Rus Articles Journal

Special thinking of preschool children. Began part 2

One of psychologists made experiment: showed to children of 4 - 7 years small focuses and asked to explain them. There is a coin lowered in a sleeve, appears in the experimenter`s hand; there is a sheet of paper attached to the open end half by the filled test tube water persistently does not wish to fall though the test tube was turned an opening down... It appeared, children explain these phenomena, without finding any traces of animism. Of course, they incorrectly specify the reasons, the coin appeared in a hand because “in a sleeve there was a hole“, the leaf does not fall because “was pasted“. But these incorrect explanations quite in the spirit of modern science to any “desires“, “volitions“ of inanimate objects as children did not address the explanatory principle.

A. V. Zaporozhets and G. D. Lukov made similar experiments: in the face of the child threw various objects into water and asked to explain why one of them swim, and others sink. And here kids - preschool children thought quite “pseudoscientifically“: if the subject sinks, then because it “big“ or “iron“ if floats, then because “small“ or “wooden“. Explanations could be the most fancy, and only the senior preschool children gave the answers close to truth, but interestingly another, children did not address idea of animism.

the Conclusion arises with

: those phenomena and objects which are close and available to the child which he can investigate, touch, reproduce very quickly lose the status of an animateness in his eyes, turn into everyday occurrences and objects. Let the kid do not know yet their true reasons, their internal device (and we can be not always correct the reason unknown events), but he looks for these reasons where looks for them and consciousness of the adult - in a continuous and zakonosoobrazny chain of the reasons and a consequence of the nature.

Opposite, those phenomena and processes which are far from its first-hand experience (a current of the rivers, celestial motion etc.) which he can observe, but can do nothing with them which natural reasons escape a mind`s eye of the child and go beyond his small “pseudoscientific“ Universe, they are allocated with the kid human properties, possess “mentality and soul“.

But whether it means that animism of the preschool child - the phenomenon of purely verbal, “verbal“ thinking of the child? What does it exist only in words? If this is so, then it is not of great importance in development of children`s thinking, the thinking is first of all action, active transformation and development of things. And the difference between is in word and deed very big. Perhaps, in words the kid expresses belief in an animateness of lifeless things, in practice, in real practice of communication and the treatment of them does not believe at all that they can think, make decisions or be exposed to magic transformations. And maybe, on the contrary, in words 4 - 5 - the summer kid explains the phenomena quite pseudoscientifically, in practice trusts in an opportunity magic, unusual, supernatural?

we Will try to check

. It is easy to make our experiment in house conditions. Let`s make so that at first the child met the unusual, magic phenomenon in the sphere of the verbal description, and then - in a real life situation. Let`s tell the child the fairy tale “Magic Casket“. Its essence in brief is as follows: one of father`s acquaintances gives to the girl Masha a casket which can turn pictures with the objects drawn on them into objects; it is worth putting the picture in a shkatulochka and it is loud (otherwise the shkatulochka will not hear) to tell “magic“ words:“ Alpha, beta, scale“. And in a shkatulochka instead of drawing the real subject will appear. The acquaintance supplied Masha with small pictures with the objects (a gold ringlet, a beautiful brooch, a pen, a lighter, a spider and a wasp) drawn on them. In the beginning the girl did not believe in a possibility of such magic, but once, having tried, was convinced of magic properties of a casket.

A we will ask the kid now: why the casket turns pictures into objects? Whether there can be it in life? Whether the portrait of the person can turn into the person, for example? Ordinary preschool children of 4 - 7 years give similar answers: the casket turns objects because it magic, but in life of it cannot be. In the fairy tale, the animated film, game - please, in real life - no. Why? Yes because in life of magic does not happen, no casket can hear the speech turned to it and submit to only one thought and desire of the person.

we Will continue by

our experience. In 2 - 3 days we will offer the kid a beautiful casket, we will apply to it drawings with the mentioned objects and as if accidentally we will suggest: “Perhaps, it is also that casket from the fairy tale?“ We will show to the child and the real objects: ringlet, brooch, lighter: “Look, maybe, all this to me was made by a magic casket?“ Of course, the child will not believe us, will skeptically smile... But we will not hurry. Let`s leave it alone with pictures and a casket, and under a specious excuse we will leave the room.

What will be done by the child? Special experiences showed: most of preschool children in such situation immediately begin “magic“ manipulations; they quickly put in a casket one drawing behind another (except, of course, spider and a wasp), pronounce magic words moreover do passes by hands - as real wizards. Without having seen effect, the child is surprised: “Did not turn?“ “Again picture!“ - with disappointment he exclaims. Only the few children of 4 - 6 years mastered an unfamiliar subject in the “rational“ way as it would be done by the adult: twisted it, watched pictures, played from them “solitaire“, but did not try “to turn“.

So, the word and business at our children really dispersed: in words most of children deny a possibility of magic transformations in the sphere of real life, in practice - believe and hope that the casket will turn a subject. In words the casket - a thing inanimate, in practice the child seeks to influence it as on the living being capable to hear him and to obey to his desires. Then it is impossible to say that in relation to the acquaintances available to practice and manipulation to things the preschool child overcame animism.

needs to be wondered: about what type of thinking we speak? About verbal thought, about “thought in a reasoning“ or about “thought - action“, “thoughts - an act“? The verbal thinking is abstract, abstractedly: in words it is possible to trust or not to trust in a possibility of magic - from it in life will change little. Other business - thought in operation. Influencing objects, transforming them, the child makes changes to the real world. Changes which can have irreversible character and influence own life of the kid, satisfy or limit his requirements, interests. In respect of verbal thought already younger preschool child loses faith in spirituality of objects well familiar to it; in practice, in certain conditions, still tries “to persuade“ a subject.

A it means that concerning knowledge of the reasons of the phenomena the younger school student is as if at the crossroads. On the one hand, attributing to objects and the phenomena ability to define the actions, the preschool child can accept and master a huge number of the most diverse and inconsistent information, without caring for its strict systematization and natural-science “coordination“ without having this ability, the child would just not be able to cope with an avalanche various data, would feel lost and suppressed.

on the other hand, in its verbal, and gradually and in effective thinking influence of the scientific, “rational“ picture of the world having the support in concept about natural causality affects more and stronger. It prepares thinking of the child for a new stage of development - to a stage of school training, a stage at which the scientific picture of the world gradually and consciously accustoms of

Such complexity, discrepancy of thinking of the preschool child is well felt and many parents and teachers understand. They will not wave away from “too difficult“ question of the child and will not begin to give on it “scientific“ answers. They will manage to give the answer in a witty and fantastic form. That “Aybolit“ or “Alice in Wonderland“ are also good that in a form fantastic, close and clear to the child they speak to it about difficult questions; about good and the evil, characters and relationship of people. The fairy tale, a magic event, “double-dealing fellow“ are necessary to the child. In the same place, where the child can and wants to investigate independently object, to learn its structure and functions, whenever possible we will not begin it to interfere. Such research - let with some “losses“ for adults - a basis for the present only natural-science thinking developing, but so important and necessary in the future.

Still we told

only about one of aspects of thinking of the preschool child - features of knowledge to them causal relationships of the phenomena. Now we will address another. Let`s try to understand how the child to understanding of the fact of integrity and stability of objects of the outside world comes.

Really, it is possible to think, establish causal relationships, to investigate object only when this object appears at us as something complete and uniform as what differs from other objects and is steady in time. It is worth imagining that this condition is violated, - and the world will turn into chaos of the forms which are continuously changing, flowing and turning each other.

“But unless can doubt that the preschool child perceives objects steady, he sees the same objects, as we, adult: furniture, at home, cars, natural phenomena?“ - the reader will ask.

B it, of course, hardly. We do not know what sees objects 4 - 5 - the summer kid, he has the, special vision of the world. But most likely he sees them steady, they are really simple, invariable, as if stiffened for a while in those “armors“ which prepared for them the nature and the person. And how to be with those objects which constantly change a form, keeping invariable only separate properties? The water poured from a vessel in a vessel changes a form, but the quantity it remains the same; the piece of plasticine turned into a sculpture keeps in itself the same weight, volume, the same amount of substance. Whether the preschool child understands it?

we Will check it: let`s suggest the child to compare amount of liquid in two identical, narrow and tall glasses to an identical amount of water. “In these glasses of water equally or in one it is more, in another it is less?“ - we will ask the kid. Usually the answer is stereotypic: equally. And now we will put one more, wide and low, empty glass nearby and we will pour in it water from one narrow glass. Water level will go down. Let`s repeat our question. Here - that one more interesting feature of children`s thought is also unveiled: most of preschool children believe that in a wide glass the amount of liquid changed. Height of a column decreased, so and waters became less - they argue. Let`s pour water from a wide glass in narrow - and children will tell again what waters became equally. Of course, children see that during transfusion we added nothing to water and did not diminish, and still it became less. In what business?

The matter is that the kid is for some reason convinced: the amount of water can be estimated on liquid column height. The fact that glasses can have different diameter escapes a mind`s eye of the child. Only by the end of preschool age many begin to understand: reduction of height of a column is compensated by increase in its width (more precisely, the areas of the basis of a vessel). Children find similar type of reasonings also concerning other qualities of the changing objects: if to roll one of two identical plasticine balls in a sausage, preschool children believe that plasticine in it became more: not only the amount of substance, but also volume, and weight changed. If nearby - against each other - to put on slightly black and white counters, kids believe that the number of black and white is identical. If in the face of the child of a counter of one of ranks to move apart, having made a row is longer, the child will begin to think what in a long line of counters became more, etc.

Here we also met one important feature of thinking of the preschool child - its “globality“. The thought of the adult sees not just object: water, sand, plasticine... We see, we mark out different properties and qualities in object: form, volume, weight, area, length, height etc. One of these properties can change, others remain invariable. Not that for the preschool child. And it, of course, can allocate a form, color, volume in object, but all this is still merged for it in one difficult, continuous conglomerate, exact communication between different properties of object to the kid is still unclear. About liquid column volume he can judge by its height, about amount of plasticine - by sausage length, about number of counters - by row length - generally, judges by the brightest, evident property, irrespective of its valid communication with volume, weight, number.

Of course, the inability of the preschool child is correct to allocate communication between different properties of the changing objects it is possible to try to overcome. In a number of researches psychologists suggested children to use special measures: for volume - a standard cup, for length - a stick, for the area - a paper piece. After such occupations even 4 - summer kids began to understand that, in whatever vessel we poured liquid, “the number of cups“ in it remains invariable; volume in consciousness of the child gained stability and independence of a vessel form. The same effect was reached also in relation to other properties of objects: to the weight, area, for example. If in the face of the child many times to make transformation of the changing object (water, plasticine, etc.) constantly reminding the kid that the weight or volume did not change (because nothing lowered and nothing was added), after a while 4 - 5 - summer children also will begin to give the correct answers, and many of them will be able independently to transfer the received skill to the new changing objects.


So, it is possible to teach. But whether the thinking of the preschool child per se will change at the same time? Whether will stop being “global“? So far this question remains open. Some researches show, for example, that an excessive directivity in communication of the adult with the child, the aspiration is rigid to operate its actions do not promote disappearance of “globality“, on the contrary, have an adverse effect on development in the child of ability to allocation of separate properties and communications between them. Quicker this ability appears at those preschool children to whom allow “to experiment“ independently with things, water, sand, plasticine... The adult`s task here not in “putting“ ready ways of the solution of tasks in thinking of the child, and it is rather in ability to set these tasks for the kid, to help it to reflect, to be surprised and want to solve them independently.

we will imagine

A 5 now - the summer preschool child who anyway, independently or by means of the adult, managed to overcome “globality“ of the understanding of the relations: accurately and it is clear, as the school student at a lesson, it raps out answers about physical properties of gases and liquids, space and time... Whether it means, as in the practical, “effective“ thinking he will use this knowledge? Whether it means that, having received instead of the wrong, illusory understanding of the relations between properties of things understanding true, it immediately will begin to be guided by this new understanding in the practical life?

it would Seem to

and. But we will be careful. Let`s not begin to forget that before us - the preschool child. Let`s ask the child to compare two identical rulers which are strengthened on a board so that one of them seems more long another (psychologists have a way to create similar illusion of an inequality). Certainly, all children recognize that rulers are not equal, one of them is longer. Let`s remove rulers, we will allow the kid most to be convinced of their equality, and then again we will hang up on a board and we will repeat our question. Now, having carried out comparison, he with conviction answers: rulers are equal. Let`s distract the child conversation for 2 - 3 minutes, and then we will ask to get the beautiful brand lying on a floor, without rising from a stool: “You will reach - there will be a thowling“. Distance between most given hand and brand approximately equally in ruler length.“ If you want - you can use a ruler“, - we advise the child. What it will take? From the point of view of the knowledge of length received by the child (rulers are equal) - all the same what. But is not present. Vast majority of preschool children take that ruler which seems more long.

Here and answer to our question. The child - the preschool child by no means not always hurries to reconstruct the practical actions on “a scientific basis“ even if he managed to receive such basis. The knowledge - knowledge, and is more right everything - to rely on the fact that it seems to my sight (to hearing, taste, touch). This property of children`s practical thinking - tendency to rely not on knowledge of the true relations of things, and on their seeming relations - we will call a fenomenalnost. We already met this property: let`s remember children`s animism. In words 4 - 6 - summer children are convinced that “magic“ in life does not happen, and in practice?

So, animism, globality, fenomenalnost... Transfer of properties of thinking of the preschool child could and be continued. But it is not their quantity. The question is in for what they are necessary to the preschool child and whether are necessary in general. How to look. From the point of view of the adult, it is only “intermediate stages“, illusions, shortcomings. Over time they will be overcome. But the child has the world. And in this world both animism, and globality, and a fenomenalnost not only shortcomings, but also advantages. “To connect ability unjoinable“, ability to mark out the brightest properties in objects, trust to the personal experience is and many other things give to the kid - the preschool child “shortcomings“ of his thinking. And these abilities will be necessary for it and in the future, even then, when “children`s“ properties of his thinking, having played a role, finally quit the stage of mental development.