Teaching Strategies and Conservation Training

  • Frank B. Murray
Part of the Nato Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 5)


Between 1961 and 1976, about 140 research studies were published that were designed specifically, in one way or another, to train young children between four and seven years old to conserve. Seventy percent of these studies appeared between 1970 and 1975, and with only two percent of them appearing in 1976, it would appear that the conservation training preoccupation of developmental psychologists may have ended. Quite apart from the theoretical reasons that may have motivated and legitimized the attention scientific journals gave to this issue, the thesis of this paper is that in these studies, a number of precise teaching techniques were created and, more importantly, were evaluated. Moreover, the extensive experimental literature on conservation, of which the training literature is a small part, serendipitously provides a model for programmatic research in educational psychology. From its inception at the turn of the century, educational psychology was planned as the discipline of the psychology of the various subject matters in which variables that predicted and controlled the acquisition of subject matter would be charted and explained. The claim that teaching could be a science was to be based upon this new discipline. For various reasons, the discipline wandered in the following decades from this central purpose; but the developmental psychologists have, perhaps unwittingly, followed the program faithfully in their evaluation of the conservation phenomenon.


Educational Psychology Teaching Strategy Irrelevant Attribute Training Literature Qualitative Concept 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank B. Murray
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational Foundations College of EducationUniversity of DelawareUSA

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