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Adults Help Young Children Find The Connections Between What They Already Know And What Is Necessary To Handle A New Situation (Erickson, 1982)

1108 words - 5 pages

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 ...view middle of the document...

Children need opportunities to construct their own knowledge through their own experiences, rather than been told things by the teacher. Learning and teaching should be centred on a particular topic which may be a story or a situation which interests the children. Teaching should involve relating something new to what they already know. Children are expected to learn to read and write in the same gradual way they learn to talk, without much direct instruction.
Vygotsky believed that play helps children to make sense of what they learn. During play they are free from the practical constraints of a real-life situation. Children can have better ideas and do better thinking when a child knows who is helping them. For example, an adult can help a child to experience a story like Spot the Dog by reading it to them. Later the child will be able to read the story themselves. Vygotsky called the things that children can only do with help the Zone of potential development. In Vygotskys classroom the curriculum should be designed to maximise interactions between learners and learning tasks such as children working together in groups to do art. Children should have opportunities to play, as this allows the developing skills of the child to be practised within safe contexts and provides opportunities to try out new skills and knowledge. When children play at being shopkeeper and customer they develop an understanding of money, language and social skills. Since children can often perform tasks with help that they are unable to do alone ‘scaffolding’ is an effective aspect of teaching in subjects such as reading. Assessment methods should take into account the child’s current zone of proximal development level. What two children can do on their own is their actual development level and what they can do with help is their potential development level. Two children might have the same actual level but given appropriate help, one child may be able to solve more problems than another. Therefore, assessments should take account of both actual and potential levels.
In the classroom Bruner believed that children need to move about and be active, having real first hand experiences. This helps their ideas to develop, and it helps them to think. He...

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