Cognitive Status of Preschoolers
Children tend to focus on one characteristic or aspect of either a
material or a situation. They
cannot look at the whole picture. Many
math and language skills require children to look at the whole picture, which
preschoolers cannot normally do, thus it is not very appropriate to push reading
and abstract math skills during the early stages of preoperational thought.
Children tend to view things only from their point of view.
It is always “I” and “me” at this stage.
Thus it becomes important to expose children to a variety of experiences,
materials, people so that they can begin to move away from being egocentric.
Preoperational children can only perceive the beginning or ending stage
of an event. They cannot imagine or
view the intermediate stages.
During this stage
children are capable of understanding only the concrete experiences they have
had. They cannot understand
abstract examples or problems. Children
at this stage also lack sophistication in their logical reasoning skills, their
ability is limited only to events that are current, recent and it has to be
related to them.
thought and play:
Children at this
stage have the ability to symbolically represent events or objects from their
experience. This is an important
milestone for the child because it is decentering them from being egocentric.
Symbolic thought and action is accomplished by two integral processes
called assimilation and accommodation, where the children imbibe new information
and adapt it to suit their needs and the situation.
By means of symbolic thought and action, children develop their own
unique skill of adapting to new situations.
Thus it becomes important for teachers and parents to create the
appropriate hands-on experience environment by means of which children can
interact and learn from it.
What can the Teacher do?
What can the Teacher do?
Research has indicated that play has effectively been used as an
successful means of learning for young children.
This has been accomplished mainly because play….
-Promotes all styles of learning
-Caters to individual needs, interests, development
-Promotes learning as a meaningful and interactive
-Play is fun for children
the above factors in mind the teachers can do the following to promote cognitive
development among the preschoolers:
the level your children are at. This
can be done by observation and also by asking open ended questions.
Your observations and the child’s responses to your questions will help
you better meet the needs of the child.
promote children’s cognitive thinking by using scientific inquiry.
Beatty (2000) in her translation of scientific inquiry of Sprung, Froschl,
and Campbell (1985) has suggested the following steps:
responses from the children as to what might happen
with them what can be done to find out if their prediction is true or not and
try their suggestion
with the children as to why their prediction came true or not
what happened and review what you did
appropriate environment and materials in your classroom that will promote a
sense of curiosity and exploration among the children.
This will help the children gain a first hand knowledge about their world
and use materials and activities in your classroom that will promote
classifying, comparing, and counting.
your curriculum so that children can carry over their learning across all areas.
teaching strategies that will encourage the children to be independent thinkers,
be creative, relate prior knowledge and review what they have learned.
Your teaching strategy should take into account the individual learning
style of the children. Your role in
the class should not that be of a disseminator of information but that of a
facilitator, who poses questions, responds to queries, models behavior, records
children’s behavior and plans accordingly.
children to literacy rich environment. This
will help them to assimilate knowledge and concepts.
Children at this stage tend to want to imitate the adults around them,
learn what is expected of them. Children
also begin to become aware of issues related to gender identity.
Children between the ages of 2-5 years are comfortable interchanging
their gender roles. However it is
only after that they realize that the societal expectations for both the genders
is different and they are eager to comply with it.
Children also become aware of their cultural diversity as a result of
their interaction with their family and the society.
They are only cognitively aware of their cultural identity and they quite
do not understand what it entails at this stage.
during the preschool years are in what Erickson calls as the “Initiative
versus guilt” stage. Children
want to do things for themselves, they want to exert their individualism, they
feel like they have to take care of themselves; they feel like doing the above
things because they want to be like miniature adults.
If they do not do the above things they feel guilty about not adequately
fulfilling their role as a child.
Preschoolers at this stage are eager to learn the rules of the society.
The appropriate behavior, control of aggression and achieving
self-control can be achieved by positive disciplining.
This can also be achieved by positive interaction and modeling.
What can the Teachers do?
Teachers need to create an individual that promotes the children to value
themselves as a worthy individual with their own gender and ethnic identity.
The teachers should also create a classroom that allows children to grow
and develop at their own pace. The
social/emotional development of the preschoolers may be enhanced if the teachers
use some of the techniques outlined below:
children that you care about them and their wellbeing.
This can be achieved by showing sincere affection, and interest in what
the children do and achieve.
foster each child’s individuality.
children that you value each of their’s background and family’s values.
Try to integrate it in your teaching and curriculum.
opportunities, materials, and experiences for children to express themselves.
and honest with children in their questions about gender.
Provide adequate opportunities for children to involve themselves in
the materials and your classroom environment is not gender or culturally biased.
space and opportunities for children to either work independently or work with
peers (to foster friendship). Sometimes
it is also appropriate to pair the extrovertish child with one who is withdrawn
or shy to help the latter come out.
children to express their feelings and effectively communicate. Also enlighten
them about how their harsh words or actions may adversely affect others.
researchers and educators also advocate reinforcing prosocial behavior.
10..When dealing with children who have difficulty
exhibiting self-control, you may want to offer them choices, and point out the
consequences to their actions.
Some educators also recommend having problem-solving or logical
consequences discussions with the children to allow them to voice their opinions
about what should happen if they do not comply with classroom rules.
It is very important to foster children’s self-concept at this stage,
so try to have a variety of tasks in your class that will ensure success for all
the children, so they feel like they are capable of successfully completing
When children work with one another promote turn taking.
Watch children interact with one another and decide about when and when
not to intervene. Allow children to
resolve their own conflicts.
Most importantly model the type of behavior you want the children to
exhibit because the children are constantly watching and learning from you.
Also actively and listen and observe the children, this will provide a
wealth of information for you about where the children are in terms of their
social emotional development.