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Cognitive Skills

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Perception A more advanced ability to see the relationship between objects is developed by the child after perceptions of objects are formed. Once the child discovers and learns the name of the objects of what they are made, how they are made and what can be done with them begins to discover the relationship between the objects. For example, a bright child of more than two years asked her mother how everything was made. She asked “How are cars made?” her mother answered “in a car factory”, when asked “How are shoes made? The mother answered “in a shoe factory”. This error in making a judgement is common in the pre-school child but it does show rational deductions within the limits of the child’s experience. Two years old may know the meaning of “now” but not “soon”. This word perception may come about 6 months later. Perception of time as yesterday, today and tomorrow are learnt correctly by the five-year old. Children understand time if its implications are made known to them such as “time and sleep” or “time for daddy to come home”. According to the Montessori Training, in the first week of life since the baby spends considerable time in sleep, the perceptual development is laid in the short durations or wakefulness. The period from one to three years is a very important period for perceptual and cognitive development. During this period baby learns to speak which facilitates communication, and the child achieves a better understanding of the word than earlier. At pre-school age child develops various perceptions of size, shape, colour, time and distance. Perception of size of various objects becomes fairly good by the ages of three. Perception shape develops between the ages of two and five years. Colour perception seems to develop as early as fifteen months of age. Between three and five, judgement of distance develops. Number perception develops rapidly after three years of age and by five children become quite good at it. Perception or texture is also achieved during pre-school years. Time perception is a little slow to develop. Thinking Thinking is a type of behaviour, which is aroused by a stimulus present or absent and satisfies an immediate or remote practical need. Thinking takes place to adjust the individual to the needs of new situation. Thinking consists of cognitive re-arrangement or manipulation of information from the environment and symbols stored in long-term memory. The symbols that we use in thinking are often words and languages, which are closely inter-related. Thinking consists of “symbolic meditation”. To put it another way thinking consists of processing information about the world. Thus according to Preschool Teacher Training thinking is a mental activity which arises to solve a problem in which perception, memory, imagination, ideas, symbols, images and signs are used, there is some mental trial and error, and sometimes some parts of the body like the tongue, fingers, throat and the like also become alive.. Thinking and the formation of concepts are central processes of cognition. In one of Piaget’s classic examples a child was asked, “How many brothers do you have?” He correctly answered “Two, John and peter?” The child replied “One, John” Piaget interpreted the child’s error as an evidence that he cannot see himself in the role of a brother since “Brother” in his experience is what he has and not “What he is”.

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