Chapter 9


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Chapter 9

  1. 1. Kathleen Stassen Berger Part III Chapter Nine The Play Years: Cognitive Development Piaget and Vygotsky Children’s Theories Language Early-Childhood Education Prepared by Madeleine Lacefield Tattoon, M.A. 1
  2. 2. The Play Years: Cognitive Development …thinking and learning from age 2 to 6… …remarkable advances in language and thought… …the simple sentence of the typical 2-year- old that are nonstop, complex outpourings of a talkative 6-year-old, who can explain almost anything… 2
  3. 3. Piaget and Vygotsk …famous for their description of cognition… the eager learning of children… are compatible in many ways… 3
  4. 4. Piaget • Piaget: Preoperational Thinking – preoperational intelligence • cognitive development between the ages of about 2 and 6; it includes languages and imagination (in addition to the senses and motor skills of infancy), but logical, operational thinking is not yet possible 4
  5. 5. Piaget • Obstacles to Logical Operation – centration • a characteristic of preoperational thought in which a young child focuses (centers) on one idea, excluding all others – egocentrism • Piaget’s term for children’s tendency to think about the world entirely from their own personal perspective – focus on appearance • a characteristic of preoperational though in which a young child ignores all attributes that are not apparent 5
  6. 6. Piaget • Obstacles to Logical Operation – static reasoning • thinking that nothing changes: Whatever is now has always been and always will be – irreversibility • the idea that nothing can be undone; the inability to recognize that something can sometimes be restored to the way it was before a change occurred 6
  7. 7. Piaget • Conservation and Logic – conservation • the idea that the amount of a substance remains the same (i.e., is conserved) when its appearance changes 7
  8. 8. Piaget 8
  9. 9. Piaget • Limitations of Piaget’s Research – Piaget underestimated the conceptual ability of young children and infants… • designing his experiments to reveal what children seemed not to understand, rather than to identify what they could understand • relied on the child’s words rather than the child’s nonverbal signs in play context 9
  10. 10. Vygotsk • Vygotsky: Social Learning – young children can be very sensitive to the wishes and emotions of others – young children have social thoughts 10
  11. 11. Vygotsk • Children as Apprentices – cognitive development is embedded in a social context – curious and observant – ask questions 11
  12. 12. Vygotsk • Children as Apprentices – apprentice in thinking • a person whose cognition is stimulated and directed by older more skilled members of society – guided participation • the process by which people learn from others who guide their experiences and explorations 12
  13. 13. Vygotsk • Children as Apprentices – guided participation 13
  14. 14. Vygotsk • Scaffolding – zone of proximal development (ZPD) • the skills that a person can exercise only with assistance, not yet independently • ZPD applies to the ideas or cognitive skills a person is close to mastering as well as to more apparent skills – scaffolding • temporary support that is tailored to a learner’s needs and abilities and aimed at helping the learner master the next task in a given learning process 14
  15. 15. Vygotsk • Language as a Toll – private speech • internal dialogue that occurs when people talk to themselves (either silently or out loud) – social mediation • a function of speech by which a person’s cognitive skills are refined and extended through both formal instruction and casual conversation 15
  16. 16. Children’s Theories • Theory-Theory – the idea that children attempt to explain everything they see and hear by constructing theories 16
  17. 17. Children’s Theories • Theory of Mind – a person’s theory of what other people might be thinking – children must realize that other people are not necessarily thinking the same thoughts that they themselves are thinking – the realization is seldom possible before age 4 17
  18. 18. Children’s Theories • Belief and Reality: Understanding the Difference – a sudden leap of understanding occurs at about age 4 • between age 3 – 6 children come to realize that thoughts may not reflect reality 18
  19. 19. Children’s Theories • Contextual Influences – maturation of the brain’s prefrontal cortex appears to be the reason for the age-related advance in children 19
  20. 20. Language • is pivotal to cognition in early childhood • is the leading cognitive accomplishment in early childhood • 24-month-olds begin this period with short sentences and limited vocabulary • 6-year-olds end it with the ability to understand and discuss almost anything 20
  21. 21. Language • critical period – a time when a certain development must happen if it is ever to happen • sensitive period – a time when a certain type of development is most likely to happen and happens most easily 21
  22. 22. Language • Vocabulary – new words are added rapidly • at age 2 knows about 500 words • at age 6 about 10,000 words 22
  23. 23. Language • Fast-Mapping – the speedy and sometimes imprecise way in which children learn new words by mentally charting them into categories according to their meaning 23
  24. 24. Language • Words and the Limits of Logic – logical extension • used to describe other objects in the same category • use of available vocabulary to cover all the territory they want to talk about 24
  25. 25. Language • Grammar – grammar of language includes the structure, techniques, and rules that are used to communicate meaning – parts of grammar: word order and word repetition, prefixes and suffixes, intonation and emphasis – overregularization • the application of rules of grammar even when exceptions occur, so that the language is made to seem more “regular” than it actually is 25
  26. 26. Language • Learning Two Languages – bilingualism is an asset—a necessity – language-minority children are at a disadvantage (not the dominant language of the nation) – more likely to: • do poorly in school • feel ashamed • become unemployed as adults – learning the majority language is crucial 26
  27. 27. Language – What is the goal of having a second language? • research supports that children should learn at least two languages…the language-sensitive years of early childhood are the best time • soon after the vocabulary explosion, young are able to master two languages—distinct sets of words and grammar • Young children have difficulty with pronunciation in every language, but this does not slow down their learning of a second language 27
  28. 28. Language – Bilingualism, Cognition, and Culture • “Since language is integral to culture, bilingualism is embedded in emotions of ethnic pride and fear. This reality hampers developmental research.” 28
  29. 29. Language Constant Change – The basics of language learning… – explosion – fast-mapping – overregularization – extensive practice …apply to bilingual learning – Languages continually change… – Negro to Black to African American – hip-hop; e-mail; DVD; spam; blog; cell (phone); rap (music); buff (in shape) – other languages are basic English vocabulary – salsa, loco, amour 29
  30. 30. Early-Childhood Education – a hundred years ago children had no formal education until first grade – today 3 – 5-year-olds in developed nations are in school – early educational institutions differ, but names do not indicate the nature of the program 30
  31. 31. Early-Childhood Education 31
  32. 32. Early-Childhood Education • Child-Centered Programs • Montessori Schools • The Reggio Emilia Approach • Teacher-Directed Programs • Intervention Programs • Head Start • Experimental Programs 32
  33. 33. Early-Childhood Education • Costs and Benefits – quality early-childhood education matters – financial aspects are especially significant – parents pay the bulk of the cost or preschool in the United States – quality child care: • safety • adequate space and equipment • low adult-child ratio • positive social interaction among children and adults • trained staff and educated parents • continuity helps – “How long has each staff member worked at the center?” 33