Developmental differences in school-age children’s evaluations of explanations were assessed. Third- and fifth-grade students (N = 62) were shown videotapes of simulated small-group interactions involving four types of replies to requests—answer, procedure, demonstration, and justification. Children rated each reply type and provided justifications for half of their ratings. Adult ratings were obtained for assessing their responses to a written version of the stimuli. Results revealed differences between reply types and an interaction between reply type and grade. Adult ratings paralleled children’s. Only fifth-grade students varied their justifications across reply type. Fifth graders provided more content-specific justifications. Suggestions are made for practice and research involving communicative skills related to learning.
Journal of Educational Psychology - J EDUC PSYCHOL , vol. 78, no. 5, pp. 334-340