Investigating the Mental Abilities of Urban Preschool Children

Santosh Sangwan, Shakuntla Punia, Poonam Poonam

Abstract


Maximising the full potential of health and educational interventions in Indian schools requires assessment of the current level of mental abilities of the preschool children as measured by cognitive and mental tests and the identification of any barriers to improved performance.The current study examined present mental abilities of 3-5 years old preschool children. This study was conducted in purposively selected preschool laboratory run under the department of Human Development and Family Studies COHS, CCSHAU Hisar district of Haryana State, India. The sample for the study comprised of fifty children and in the age group between 3-5 years enrolled in the preschool lab was selected for the present study. McCarthy Scale was administered to all 50 preschoolers to assess their mental abilities. Significant gender differences were found in the test scores, and comparatively more girls (30%) were mentally below their chronological age than boys (26.66%). Regarding performance on different mental abilities it was observed that on perceptional abilities the performance was better than standard on block building, tapping sequence and poor on puzzle solving, draw a design, draw a child and conceptual grouping. Further for verbal abilities it is concluded that children had better performance on pictorial memory and word knowledge and lagged behind on verbal memory aspect. For quantitative abilities the selected children were better on number question and numerical memory but poor on counting and solving. This implies that there is a need to educate the parents and school teachers and administrators to provide a congenial environment to facilitate overall development. A need to educate and equip the teachers with skills in offering the pre-school programme. There is also a need to appraise the early childhood education specialists and social workers, service personnel to offer good quality and meaningful programme for young children affordable by all socio-economic groups.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2013.v3n7p754


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Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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