Early Childhood Education With Luchie

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Jean Piaget: Cognitive Development

Cognition refers to the development of mental activity, thinking intelligent behaviour and/or understanding. It has a major impact on other areas of development.

What we know now on how children think is due to Jean Piaget. His work provided revolutionary insight into HOW the developing mind works. He stressed the active role of the child in the learning process. He saw the child as struggling to make sense of the world around him like a little scientist, observing hypotheses and testing them. According to Piaget, the child actively constructs his own knowledge and this is facilitated by the learning environment adults provide.

Through researches with children, Piaget was able to describe cognitive development. He explained the interrelated principles of organization, adaptation and equilibration. His principles are of course apparent in our own children if we only closely observe them.

Just look at my Karllisse. She has this scheme that she can eat the food given to her by using her hands to bring it into her mouth.

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When fork is introduced to her, like a little scientist as Piaget termed, she is studying the new experience- the fork, intently.

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She learns to assimilate this new scheme by integrating her existing scheme of eating food using her hands, and then learns how to use the fork. When she discovers that it needs a different way to control her hand muscles that she needs to coordinate her palm muscles and finger muscles to eat with a fork, she accommodates by modifying the old scheme. Accommodation and assimilation work together to provide an equilibrium here. There is an apparent cognitive growth in Karllisse as she was able to acquire a new knowledge; she can use the fork to eat. That is an achievement in her practical knowledge acquisition.

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This may be simple for us adults. But you see if we only observe children closely, we’ll discover that children are really active learners. From a simple discovery, they will learn more when given more things to explore. So why not provide your children with more enriching and explorative environment?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Crawling: A New View of the World

This is my grand daughter Karllisse. As you can see, she is very happy. Why so? Because a new world opens up for her as she can move independently. She can crawl on lengths. Since she can move on her own, she begins to detach from her Mom and or her caregiver. Now she has ideas on what she has to do in moving around the house, on which direction to go whether near the living room or to the direction of the bedroom. She has a new view of the world around her. But this poses problems for my daughter Krizelle. They now have conflicts of interests. And I am sure you know why.

But Karllisse' crawling skills points to something relevant. You know why? It is because her new acquired motor skill is related to milestone in her cognitive development. Being able to move and provided the opportunity to exercise it, new possibilities of exploration and construction of knowledge about the world opens up for her. According to Bushnell and Boudreau (1993) the more efficiently the infant can move, the more she can learn.

As research has proven, especially that of Kermoian and Campos (1988) the infant who can move around on their own were cognitively more advanced than those who could not.

Bearing this in mind, I hope that those mothers around who have infants, would also give opportunities to their own babies to let them move around and crawl in lengths. Do provide them an opportunity to have a new view of the world. Just like my Karllisse. And surely they will grow up to be problem solvers and creative thinkers in the future.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Teacher Bloggers

There was an article I read before which presented teachers as bloggers. The article to my understanding depicted that it was not proper for a teacher to blog as some students/children would read their entries and would view informations/entries in negative ways. I beg to disagree with the writer of the article. I believe in the positivity of blogs/technology and how it would help the particular teacher in his personal and professional growth and mostly in dealing with parents and students/children alike, and of course in information dessimination.

I am proud that I am a member of the Pinoy Teachers Network which I called PTN for short. It is an organization of Filipino teachers all over the world who are all bloggers. Please visit our site here.

The PTN is founded by Teacher Sol, a special education teacher based in Washington DC USA. Through her entries, I am sure you'll all be convinced of the positiveness of being a teacher and a blogger at the same time.

And to all PTN members Belated 2nd Anniversary!!!

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