Does School Teach Children to Think?

It is said that thinking is a skill. It is learned and developed but is mostly just taken for granted especially when it comes to children (Zonnios, 2007). Children are activated in their thinking based on what they see the adults in their lives do. Definitely, thinking is a tool and because of this feature, it can be sharpened. Children are already at a time in their life when they always think and ask questions. That is why it is important that adults show them how to react wisely because that will always stick in these young minds. As a young child is exposed to a lot of stimulants, he or she will look and search for the many possibilities of things (Zonnios, 2007). It is important to note that children think and exercise their thinking creatively; they are able to exercise the workings of their brain. It is possible to make a child explore his mind by having opportunities that could encourage them to do well. The school ought to provide him with activities that could expand his thinking abilities. Thus, people are given the right opportunity to explore the many imagined opportunities that they can work on.

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The school offers a forum for thinking and must be used as a tool for developing a child’s thinking. The school has several ways of developing a child’s thinking and this can be in the area of music, arts, and academics. The creativity of young children is best recognized if they are given the right vehicles to enhance it. The school which emphasizes art is able to enhance the child’s way of thinking. (Zonnios, 2007).

An element of psychology that can enhance a student’s thinking skills is to be able to understand one’s past especially since as William Glasser notes that in some schools, students are often imprisoned by their past. A school’s job is to stimulate the minds of students so that they are able to think well and use their creativity in the right direction.

Brain and behaviour health psychology explain the mind and the brain in the context of what happens in real life. It dissects the brain’s implementation of basic mental functions, and where psychology also looks at the different functions in the context of play in social behaviour and social dynamics at the same time encompassing the underlying physiological and neurological processes into its conceptions of mental functioning. Social psychology was conceived by British psychologists William McDougall and Havelock Ellis who explored the different aspects of social environments on the individual. It explores how these environments affect the person and his response to it.

Piaget’s theory has had a strong impact on education. His efforts have left a deep and lasting imprint on man’s thoughts about human development. However, many of his ideas have been challenged and criticized. Piaget consistently underestimated the different cognitive and intellectual capabilities of preschoolers as well as the grade-school children, who all showed problem-solving skills when presented they were given the simplified tasks that were more familiar competencies. Other investigators have noted that performance on Piagetian problems can be improved dramatically through training programs, which would seem to challenge Piaget’s assumptions that individualized discovery learning, rather than direct instruction, is the best way to promote intellectual growth. (Piaget, 1977). In the material Motives for Metaphor: Literacy, Curriculum Reform, and the Teaching authored by English James Seitz, there is a discussion of the different strategies so that he can develop his argument about “motive” with a poem that accounts for the importance of motive in learning (Seitz, 1999).

Consequently, according to Piaget, the growth of one’s thinking skills evolves through a universal sequence of stages, both in theory and in research. Lev Vygotsky demonstrates how culture such as beliefs, values, traditions and skills of a group are passed on from generation to generation. Children must be treated as independent individuals who are capable of making discoveries on their own. Vygotsky’s view was more of maximizing the potential of children as they acquire new skills in their behaviour. (Vygotsky, 1962).

There are many theories that have contributed to what we know about developing persons, and this theoretical diversity is a strength rather than a weakness. Although some theories may do a better job than others of explaining particular aspects of development, one sees–time and time again–that different theories are necessary to explain the course and complexities of human development. This paper looks at the different psychological concepts and how an understanding of them has touched my own life in more ways than one.

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For instance, a three-year program in Wisconsin’s schools is able to develop several ways of teaching science in the elementary years. An example of how institutions fund projects geared towards the development of children is the fund granted by the National Center for Research Resources in the amount of $250,000. Science projects were created so that children can learn the different science concepts in the context of their physical environment. Students like Dale Saari, 13, can now how lead-poisoned children and their poor living conditions can spur learning problems in school (Science experiments teach kids to think).

It was Piaget’s efforts who made efforts at an unobservable concept called “cognition” that had fallen from favour among the psychologists from the behaviourist tradition (Beilin 1992). By the 1960s, the times had clearly changed. Not only had Piaget’s early theorizing and research legitimized the study of children’s thinking, but his early work links moral development to cognitive development. In fact, recent social-cognitive theorists such as Lawrence Kohlberg and Robert Selman have found that the same mind that gradually constructs increasing sophisticated understandings of the physical world also comes, with age, to form more complex ideas about sex differences, moral values, the significance of human emotions. The intelligence of a person has a big impact on education. These educational programs are geared towards young children who learn best as they themselves are personally experiencing the process of deciphering what their environment offers. So a preschool teacher in a Piagetian classroom might introduce the difficult concept of numbers by presenting her pupils with different numbers of objects to stack, colour, arrange. Presumably, new concepts like numbers are best transmitted by methods in which curious, active children can apply their existing schemes and make the critical “discoveries” for themselves.

There is an important point to make about effective schooling: Characteristics of the student and of the school environment often interact to affect student outcomes—a phenomenon that Lee Cronbach and Richard Snow (1977) call aptitude-treatment interaction (ATI). Over the years, much educational research has been based on the assumption that a particular teaching method, philosophy of education, or organizational system will prove superior for all students, regardless of their abilities, personalities, and cultural backgrounds. This assumption is often wrong,. Instead, many approaches to education are highly effective with some kinds of students but quite ineffective with others. The secret to being effective is to find an appropriate fit between learners and educational practices (Cronbach & R. Snow).

Indeed, our personality largely determines how we relate to the other people in our lives and in the environment we live in. Who we are will affect how we go through the everyday interactions with the people that we encounter in our everyday life. Our values, traits and experiences affect our perception, therefore it affects the way we think and the way we perceive other people. It also determines how we process our experiences and the actions of the people we interact with. Thus, for school administrators, teachers and parents, it is important to pay special attention to the way they model their behaviour to young minds who are constantly thinking about the meaning and essence of things and who are always questioning and analyzing and wondering why things are such in the first place.

Works Cited

Beilin H. (1992). Piaget’s enduring contribution and developmental psychology. Developmental Psychology, 28, 191-204.

Bobgan, M and Bobgan, D. 1987. Mental Illness is Not a Disease. Mental Illness. Greenhaven Press.

Cronbach & R. Snow. Aptitude-Treatment Interaction. 2008. Web.

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Horowitz, F.D. (1992). John B. Watson’s legacy: Learning and Environment. Developmental Psychology, 28, 380-367.

Mental disease as the result of the influence of negative factors. 2008. Web.

Neurotransmitters, mental disorders and medications. 2008. Web.

Piaget, J (1977) The role4 of action in the development of thinking. In W.F. Overton & J.M. Gallagher (eds). Knowledge and development (Vol. I) New York: Plenum.

Science experiments teach kids to think. 2008. Web.

Seitz , James E. Motives for Metaphor: Literacy, Curriculum Reform, and the Teaching of English by. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999.

Stevens, Wallace. The Motive for Metaphor. 2008. Web.

Vygotsky, L. (1962) Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

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Zonnios, Evangelia (2007). Creative Thinking Techniques Develop Your Child’s Mind. Teaching Children to Think. Web.

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