How can we help our children to develop their thinking?
This report outlines an early part of the Competent Children project: an action research study of six months in the lives of 10 children aged between 4 and 5 years. Using recent advances in theory about how children learn to think, researchers worked with the children's parents and early childhood education teachers to help them observe the children and plan ways to enhance their learning.
The researchers also measured the children's developing competencies. One important finding was that the teachers "were not consciously fostering children moving to higher levels of intellectual development involving abstract thought".
Adults need to give children more opportunities to talk about their thinking, test their theories, and move ahead intellectually.