[[abstract]]This study is to establish the framework of young children’s conception of geometry, to develop an evaluation tool for young children’s conception of geometry, and to understand the development of young children’s conception of geometry. The subjects of this research include 217 preschool children from three classes, levels one to three, in three different public preschools in Taipei. The method of this research involves collecting data from one-on-one interviews conducted through the evaluation tool for young children’s conception of geometry developed by the author. More data are collected from supplementary observations and other sources of written, audio and video records. The results of this study are as follows: A. The first part of the framework of young children’s conception of geometry is established firstly from Piaget’s Topological primacy studies and secondly from Euclidean Geometry and Projective Geometry studies. This framework then assumes that the conception of 3-dimensional shapes is developed prior to the conception of 2-dimensional shapes, following the Cognitive Theory of Gestalt Psychology and the instructional philosophies of Froebel and Montessori Three-dimensional shapes include spheres, cubes, rectangular solids, cylinders, ellipsoids, triangular columns, triangular awls, circular awls, rectangular awls, and so on. Two-dimensional ional shapes include circles, squares, rectangles, triangles, ellipses, rhombuses, trapezoids, and so on. B. The conception of geometry indicates an individual’s recognition of the name, shape and characteristics of a geometrical shape. The evaluations for young children’s conception of geometry in this study include 1) “Adventures of a Little Bee” is to collect the vocabulary and classification of 3-dimensional shapes used in young children’s descriptions, 2) “The Dinosaur Is Sick” is to understand the vocabulary and classification of 2-dimensional shapes used in young children’s descriptions, 3) “Mysterious Treasures” is to observe young children’s recognition of 3-dimensional shapes through their touching the objects, and 4) “Kids, Look Over Here” is to examine the projected images of 3-dimensional shapes perceived by young children. C. Young children can describe 3-dimensional shapes by referring to daily-life objects. However, it is rather difficult for them to name the shapes. For 2-dimensional shapes, what they can name correctly is circles, and then triangles, squares, and rectangles respectively. Young children also possess relevant reasons for their appropriate classifications, where they exhibit focus of thought. Their recognition of 3-dimensional shapes through touching and their visual projections of 2-dimensional shapes have already well developed. This indicates that young children are already well-equipped with good judgment and perception of geometrical shapes in their early years. The recognition of geometrical shapes is indeed related to life experiences. However, the naming of the shapes seems to be more closely related to learning experiences, since most children scored lower in naming the shapes. Therefore, our suggestion is that preschools should teach 3-dimensional shapes by associating them with daily-life objects, introducing the correct names of those shapes, and guiding the children to identify 2-dimensional shapes from the projected images of 3-dimensional shapes.
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