Chapter

Kids, appearance, and reality

Michael Siegal

in Marvelous Minds

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199582884
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191702358 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199582884.003.0001
Kids, appearance, and reality

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If children's development is not necessarily restricted by conceptual limitations or a one-sidedness of their understanding in the manner proposed by Piaget, and they do have knowledge of the distinction between appearance and reality, there is the challenge of discovering what children know. This chapter suggests that an alternative account is needed for young children's lack of success in their responses to interviewers' questions on tests of their understanding. The model proposed here is that children frequently can succeed if these tests are formulated in a ‘child-friendly’ language, within contexts which provide the experience and support to facilitate their correct answers. The discussion describes recent and new evidence for a core understanding in various areas of knowledge, and the nature of the conceptual change that their understanding might undergo in the process of their development.

Keywords: developmental psychology; human children; Piaget; child-friendly language; conceptual change

Chapter.  7522 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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