Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 6-16-1971


The purposes of this study were to show that using a paper and pencil exercise, developmental differences may be found in style of thinking that are similar to those found by Piaget, and to determine if socioeconomic status (SES) or ethnicity will influence these differences. The subjects consisted of 311 Anglo and Mexican American lower and middle SES students at the fourth, sixth, and eighth grade levels. The subjects were enrolled in a summer school program in a large city on the west coast. The subjects were administered the map reasoning ex­ercise by eight experimenters. Significant differences were found be­tween the fourth and sixth grade subjects and between the sixth and eighth grade subjects on Reasoning Level (RL) score. Differences also were found between the groups on RL score at each of the three grade levels. These results were interpreted as indicating that SES will influence a subject's rate of development, but will not affect his developmental se­quence. In most cases, the middle SES subjects scored higher than the lower SES subjects. The magnitude of this SES influence seemed to decrease as age increased. The results of this study are consistent with Piaget's developmental theory.

Document Type


Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Richard M. Gorman

Second Committee Member

Wayne Paul Moellenberg

Third Committee Member

Albert W. Vogel