The following document was filed by J.S. Cambry (ABD), bioethics student on January 17, 2423
From Cognition and Creative Problem Solving in Subgroup B Children
Comparative Behavior and Development, Apr. 2404; 41(3): 151-176
Sarah H. Anders
Department of Sociology and Social Sciences, University of North Carolina
Senior Research Fellow, James-WorldEducate Research Institute
Department of Biology, Glenway College
Although anthropological and sociological studies have been conducted on the development of B children, no recent scientific study has been conducted to explore the intellectual capacities of these children. However, the recent influx of subgroup B children into cities has provided subjects for this type of in-depth examination. This present study analyzes the cognitive development of subgroup B children, specifically focusing on their problem solving and creative potential. Twenty-four children in the WorldEducate system were tested upon their arrival at WE facilities. Data was collected using the Harrington Memory Test, the Goffman-Cole Cognitive Aptitude Battery, and the Dahl Creativity Assessment. Results showed that B children generally scored average to slightly below average on all tests, especially in comparison to subgroup A children of the same age. These findings provide the first preliminary evidence of lower cognitive abilities in B children. While further research is needed to identify the causal factors for these lower cognitive abilities, we theorize that these differences are the result of a less rigorous curriculum in subgroup B schools as well as lowered intellectual expectations in their homes.
The present study examined the cognitive and creative abilities of subgroup B children housed in WorldEducate facilities. This investigation utilized three common assessments of cognitive ability (the Harrington, Goffman-Cole, and Dahl tests) applied in subgroup A schools and used the measures of central tendencies from three subgroup A classes in Chicago as our control variable. Twenty-four subgroup B children, ages seven through nine, were tested upon entry into the WorldEducate system. The results of their tests were compared to the other subgroup B children in their respective age groups and then compared to the results of subgroup A children.
There were five major findings. First, there was little divergence in the results of the Harrington Memory Test for seven to eight year old subgroup A and B children. The seven-year-olds were typically able to remember a set of eight without committing any errors. The eight-year-olds were typically able to remember a set of ten without committing any errors. However, the nine year old subgroup B children performed below average in comparison to subgroup A children of the same age. The results for the subgroup B nine-year-olds did not measurably improve from those of the previous age group, but the results for subgroup A children were significantly better. On average, they were able to recall a set of fourteen.
Second, subgroup B children in every age group performed below average on the Goffman-Cole Cognitive Battery when compared to subgroup A children, and four of the subgroup B children failed to complete the test. However, special consideration must be given to the fact that many of the subgroup B children displayed a greater willingness to manipulate the GCCB program in order to complete the assessment. We hypothesized that this behavior is the result of a lack of familiarity with the program as well as a lack of technological literacy.
Third, in the Dahl Creativity Assessment, subgroup B children of all age groups revealed an inability to organize and reorganize the provided shapes into new combinations, relying instead on recreating or copying images. Often their images were crude depictions of their own home structures or families. Of the twenty-four children, only three were able to fabricate unique images using four or more of the provided shapes. Only one was able to use multiple shapes to build a complete world. Alternatively, in their images, subgroup A children of all age groups used the provided shapes to create original, and highly imaginative, pictures often drawing on a variety of different sources including fiction and nonfiction stories, art, and song, displaying greater intellectual and imaginative capacities as well as a greater ability to form connections and associations across different mediums.
Fourth, within their age groups, subgroup B children performed comparably. As seen in the graphs for the HMT and GCCB, there was little deviation within the age groups. (There was slightly more variation for the subgroup A children though it was not statistically significant.) Fifth, in comparison to subgroup A children, the subgroup B children scored significantly lower on all the assessments. These differences were expounded by age.
While further exploration would be necessary to uncover the conclusive reasons underlying the lagging scores of subgroup B children, we arrived at provisional conclusions. Our first conclusion relies on the extensive body of work exploring the curricula in subgroup B communities and schools (Falk et al., 2389; Bennett and Hoffstat, 2396; Strauss et al., 2401). The curricula in these schools focuses on hands-on and experiential learning which, when compared to the more traditional curricula found in the academies for subgroup A children, often fails to produce individuals capable of high-level reasoning and critical thought. We believe that the difference in scores on the HMT and the GCCB could have resulted from the scholastic rigor subgroup A children experience in comparison to subgroup B children. It must be noted that this difference in curricula correlates to the inherent, genetic levels of ability built into subgroup A and B children, respectively. The education of subgroup B children lacks comparable difficulty because these children are biologically incapable of the complex levels of thought required to succeed in the academies. Thus, the significant differences we noted on the HMT and GCCB can be attributed to external and internal factors.
The differences in scores on the Dahl Creativity Assessment could correlate to levels of exposure to different media. Though subgroup B communities have access to some arts, technology, and sciences, this exposure is limited and is often cursory rather than comprehensive. However, the difference could also be the result of limited cognition. The DCA tests the ability to make unique and original connections between ideas, so individuals with higher intellectual capacities will achieve higher scores.
Finally, as research has noted (Byron and Howe, 2401; Chough, et.al, 2398) subgroup B communities often have reduced expectations regarding the intellectual prowess of their offspring, choosing instead to focus on their physical development and the establishment of familial bonds. These lowered expectations have been shown to affect intellectual development and curiosity (Sayre, et.al, 2399) and could correlate to lower scores on the HMT, GCCB, and DCA for subgroup B children.
This exploratory study has identified the strengths and limitations found in the cognitive powers of subgroup B children and found that subgroup B children compare poorly to their subgroup A counterparts. While we have isolated several hypotheses for their limited intellectual capacities, further study is needed to determine the validity of the causal links we have identified. Future study should explore the relation between various subgroup B home sites and intellect as it could account for the slight variability in scores that we noted in this study. In addition, longitudinal studies are needed to explore where and when lapses in intellectual development occur within subgroup B communities. Eventually, a better understanding of the cognitive abilities of subgroup B individuals may emerge that will allow for better usage of their skills and abilities in the industrial sector.