Posts tagged ‘Development’
Born in Orsha, a part of the Russian Empire (now known as Belarus) on 17th November 1896, Vygotsky was a pioneer of psychology; he contributed much important research to the field. He graduated from the Moscow State University in 1917, and went on to work in many research facilities and and educational establishments in Moscow, Leningrad and Kharkov. His extensive research into cognitive development has lead his theory to be one of the most important of it’s kind. He believed that children’s thinking is affected by their social knowledge, which are communicated by either psychological (language, number, art) or technical (books, calculator) means. He was – and sometimes still is – often criticised for being an idealist and his overemphasis of the role of language in thinking (more on the criticisms later). He was also a very popular author, with 6 volumes of his work being classed as major.
Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was actually not a psychologist at first; he dedicated his time to mollusc research. In fact, by the time he was 21 he’d already published twenty scientific papers on them! He soon moved to Paris, and got a job interviewing mental patients. Before long, he was working for Alfred Binet, and refining Burt’s reasoning test. During his time working at Binet’s lab, he studied the way that children reasoned. After two years of working with children, Piaget finally realised what he wanted to investigate – children’s development! He noticed that children of a younger aged answered questions qualitatively different than those of an older age. This suggested to him that younger children were not less knowledgeable, but gave different answers because they thought differently.
Children are developing constantly. We develop more in the first eighteen years of life than the following (hopefully) fifty or sixty.
Children’s drawings are a useful method to monitor the development a child goes through. From about the age of 12-18 months, the average child will be capable of making marks on paper (Cox, 1993; Thomas & Silk, 1990). It is believed that toddlers do not intend these to represent anything; the marks are simply done ‘randomly’. As the child ages, these marks become more representative and often more realistic. This post will explore the pattern of development for drawing, and also explain what can be inferred from a child’s drawing.