What is age norm in development of mentality of children? Part I
“ Development is lower than age norm “ - the decision of the pediatrician sounds unexpectedly. The child`s mother perplexed explains to the doctor that her son in three years differs in nothing from many peers, speaks offers, counts up to five, knows the basic concepts. A problem only that the boy almost does not communicate with strangers, and the doctor for him - the stranger, and on reception the child just was silent or answered inattentively. As a result there was in a card a record which so upset mother.
“ And with it we have to come to kindergarten?! “ … The pediatrician with a type of the person which obviously not the first time it does and was tired to explain long ago a problem essence, waved away from alarms of the woman: “ Yes who now in general looks at these age norms! “ On such note conversation of the doctor and patient sputtered out. But questions - that remained! There was in reserved indignation the boy`s mother, there were in perplexity involuntary witnesses of this scene (alas, they began to happen in our children`s policlinics even more often that speaks about topical character of a problem).
Really who and from where took these norms and what it is possible to consider as norm of mental development at preschool age? Why in preschool? Because for early age this problem is particularly acute not so: thanks to very fast rate of development of children from 0 to two years. Here it is possible to allocate certain age forms. And here on the third year of life individual distinctions already block age.
Concept of norm of development of mentality (if to quote the " developers; tests of development “) assumes such parameters of mentality which show most of children of this age. That is, it is statistical norm. But there is also other view of norm of mental development. The humanistic psychology says that it is those achievements which are shown by children without obviously expressed outstanding abilities, at the same time children live in favorable conditions.
Pay attention! Favorable conditions are when children are provided to all necessary for maintenance of life, environment is stable (that is, it is safe), besides, children feel favourite and significant for the relatives. In these conditions perhaps maximum manifestation of all abilities of children, possible at their age.
In other words, the age norm is achievements of children during the present period of life. Existence of certain requirements is supposed: what the child at a certain age has to do. It is a peculiar program of age development where there are three levels of its assimilation: high, average and low. It turns out that individual abilities of the child compare to in advance set requirements.
These requirements, in turn, are defined on the basis of the analysis and synthesis of scientific researches in psychology and pedagogics. In such researches a few children most often participate (to several tens in each age group), and they are in special experimental conditions from which main thing is an individual contact with kind and very attentive adult.
Then that the indicators found in such conditions characterize not average, and the greatest possible achievements for this age. Sometimes the same children, but in other conditions and with another “ examiner “ can not repeat own results.
Interestingly and the fact that age programs usually do not contain quantitative data without which division into levels loses meaning because from the combination (low, average, high) it is expected that children of the average level the majority, that is the average level is a norm in statistical sense, and high level - norm of the maximum development.
But if there are no quantitative data, then, so there is a problem of reliability of criteria of age norm. And nobody can be charged that children, say, with the average level of development for today in our society the majority. So why we seek to straighten the child to this average level about which not everyone knows from where it undertook and whether it is valid it average?
In that case quite reasonably among teachers and psychologists say now that criteria which are given in documents on educational standards can be used only as focusing, but not as obligatory.