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The Growth of Basic Mathematical and Scientific Concepts in Children

Helen Heath, Ph.D.
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;8(2):208-209. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720080098013.
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Although the author specifies that this book was written with the hope of enabling those interested in children to better understand the development of scientific and mathematical concepts, more precise aims may be delineated. Primarily the book is a compilation of studies designed to evaluate many of the basic findings reported by Piaget and Inhelder. Of secondary importance are some down-to-earth suggestions for improving the teaching of arithmetic to children during the early years of their school life.

Subsequent to an introduction which acknowledges that the intermediary steps between percepts and concepts are not well understood and which touches upon the origin of numerical constructs among primitive man, the book embarks on its main course. First the verbal, visual, and activity methods for initiating work and play with numbers at the primary level are compared. Even though the author's preference for the activity method—which he believes most often leads to


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