediate attention from all angles. Psychology as a discipline is not playing any significant role in the improvement of primary education. Drop outs from schools was seen as one of the major problems of primary education in Pakistan. Significance of a psychological perspective for understanding the problem of drop outs was discussed. A psychological model which adopts a passive and mechanical view of human beings was rejected in the favour of a theoretical model which provides central role to children in the process of education. Various theories of psychology were discussed and evaluated in the context of child development. The cognitive development theory of Jean Piaget was selected as a framework which can be useful to undertake a psychological research on primary school children of Pakistan. A biographical review of Piaget was included to understand his contribution in child psychology. Piaget's theory of cognitive development and his concept of stages of development was described. . By considering cognitive development as an important aspect of children's education, a cognitive development survey of primary school children was undertaken. It was assumeed that this survey will not only shed light on the cognitive development of children but will also be useful in clarifying some important issues in Piagetian psychology. The construct of concrete operation thought was taken as a significant aspect of theory of cognitive development which has direct relevance to primary school children. An assessment of concrete operational thought as a unitary construct was considered an important aspect of this work. A plan was proposed to clarify some of these issues by a large data, based upon a larger sample with sufficient range of cognitive development levels in children and collected with a battery containing enough cognitive development tasks to cover various ranges of cognitive levels. The results of survey were analysed from different angles. The reliability of the cognitive development tasks was established. Factor analysis was used to investigate the structure of the construct of concrete operational thought. The problem of decalage in the cognitive development theory was considered in the light of evidence available in the data. It was shown that this battery provided a good estimate of cognitive development levels of Pakistani children. It was shown that the construct of concrete operational thought is a valid and unitary construct which can be used for expla1n1ng certain problems in primary school education of Pakistan. The results of survey described cognitive developmental stages of Primary school children. A sub-sample was used to point out a link between drop outs and cognitive development levels of children. Some classroom observations in primary schools were undertaken to establish that the educational practices are not in consonance with the cognitive development levels of children in schools. A class 1 textbook was analysed to show that its contents are not suitable for the given cognitive levels of chl1dren at this stage. Implication' of this work for further research and psychology's contribution in primary education were discussed.

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S. No. Chapter Title of the Chapters Page Size (KB)
1 0 Contents
71.5 KB
2 1 Introduction
1074.02 KB
  1.1 State Of Children In Pakistan 3
  1.2 Education Of Children 4
  1.3 Scientific Research And Decision Making 5
  1.4 Psychology And Education 6
  1.5 Primary Education And Literacy In Pakistan 10
  1.6 Research On Primary School Children Of Pakistan 42
  1.7 Theories Of Child Development 43
  1.8 Selection Of A Theoretical Framework 50
  1.9 The Making Of Jean Piaget. 53
  1.10 A Theory Of Cognitive Development 69
  1.11 Stages' Of Cognitive Development 78
  1.12 Critique Of Piagetian Theory And Research 88
  1.13 Statement Of Problem 94
3 2 Method
788.38 KB
  2.1 Sampling Design 101
  2.2 Description Of Sample Characteristics 108
  2.3 Description Of The Communities And The Schools 111
  2.4 Methodology 125
  2.5 Critical Method 126
  2.6 Procedure 136
  2.7 Development Of Task Battery 137
  2.8 Cognitive Development Survey 145
  2.9 Statistical Analysis Of Task Battery 146
  2.10 Analysis Of Concrete Operational Thought 8s A Construct 170
  2.11 Cognitive Development Levels A Factor For Drop Outs 178
  2.12 Classroom Observations In The Primary Schools 184
  2.13 Assessment Of Class 1 Textbook 186
4 3 Results
450.79 KB
  3.1 Psychometric Characteristics Of The Task Battery 189
  3.2 Reliability Of The Task Battery 193
  3.3 Results Of Analysis Of Concrete Operational Thought 193
  3.4 Cognitive Development Stages Of Primary School Children 199
  3.5 Development Of Cognitive Structures In Primary School Children 215
  3.6 Drop Outs In Class 1 Children 226
  3.7 Classroom Observations In The Primary Schools 228
  3.8 Evaluation Of Textbook In The Context Of Cognitive Development Of Children 231
5 4 Discussions
1594.61 KB
  4.1 References 247
  4.2 Appendix A 259
  4.3 Appendix B 297