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Benő Csapó: An analyses of the development of combinative ability: a large-scale survey

The paper presents the results of a large-scale assessment project that aimed at outlining the developmental curve of combinative ability and examining its relationships with school-related variables in a cross-sectional study. Representative samples were drawn from the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 11th grades of primary and secondary schools of Hungary. The same test containing 12 tasks was administered to each age group. The solution of the tasks required the composition and enumeration of all possible combinatorial constructions under the conditions given in the task. Data-collection took place at the beginning of the school year. The reliability coefficient of the test (Cronbach-alpha) is 0.901. The results show that combinative ability develops over the whole age range represented in the study. However, the development is uneven, with two more rapid periods (between ca. age 11-13 and then from 15) and a slower one in between (ca. from 13 to 15 years). This developmental trend suggests a structural reorganization that is consistent with the Piagetian theory. The distributions of the achievements indicate large individual differences within each age group. In general, the strongest correlations with other skills, abilities and school achievements were found in the 7th grade. Gender differences are significant in the upper grades and similarly large differences were found between the different tracks of the secondary schools.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 101. Number 4. 511-530. (2001)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Department of Education, University of Szeged, H-6722 Szeged, Petőfi sgt. 30-34.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia