The Development of Planning Ability in Children: The Role of Meta-Planning, Transfer, and Individual Differences

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jeffrey M. Gredlein (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Robert Guttentag

Abstract: Research on the development of planning ability has been plagued by a lack of consensus regarding what is, or is not, planning. Haith (1997) has argued that "planning" should not be attributed to a child unless: (1) a goal has been chosen, or at least understood as the specific end-state, (2) there was more than one way of arriving at the particular goal, (3) more than one step is necessary for goal attainment, with options available for how one might progress at each step, and (4) there has been an element of conscious reflection on options for implementing the plan and the likely outcomes of each option. The present study utilized a task that met all four of Haith's criteria to assess the development of planning in children. It was found that children younger than 5 years of age did not plan their task moves spontaneously, but that 4-year-olds could benefit from planning if prompted to do so, and that the benefits of planning on the first planning task transferred to a second planning task a week later. It was also found that individual differences in planning were related to a measure of general reflectiveness and monitoring.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2007
Child Development, Planning, Individual Differences, Problem-Solving, Transfer of Training, Meta-cognition

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