How Your Children Think and Learn – Part 2
by Debbie Tipton
How Your Children Learn And Think Part 1
This is a link to the first part of this article if you would like to read it as well.
CONCRETE OPERATIONS PERIOD:
This is the period of time when your child is between the ages of seven to ten or eleven. This is a wonderful age as this is when children begin to manipulate data mentally. They take the information at hand and begin to define, compare, and contrast it. They, however, still think concretely.
If you were to ask a pre-operations child, “How does God hear prayer?” They would most likely answer that He has big ears. The concrete child would put a little more thought into it and answer something like this: “God is smart and he made some special earphones just so He could hear me.”
The concrete operational child is capable of logical thought. This child still learns through their senses, but no longer relies on only them to teach him. He now thinks as well. A good teacher for this age group would start each lesson at a concrete level and then move toward a generalized level.
An example of this would be:
Statement: Joey is kind:
The teacher would start out by telling about what Joey did to be kind. (Concrete)
Then she would talk about how Joey went about being kind. (Less concrete/More general)
From there she would teach that Joey is kind. (General concept)
A seven to ten year old is very literal in their thinking. That means that he will take everything that you say, do, and teach at face value. What they actually and literally mean. BLACK is black and WHITE is white. These children have a difficult time with symbols and figurative language.
FORMAL OPERATIONS PERIOD
This period begins at about age eleven.
At this time the child will break through the barrier of literalism and move on to thinking in more abstract terms. He no longer restricts thinking to time and space. This child now starts to reflect, hypothesize, and theorize. He actually thinks about thinking.
In the formal operation period, children need to develop cognitive abilities. The following is a list of six simple categories of cognitive abilities:
1. Knowledge of facts and principals. This is the direct recall of facts and principals. Examples: memorization of dates, names, definition, vocabulary words.
2. Comprehension. Understanding of facts and ideas.
3. Application. Needs to know, rules, principles, and procedures and how to use them
4. Analysis. Breaking down concepts into parts.
5. Synthesis. Putting together information or ideas.
6. Evaluation. Judging the value of information.
2. Learning most generally takes place in a setting of children within the same age group.
3. Some factors that affect learning are motivation, peer relationships within the group, and communication between the child and the teacher.
4. Other factors are environment, physical setting, emotional atmosphere, and social and cultural norms.