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Practical - Essay Example

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Practical: Examining 6 to 12 Year Old Children’s Understanding of Why Some Objects Float and Others Sink Abstract This study tried to explore how children of different ages explain why some objects float while others sink. Data was collected from two female participants between the ages of 6 - 12 years who studied in the same school via a video-recorded session with a researcher…
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Download file to see previous pages The involvement of the researcher was salient to the development of detailed and alternate explanations. Examining 6 to 12 Year Old Children’s Understanding of Why Some Objects Float and Others Sink Introduction As a variety of academic settings started being developed for children, a particular interest in children’s cognitive development has become apparent in these different spheres. Children learn new concepts rapidly all through childhood (Rathus, 2008). They are able to learn complex concepts better as they grow older; and a number of theorists have tried to explain the stages in children’s cognitive, and the kind of information that is best learnt at each of these different stages. Jean Piaget’s theory was developed through the observation and description of children at different ages; and thus is broad enough to encompass the development of language, scientific reasoning, moral development, and even memory (Santrock, 2008). The theory assumes that children construct knowledge through experiences, and often do this without explicit instruction as they are motivated to learn about the world around them (Salkind, 2004). Each new finding is then integrated into their existing understanding of the world. Piaget’s theory also suggests that children are motivated to make sense of new information. As the child matures, it is able to learn new and more complex concepts (Santrock, 2008). Children at different ages think about the same event differently; and they interpret phenomenon similarly across different kinds of information (Salkind, 2004). Piaget also suggested that initially children make sense of information through their sensory and motor (Sensorimotor stage). After the age of two years, the child starts representing its understanding of things using language, mental imagery, and symbolic thought (Preoperational stage). At around six to seven years of age, children start reasoning logically (Concrete operational stage) but they only learn to apply this logic to abstract and hypothetical situations at around twelve years of age (Salkind, 2004). The Concrete Operational Stage is an important stage where children start developing logical arguments about the behaviour of actual physical objects. They are particularly adept at using inductive logic, and towards the end of this stage they start displaying deductive logic (Santrock, 2008). Besides being able to categorise objects and events, children at this stage are also able to draw knowledge from more than one category. They can also focus on multiple parts of a problem at once (Rathus, 2008). Salkind (2004) has called it a transition stage. Vygotsky has suggested instead that while children do learn and explore on their own, adults play an important role (Rathus, 2008). Thus, the interpersonal experience is an essential force that governs the direction and the effectiveness of learning; and as a result significantly impacts development. According to Vygotsky, caregivers and teachers need to be involved in the child for optimal development to occur, as this provides the child with cultural tools for learning and applying knowledge. Gopnik (2012) suggests that very young children’s learning and thinking are quite scientific; and thus, these children should not be underestimated in their ability to reason out ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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