Conducted in Swaziland in 1984 and 1985, this research study explored children's logical thinking skills. One of the primary elements examined was the relationship between previous preschool experience and the child's ability to perform logical thinking tasks. The study consisted of six Piagetian tasks given to 400 children, preschool through grade 3, who represented a sample from the variables of sex, age, grade level, SES background, urban and rural settings, and previous preschool and non-preschool attendance. The most striking result indicated that non-preschool attenders performed better on five of the six tasks; namely, length, weight, number, seriation, and grouping. The preschool attenders performed slightly better only on the classification task. Rationale provided for this finding included the lack of development of good quality preschool programs in the country. Recommendations indicate the need for curriculum development in early childhood education and for upgrading preschool teacher training programs in the country. (DST)
Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Midwest Association for the Education of Young Children (Peoria, IL, April 17-20, 1986).