By Anthony C. Maffei Ph.D., Teresa M. Hauck (auth.)
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Extra resources for Purposeful Play with Your Preschooler: A Learning-Based Activity Book
He is then asked to find out for hirnself if these strips are of the same length (Fig. 4-1). He usually does this by placing them next to each other and comparing the lengths. The experimenter then moves one strip slightly ahead of the other and asks the child if both strips are now of the same length (Fig. 4-2). The preoperational thinker invariably says "no" and points, after being asked, to what appears to be the "longer" piece. [ ] ] ( Figure 4-1 Part I • Foundations 24 J [ \ Figure 4-2 In the "conservation of number" problem, two rows of identical objects (here large white buttons), each having the same number, are presented to the child (Fig.
This is one reason why games for 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children should be less structured and more open-ended than games for 6- or 7-year-olds. Early-age preoperational children are not very much concerned with following rules and cooperating with their peers in order to win. At first glance, it would appear that there is some concerted effort to follow the game rules, but eventually a child will usually 5 • Language and Thinking 31 ... play either by hirnself without bothering to find playfellows, or with others, but without trying to win, and therefore without attempting to unifY the different ways of playing.
Although the child is already forming ideas in the sensorimotor period, prior to language acquisition these thoughts are different from the logical thinking employed in the later preoperational and concrete periods. Intelligence actuaHy appears weH before language, that is to say, weH before internal thought, which presupposes the use of verbal signs (internalized language). It is an entirely practical inteHigence based on the manipulation of objects; in place of words and concepts it uses percepts and movements organized to "action" schemata.!