Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Investigating Whether Children's Transition from Pre-Operational Stage to Concrete-Operational Stage Can Be Accelerated Using an Intervention Strategy

Academic journal article Ife Psychologia

Investigating Whether Children's Transition from Pre-Operational Stage to Concrete-Operational Stage Can Be Accelerated Using an Intervention Strategy

Article excerpt

Abstract

The study investigated the effect of using intervention to accelerate children's transition from pre-operational stage to concentrate operational stage of the cognition development. The sample consisted of intact class of 27 children with average age of 5 years. It was made up of 13 males and 14 females. A pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design with random assignment of children to experimental and control groups were employed to examine possible treatment effects due exposure to the intervention strategy. There was no difference between the male and female children at the pre-operational stage in their characteristic way of thinking before the intervention strategy. Achievements were, however, found to be higher for the experimental group on questions which demanded concrete operational level of thinking. This implies that children's cognitive development can be accelerated when they are exposed to more intellectually stimulating environment. It is recommended that early childhood teachers must expose children to various intellectually stimulating environments to help them accelerate their mental development.

Introduction

In their first day at school, children bring a wide variety of learning and of inhibition against learning (Sharp, 1970). Beginners are very unequal, even those from families with the same cultural and economic background. To a large extent, they differ because they have different experiences in their preschool years - accumulation of small day-to-day experiences that either stimulate mental growth or ignore it. Both parents and teachers can help the child come to the opening of his career in a position of advantage rather than disadvantage. The question is: What makes for success in school work?

Some years back it used to be that the most effective tool a child could have was a good memory. Now, as a result of recent widespread changes in the school curriculum, the emphasis is on ideas, understanding, and insight. The child is asked to analyze, to compare, to draw conclusions - in short, to think instead of merely memorization (Sharp, 1970).

The belief that a child has fixed intelligence that unfolds at its own sweet rate and in its own good time until it reaches a predetermined level is now largely discredited. A child's experiences play an important role in the development of his mind (Oliver et al. 1966). Specialists in children's learning no longer think that in the area of mental growth we can just sit and wait, the way we wait for a child's permanent teeth to replace his baby ones. If a child is not ready for learning, we can help him to become ready (Oliver et al. 1966).

According to Oliver et al. (1966), the most powerful and indelible of the child's experiences is the early years. Estimates of the percentage of an adult's intelligence that is formed before the age of six vary, but they are all high. By the time a child enters school, the groundwork of his education has already been laid, for better or for worse. Parents have more influence on the development of their children's mind than any teacher ever will (Rosenthal-Hill, 1967).

Kids grow and learn according to their own timetable. At each age, particularly in the early years, they reach new and exciting developmental levels, not only in their expanding ability to achieve physical mastery over themselves and their environment - to creep, craw, walk, and run - but in their ability to think and react as well (Dumas, 1992). Trying to introduce a concept that is beyond the reach of a young child's emotional and cognitive levels will be a futile exercise not only for you as a parent and caregiver, but for your child as well. At best, he won't understand what you are talking about and will dismiss the subject altogether. At worst, he will pick up only disjointed bits of information and arrange them in such a way as to confuse or even frighten him. During the first year of life, babies learn about their immediate world - their own bodies and the environment that they can touch, see, hear, smell and feel (Dumas, 1992). …

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