Adults Help Young Children Find the Connections Between What They Already Know and What Is Necessary to Handle a New Situation (Erickson, 1982)

Adults help young children find the connections between what they already know and what is necessary to handle a new situation (Erickson, 1982)

Even babies as young as 3 months are organising their perceptions and linking them with previous experiences of people and events. They are using these concepts to work out what will happen next.   Piaget calls these concepts schemas.   Schemas are patterns of events that the child can generalise and use in a whole variety of different situations. For example, children are often fascinated by things that rotate. A four 4year old might be fascinated by the way the water rotates as its swirls down the drain or be interested in the wheels going around on a toy car. Every time the child meets a situation which involves rotation either the situation will fit the experience of what is already known and the child will assimilate it, or the child will have to change their concept to accommodate the situation.
  As children start to develop operational concepts during early childhood they begin to use the following ways of thinking. Sequencing, a sequence has a beginning, middle and an end. Understanding how sequences work help children to understand about cause and effect. For example, if a child rolls out clay it will change shape from a lump to a sausage. Seriating, this is seeing the difference between things. Think of a xylophone. It has many keys that are lines, but they are all of different lengths.   Classifying is when children see the similarities between things, such as pigs, cats and dogs are all animals. Transformation, children begin to ask if the process can be reversed. For example water freezes into ice, then you can melt it back again but if an egg is broken it can’t be reversed. When Piaget’s ideas are applied to the classroom, the role of the teacher is to provide an environment that is rich in stimulation for children to explore themselves.   Children need opportunities to construct their own knowledge through...