COURSEWORK ON MARIA MONTESSORI AND PHILOSOPHY ON CHILD DEVEOPMENT 1. Discuss the meaning of imagination in the first two planes of development.
Imagination is a conscious mental process of evoking ideas or images of objects, events, relations, attributes, or processes never before experienced or perceived. This is particularly true when their content consists of sensory images. Imagination can be either passive or active, according to Anderson, R. Cognitive psychology and its Implications. 4th ed. Freeman, 1995. Psychologists occasionally distinguish between imagination that is passive or reproductive, by which mental images originally perceived by the senses are elicited, and imagination that is active or creative, by which the mind produces images of events or objects that are either insecurely related or unrelated to past and present reality.
Cognitive Psychology being a study of imagination, therefore defines it as a creation of mental images.
The best-known cognitive theory was by Jean Piaget. According to Piaget, J. The Essential Piaget. Ed. Howard, E. and Jacque, V. Basic, 1997. Aronson, 1995. Based on his studies and observation, Piaget theorized that children proceed through four distinct stages of cognitive development: the sensorimotor stage (birth-age 3), the preoperational stage (age 3-6), the concrete-operational stage (age 6-11), and the formal-operational stage (age12).
During the sensorimotor stage, which lasts from birth to about age 3, understanding is based on immediate sensory experience and actions. Thought is very practical but lacking in mental concepts and ideas. In preoperational stage, which spans the preschool years (about ages 3 to 6); children's understanding becomes more conceptual. Thinking involves mental concepts that are independent of immediate experience, and language enables children to think about unseen events, such as thoughts and feelings. The young child's reasoning is intuitive and subjective.
According to Piaget, children progress through these four stages by applying their current thinking processes to new experiences; gradually, they modify these processes to better accommodate reality. Cognitive theories provide insights into how a child's mental processes underlie many aspects of his or her development. However, critics argue that Piaget underestimated the sophistication of the cognitive abilities of young children. Information-processing theorists have also been faulted for portraying children as little computers rather than inventive, creative thinkers.
The dramatic pace of brain development in infants makes them crave novelty and become bored with familiarity. They integrate knowledge from different senses, such as looking toward the source of an interesting sound. They can make sophisticated inferences about an object's shape, size, and physical properties just by watching its action. These shows that young children do not passively wait to be taught about the world's mysteries. These young minds are remarkably active and self-organizing. Early in the first year, infants appreciate object permanence, the concept that objects and people continue to exist even when they cannot be seen. At birth, infants have a natural ability to hear the differences between speech sounds in any of the world's languages, even sounds they have never previously heard.
In the early childhood, the mind's growth is remarkable and
unmistakable. Their mushrooming language supports further cognitive growth, giving them access to knowledge of others enabling them to share and learn more. Adults are inevitably impressed with the fantastic imagination of pre-schoolers and with their deep interest in understanding the world especially people. In curriculums, featured songs, stories, games, gifts and occupations, stimulate the imaginations of children.
2. What is meant by 'cosmic education' in Montessori's elementary school years?
According to Montessori Philosophy, elementary...
References: Anderson, R. Cognitive psychology and its Implications. 4th ed. Freeman,
Piaget, J. The Essential Piaget. Ed. Howard, E. and Jacque, V. Basic,
1997. Aronson, 1995.
Roopnarine Jaipul and James Johnson, in their book, Approaches to Early
Childhood Education, University Press, 2003.
Winnicott, D. Thinking About Children-Montessori. Addison Wesley, 1996.
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