Volume 23, Issue 2 (summer 2021)                   Advances in Cognitive Sciences 2021, 23(2): 144-156 | Back to browse issues page


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1- MSc Educational Psychology, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran
2- Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran
3- Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran
Abstract:   (1594 Views)
Introduction
Cognitive-visual function is one of the most extensive functional systems of humans that consists of visual ability, visual-motor ability, and visual memory components (1, 2, 3). The latter is necessary for retaining and saving information (4) that can be reinforced by having visual arts training, including collage (5). Japanese artists have used collage as a kind of visual art over 1000 years ago. Collage uses painting, puts pieces of objects next to each other on a flat or a relief surface to picture phenomena (6, 7, 8). No research was explicitly found on the effectiveness of working with collage on cognitive-visual function, but as a kind of artwork, collage enhances the spatial perception and improves visual perception and motor visual perception (9). Essentially, art effectively enhanced cognitive-visual components, and painting training also improved visual perception and visual memory of dyscalculia students (10). Folklore/native games improved the motor visual perception of preschoolers (11). Playing with sands helped to developmentally disabled children’s motor visual perception (13, 14). Thus, seeing the collage as an artwork, the purpose of the research was to investigate the effectiveness of working with collage on preschooler’s whole cognitive-visual function and its components (visual perception, visual memory, and fundamental visual ability).    
Methods
The research method was experimental, with the pretest pre-test /post-test along with a control group and the follow-up. The statistical population was all boys and girls of 103 kindergartens in the city of Kerman. The sample size was 40 preschoolers recruited using the multi-cluster sampling method and the simple random method within each cluster. The children were placed in two experimental and control groups, with 20 members in each group (ten boys and ten girls). The eligibility criteria for participating in the experiment were being a preschooler (4-5 years old), having physical sanity, having no learning disabilities, and having no retardation. The exclusion criteria of the experiment were having even one session of absence or parents not having any disposition towards collaboration in conducting the experiment. The eight sessions of training used Towhidi et al. instructional package of working with collage only to children in the experimental group (7), and the first author conducted the content.    
Benton’s visual retention test was applied to assess the visual perception, visual memory, and motor visual perception (fundamental visual ability). This test was constructed by Benton Sivan in 1945 and was revised in 1992. It is a clinical tool that was specifically designed for children and adults. It consists of three C, D, and E parallel forms. Each form has ten cards, and each card has one or a number of geometrical figures with four ways of administering the test in order to assess perception and memory. Based on the test, the required time to conduct the test is five to 10 minutes. The number of correct rearrangements (correct drawings) for each card is assessed and counted as a whole or a null to score the test. For each correct drawing, one point is given, and for each incorrect drawing, a zero is allocated. The validity of the test is high, and the reliability of the test using the test-retest is reported to be 0.78 (15). In the present research, the internal validity using Cronbach’s Alpha was estimated to be .74. Using the test-retest, the reliability was reported to be for the whole tool 0.70, visual perception 0.81, visual memory 0.73, and the fundamental visual ability 0.67.  
Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as mean and standard deviation and inferential statistics such as the multiple Covariance (MANCOVA).
Results
Conducting tests revealed that the data were normal (Shapiro-Wilk), the homogeneity of the variance-covariance matrix was met (Box’s M), homogeneity of the error of the variances of the dependent variables between groups were met (Levene). As a result, there were differences between the experimental and the control groups, at least in one of the components of the cognitive visual function (Pillai, Wilks’ lambda, and Hotelling).     
After removing the effect of the pre-test, there is a difference among the scores of the post-tests of the scales: Visual perception (ƞ2=0.40, P=0.0001, F33.1,1= 28.21), visual memory (ƞ2=0.54, P=0.0001, F33.1,1=38.12), and the fundamental visual ability (ƞ2=0.39, P=0.0001, F33.1,1=21.66) meaning that working with collage has caused a significant enhancement in components of the cognitive-visual function in the post phase. In the follow-up phase, after removing the effect of the pre-test, there is a significant difference between scores of the post-tests of the scales: Visual perception (ƞ2=0.41, P=0.0001, F33.1,1=18.35), visual memory (ƞ2=0.36, P=0.0001, F33.1,1=22.79). The fundamental visual ability (ƞ2=0.18, P=0.0001, F33.1,1=7.56) meaning that working with collage had its effect in the follow-up phase as well, and it has caused an enhancement in the cognitive-visual function components.  
The difference between the means of the pre-test and the post-test in three components of the cognitive- visual function is significant, and after working with collage the experimental group significantly had a better performance in comparison to the control group in the post-test. The difference between the means in follow-up/post-test shows that working with collage has a significant effect on cognitive-visual function components of the experimental group in comparison to the control group. Thus, the group that had training (in comparison with the group that did not receive any training) had a significant enhancement in the cognitive-visual function components.    
Conclusion
The purpose of the research was to investigate the effectiveness of working with collage on children’s cognitive-visual function and its scales. This finding is in concordance with findings of Karami et al. (8), Moghadam, Estaki et al. (10), Hamidian Jahromi et al. (11), Nesai Moghadam et al. (12), Mcmanus et al. (13), and Alders (14). These findings are explained by the facts that performing artworks causes the enhancement in the efficiency of the right brain, resulting in improved brain functions, and working with collage develops visual ability and reinforces it (10). Working with collage speeds up eyes’ movements and fingers and their synchronizations with each other, as well as synchronizations of small mussels with one another; it enhances attention and focus (13), and reinforces visual memory (15).     
The current research implies that working with collage is a safe method for nurturing children’s mental abilities; it can be recognized as an academic, training, and clinical method. The main problem was the lack of studies on this issue; the research was limited to 4–5-year-old children, as well as was conducted in Kerman. It is suggested that similar studies be conducted with more extended sample sizes, more sessions, different age groups, and in different cities.    
Ethical Considerations
Compliance with ethical guidelines
Before conducting the research, an ethical code of E.A.98.10.08.01 from the university was received. An assurance was given to parents, children, and educators that the gathered information would remain confidential. The parents’ consent for their children’s participation was necessary and they were reminded that they could prevent their children’s participation in the experiment whenever they wished.
Authors’ contributions
The research is derived from the student’s (first author) master’s thesis. In addition, the instructional package was derived from Towhidi’s, one of the previous studies designed with Ghorbi and Pouyamanesh’s collaborations. The student instructed the sessions. Since the beginning of writing the proposal, research conduct, writing the whole thesis, and at last, the article was under the supervision of the student’s first and second advisors (second and third authors).     
Funding
The research did not receive any support funds from any institution.
Acknowledgments
Sincerely and heartedly, we appreciate educators, personnel of the Kerman’s office of education, the personnel of the kindergartens, parents, and specifically the children who all together helped this research flourish.
Conflict of interest
There is no conflict of interest in terms of the research, authorship, and or publication.  
Full-Text [PDF 871 kb]   (158 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research |
Received: 2019/12/31 | Accepted: 2021/04/18 | Published: 2021/08/24

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