FOR THE past four years the authors and their co-workers at the Dr. Martin Luther King Family Center have been engaged in studying some problems of the people living in an inner-city black neighborhood. A series of pilot investigations led us to focus upon precursors of academic achievement observable during the preschool years.
In 1965, we established a research preschool in a public housing project on Chicago's West Side to provide a field setting for action research. In previous publications we described the school, the neighborhood, the population, and the various research approaches which we have undertaken.1-5
One major aspect of our work has been the careful observation of individual play sessions with 4-year-olds. In this way we have attempted to delineate salient behavioral variables which would further our understanding of the children's strengths and weaknesses. Such knowledge would presumably suggest useful