Adults’ perception of       horizontality(A Sri Lankan experience)              T.Mukunthan             DMW Munasinghe  De...
Introduction• Horizontality can be defined as: the quality of being parallel to the horizon.• The idea of horizontality an...
Horizontality can be defined as:the quality of being parallel to the             horizon.             The idea of horizont...
Introduction (Cont.)• Acquisition of many concepts is based on the   perception of horizontality. shapes angles,directi...
Introduction (Cont.)• Research specifies that many adults fail  to understand the principle of  horizontality.(Kalichman 1...
Literature Review• The idea of horizontality and verticality is  not acquired by children before nine to  ten years of age...
Literature Review (Cont.)• The significance given to this concept in the mathematics syllabus in the National school curri...
Literature Review (Cont.)• ‘the simplest and most natural frame of  reference available to the child is most  probably tha...
Literature Review (Cont.)• In the first stage which lasts until about the age 4  or a little later, children are unable to...
Literature Review (Cont.)• Therefore, horizontal and vertical axes  are still undiscovered.• During the sub-stage IIB alth...
Literature Review (Cont.)• During sub-stage IIIB it is possible to see the  vertical and horizontal gradually.• they are a...
Literature Review (Cont.)• Even though Piaget noted that, at about the age of  9 children achieve horizontal perception, f...
Objective and Hypothesis        of the studyObjective of the studyMain objective of the study was to identify Sri Lankan a...
Methodology• The method used in this study is qualitative  in nature.• Experimental research design was used in  identifyi...
Methodology (Cont.)• Instruments used in the study were rectangular                        l  based glass bottle ( 1 ) hal...
Methodology (Cont.)• The students were asked to showing a  line on the picture representing the  surface of the water in t...
Results and Discussion• There were 26 (28.9%) of the students drew  the line horizontally and 64 (71.1%) of them  did not ...
Conclusions / Recommendations• Pre-school curricula mainly implemented in many Sri  Lankan pre-schools follow Piagetian co...
Conclusions / Recommendations• The results indicate that adults do find it  difficult to conceive horizontality.• When com...
Conclusions / Recommendations            (Cont.)• Since horizontality is important in  learning mathematics, geology and e...
THANK YOU            21
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Adults' perception of Horizontality: A Sri lankan Experience

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Paper presented at 67th Annual Sessions, Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science 8.12.2011

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Adults' perception of Horizontality: A Sri lankan Experience

  1. 1. Adults’ perception of horizontality(A Sri Lankan experience) T.Mukunthan DMW Munasinghe Dept. Early Childhood and Primary Education The Open University of Sri Lanka 1
  2. 2. Introduction• Horizontality can be defined as: the quality of being parallel to the horizon.• The idea of horizontality and verticality for example is the ability to predict the inclination of the surface of a liquid in a jar about to be tilted in specific ways. (Piaget and Inhelder, 1973). 2
  3. 3. Horizontality can be defined as:the quality of being parallel to the horizon. The idea of horizontality and verticality for example is the ability to predict the inclination of the surface of a liquid in a jar about to be tilted in specific ways. (Piaget and Inhelder, 1973). in specific ways. (Piaget and Inhelder, 1973). 3
  4. 4. Introduction (Cont.)• Acquisition of many concepts is based on the perception of horizontality. shapes angles,directions and spatial concepts involved with the idea of horizontality.• Therefore, conception of horizontality is important for children to perform successfully in mathematics. 4
  5. 5. Introduction (Cont.)• Research specifies that many adults fail to understand the principle of horizontality.(Kalichman 1987, Kelly and Kelly 1977, Rebelsky,1964).• Therefore, this study attempts to find the applicability of such conclusions to the Sri Lankan context. 5
  6. 6. Literature Review• The idea of horizontality and verticality is not acquired by children before nine to ten years of age, the perception of horizontality provides younger children with a ‘rough but an adequate idea of the relation between the horizontal and their own line of vision and bodily positions’ (Piaget and Inhelder, 1973). 6
  7. 7. Literature Review (Cont.)• The significance given to this concept in the mathematics syllabus in the National school curriculum of Sri Lanka is reflected in the competency:‘Child will be able to identify and distinguish between the Horizontal and a vertical plane’ which is expected to be developed in fifth graders. 7
  8. 8. Literature Review (Cont.)• ‘the simplest and most natural frame of reference available to the child is most probably that provided by the physical world in the shape of the vertical and horizontal axes’. - Piaget (1950),• He describes how children’s conception of horizontality develops through three stages (Piaget and Inhelder 1967). 8
  9. 9. Literature Review (Cont.)• In the first stage which lasts until about the age 4 or a little later, children are unable to distinguish surfaces or planes, in the case of either fluids or solids.• At the beginning of the second stage which Piaget calls sub-stage IIA the lines indicating surface of liquids and solids are undefined;• except when the bottle is tilted the child imagines the movement of the water without any regard to an external reference system. Liquid is simply imagined as expanding or contracting. 9
  10. 10. Literature Review (Cont.)• Therefore, horizontal and vertical axes are still undiscovered.• During the sub-stage IIB although the child cannot draw water in a tilted jar as level, he does not imagine water being parallel to the base of the jar.• However, during the transitional stage from sub stage IIB to sub-stage IIIA child is able to predict the level of the liquid when it is parallel to the sides. 10
  11. 11. Literature Review (Cont.)• During sub-stage IIIB it is possible to see the vertical and horizontal gradually.• they are applied logically and consistently to all situations only at the beginning of sub- stage IIIB.• That is, children gradually discover that the surface of water at rest in a container remains horizontal despite the orientation of the container at about the age of 9 (Piaget 1948). 11
  12. 12. Literature Review (Cont.)• Even though Piaget noted that, at about the age of 9 children achieve horizontal perception, findings of many studies indicate that, many adults do not have the horizontal perception of water.• Pulos (1991) conducted a study in US on ‘Adults Understanding of Conservation of Horizontality’. He had selected 54 undergraduate students as his sample. He noted that, 30% of the adults do not understand the conservation of horizontality.• Buton(1979) conducted a study of in US on ‘perception of horizontal and vertical by college students’ with 87 adults and found that, 43.68% of adults have not grasped the idea about horizontal. 12
  13. 13. Objective and Hypothesis of the studyObjective of the studyMain objective of the study was to identify Sri Lankan adults, perception of horizontality.Hypothesis There is a significant difference in adults’ perceptions of conservation of horizontality. 13
  14. 14. Methodology• The method used in this study is qualitative in nature.• Experimental research design was used in identifying the conception of horizontality in adults.• The sample of the study was 90 second year students enrolled on the Diploma in Early Childhood and Primary Education Programme of the Open University of Sri Lanka. 14
  15. 15. Methodology (Cont.)• Instruments used in the study were rectangular l based glass bottle ( 1 ) half filled with coloured water and an empty bottle of the same brand.• The bottle half filled with coloured water was placed on the table in vertical position and the empty bottle and a picture showing a half filled bottle tilted at 45 in relation to the surface of the table. 15
  16. 16. Methodology (Cont.)• The students were asked to showing a line on the picture representing the surface of the water in the half-filled bottle which was tilted. 16
  17. 17. Results and Discussion• There were 26 (28.9%) of the students drew the line horizontally and 64 (71.1%) of them did not draw the line horizontally. Chi- Squared test showed that• Therefore the null hypothesis is rejected. There is a significant difference in adults’ perceptions of conservation of horizontality. 17
  18. 18. Conclusions / Recommendations• Pre-school curricula mainly implemented in many Sri Lankan pre-schools follow Piagetian concepts and methods to provide experience (Talagala, 2004).• Mathematics in the Key-stage I also is influenced by Piagetian concepts.• Piaget noted that children gradually discover that the surface of water at rest in a container remains horizontal despite the orientation of the container.• But the findings of this study show that, there is a significant difference in adults’ perceptions of conservation of horizontality and that 71% of the adults’ do not have the ability to represent horizontality. 18
  19. 19. Conclusions / Recommendations• The results indicate that adults do find it difficult to conceive horizontality.• When compared with the findings of Buton(1979) and Pulos (1991) the percentage of Sri Lankan adults who did not perform well in horizontality tasks is higher. 19
  20. 20. Conclusions / Recommendations (Cont.)• Since horizontality is important in learning mathematics, geology and even giving evidence in courts it is suggested that greater emphasis should be made in schools to develop the idea of horizontality in students regardless of grade or age. 20
  21. 21. THANK YOU 21
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