Submitted by Sunny Owuna on 31 January 2011 – 1:00pm

Description of the problem:

  Numerous studies on the effects of pictorial depth perception were conducted in nineteen sixties and seventies in the Unites of America with varying performance and results. In one such study, Baikie, (1969) investigated the effects of single and combined cues on the perception of depth by children aged five and six years from two socio-economic groups. He used "size" "overlap" and "linear" depth cues in line drawings as stimulus materials and found that there was a significant gain in the responses of both ages, but socio-economic status made a difference. His five year olds from the disadvantaged group did not perform well enough and were not able to perceive depth in single cues. He therefore concluded that combined cues were more effective than single cues in evoking the responses.

     It has been four decades since Baikie’s study was done in the United States. What is not clear is whether similar findings can be recorded in different socio-cultural setting like Nigeria amidst the myriads socio-economic developments that have taken place in the past four decades. Notably id th ubiquity of pictorial materials in public and private places. And since an environment with high display of pictorial materials has been found to improve and enhance pictorial depth perception among its members (Quote reference) it remains to determine the state of pictorial perception of Nigerian children.

     Age five marks the end of kindergarten while age six is the beginning year of primary school education; this explains why these two ages are labeled as "vital years" in the lives of children. It will be great if the value these years are considered more seriously in Nigeria by our educational planners. There are expectations that children are needed to perform and gain experience as their reward, and the earlier they gain these experiences, the sooner they can proceed on to the next stage of development (Piaget and Inheder,(1948). One of such experiences is pictorial literacy.

     Pictures are a means of communicating ideas especially difficult and abstract concepts. Euro-Americans recognized this role and its effects in communication and as a result, have been using pictures over the Baikie in Yakubu (1979;pp14-16), stressed that failure among African students to do well in technical education. He further stressed that :

             "If then pictures play such an important role and yet Africans do not perceive pictorial materials

               the way they are intended to be perceived then there is a problem and the problem is of

               educational significance."