09-Early Childhood: Cognitive Development

09-Early Childhood:
Cognitive Development
Piaget – Preoperational thought
 Focus on individual
 Development of symbolic thought and
 Permits symbolic thinking
 Frees child from limits of sensorimotor
 Egocentrism – “self-centeredness”
 Seeing the world from your own point
of view
 Conservation of matter
Vygotsky – Social learning
 Focus on sociocultural aspects
 Guided participation
 E.g. Mentor
 Other children
Zone of Proximal development
 Items child can perform with assistance, but not on her own.
 Active help with learning
 E.g. Parent providing active help with math homework
 Not doing it for him
 Not having him do it all himself
Private speech
 Internal dialogue
 Aids thinking & self-reflection
 Used by preschoolers to explain things to themselves
 To be encouraged
Children’s Theories
 Theory-Theory
 Theory of the mind
 Children attempt to explain everything
 What is the purpose of something
 Why? = How does it affect me?
 Cause
Theory of the mind
 Ability to conceive what someone else is thinking
 Understanding that other people may not be thinking the
same thoughts as you are.
 Lying
 Confusing what they know now with
 What they knew earlier
 What something else might think
 Red box – blue box example
 Premier accomplishment in early childhood
 Vocabulary explosion by fastmapping
 Adding words to a category without fully understanding it
 E.g. Zebra = a horse with stripes
Early Childhood Education
Child-centered programs
 Stress child’s development and growth
 Montessori schools
 Reggio Emilia approach
 Learn through play – not following adult directions
 Children learn from other children
Montessori schools
 Maria Montessori
 Individual activity (mats)
 Each child progresses at their own rate
 “Play” activities teach Fine motor development, numbers,
math, letters, vocabulary
Reggio Emilia approach
 Focus on creativity
 Low teacher/student ratio
Teacher directed programs
 Academic subjects
 Letters, numbers, shapes, colors
 1 teacher to entire class
 Clear distinction between work and play
Head Start
 Preschool education program
 Focused on disadvantaged (low income) children
 More likely to attend college and stay off welfare