Identifying the task characteristics that predict children's construction task performance

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Richardson, M ; Jones, G ; Croker, S ; Brown, S (2011)

Construction tasks form a major part of children’s play and can be linked to achievement in maths and science. However there is a lack of understanding of construction task ability and development. Therefore, there is little foundation for the applied use of construction tasks, such as in teaching or research, as there are no apparent methods for assessing difficulty. This empirical research identifies four construction task characteristics that impact on cognition and predict construction task difficulty in children aged 7-8 and 10-11 years and adults. The results also reveal a developmental trajectory in construction ability. The research provides a method to quantify, predict and control the complexity of construction tasks for future research and to inform applied use.
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