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Process versus product task interpretation and parental teaching practice

Renshaw, P.D. and Gardner, R. (1990) Process versus product task interpretation and parental teaching practice. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 13 (4). pp. 489-505.

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Research on parental teaching strategies indicates that task interpretation mediates the amount and type of assistance provided by parents for their children. Leont'ev's (1981) three-tiered analytical framework has been employed to examine the relationship between task interpretation and teaching strategies, but task interpretation has been inferred rather than probed directly. Twenty-three preschoolers and their parents (10 mothers and 13 fathers) participated in the present study, the purpose of which was to assess directly parents' task interpretation of a teaching context, and to establish the pattern of relationships between task interpretation and teaching strategies. Task interpretation was coded using the process (learning goals) vs. product (performance goals) distinction suggested in the achievement motivation literature, and teaching strategies were coded in response to children's errors as either direct or indirect. The hypothesis, that process-oriented parents employ indirect error correction strategies and product-oriented parents employ direct error correction strategies, was confirmed. These findings suggest that parents may approach teaching tasks with quite different interpretations, and these interpretations are revealed by, and are consistent with, the teaching strategies they employ.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Copyright: © 1990 by International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development
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