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Evaluate The Contribution Psychological Research Has Made Towards Our Understanding Of How Children From Birth To Five Learn And Develop Competencies In The Processes Of Observation, Problem Solving, Exploration,

3252 words - 14 pages

Evaluate the contribution psychological research has made towards our understanding of how children from birth to five learn and develop competencies in the processes of observation, problem solving, exploration, experimentation and prediction, thinking and decision making.
Introduction
The aim of this essay is to evaluate the developmental theories of ‘Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy’ (PSRN) and an ‘Exploration and Investigation’ aspect of ‘Knowledge and Understanding of the World’ (KUW) in Foundation stage children. This essay will explore Piaget and Vygotsky and their points of view on PSRN and issues which arise from development and it will consider current research and ...view middle of the document...

The ‘Laissez-Faire’ model of learning gives children opportunities for exploration and choice. This concept is supported by Piaget who thought that through children’s interactions with the environment they explore and experiment with their learning (social constructivist model of learning). However, this exploration lacks adult input, which can limit children’s mathematical competencies. It could be observed in practice that within this approach some children may not reach their full understanding of counting skills. The problem is emphasised by the fact that learning numbers might take place by rote to include learning how to count from one to ten or by undertaking repetitious activities within practice (Palaiologou 2010). Young children develop one-to-one principle, abstraction principle and order irrelevance principle when counting, singing number songs and playing games and as children grow older adults encourage children’s understanding of one-to-one correspondence and developing counting skills by asking, for example, that they make sure there is one cup for every child at snack time. The EYFS (DCFS 2008 p.66, p.68) also recognises that children: “16-26 months gain awareness of one-to-one correspondence through categorising belongings, starting with mine or Mummy’s” and 40-60 months children are able to “select the correct numeral to represent 1 to 5, then 1 to 9 objects”. The real problem is when learning to count assembles information and children may not learn or comprehend what they are doing (Downs cited in Palaiologou 2010). This demonstrates that without the ‘Transmission’ model of learning or adult help, learning to count and number development may transform mathematical concepts into an area that depends upon memory rather than children’s understanding of it. . The KUW (DCFS 2008) also states that children use others as sources of information and learning therefore it is clear that children need an adult support.
Piaget thought that adults should keep children curious, make them wonder, and offer children real problem-solving challenges, rather than giving them information (Mooney 2000). The KUW (DCFS 2008) recognises that children explore, play and look for meaning in their experiences. Carruthrs (2010) supports Piaget thinking by suggesting that in order for children to engage and understand maths concepts, they must explore their own thinking and not be given adult-set practical mathematical tasks. Constructing knowledge by making mistakes is part of the normal process of children’s problem solving (Britz 1993). Babies and children make learning personal and meaningful through exploring, then experimenting, trying out a hypothesis, and solving problems. Within practice in a free flow play children use the thinking processes to decide, imagine, reason, predict, plan and try new strategies. These processes are required for later mathematical thinking (Pound 2006). One of the concept through which children develop their problem...

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