Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963848 | Print ISBN: 9781412916882 | Online ISBN: 9781412963848| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Conservation refers to the feature of constancy or invariance of an object. It is the notion that a quantity stays the same despite changes in form or appearance. Educational psychologists study the concept of conservation in children as an important developmental milestone that is reached when a shift in cognitive thinking occurs. One of Jean Piaget's earliest and most important discoveries was that young children lacked the principle of conservation. Much research has been conducted to prove or disprove Piaget's theory of conservation. While studying how children develop intelligence, Piaget discovered that young children do not understand that quantity, length, or number of items is unrelated to the arrangement or appearance of the items. He developed different tasks to further understand the concept of how children develop the principle of conservation. He looked at mass, number, volume, and area. For the task of mass, the examiner presents a child with ...