Children are exposed to a highly social environment from the moment they are born. They are not limited to living beings such as parents, siblings, pets, teachers and classmates, but also to objects and values that are part of their culture. All of these things provide a learning environment for the child’s cognitive development explains an educator at the Little House Nursery, Dubais Best Nursery that is focused on providing an enabling environment where children can learn and develop safely.
At the tender ages of 3 to 5, preschoolers’ thinking skills undergo a big change, as their ability to use representational thoughts and symbols to stand for objects, people and events, becoming even more complex. They also begin to show the use of logic to think about how and why things work in the environment around them. Despite a lot of exposure to cognitive development, educators at the Preschool Nursery in Dubai say that they still have cognitive limitations.
In an education environment in Dubai teachers play an important role in the preschoolers’ cognitive development and growth. Here are some ways that teachers can contribute to children's cognitive development,
- Reasoning and problem solving - Reading quality children's books that involve thinking skills that promote cognitive skill such as reasoning, problem solving, symbolic play, metacognitive knowledge, memory and social. Teachers should arouse a child's natural curiosity, by posing thought provoking questions as they read aloud to their students, such as how things work and why things occur.
- Symbolic play - One of the biggest milestones in preschoolers’ thinking, is the ability to engage in symbolic representations. For example, a block will become a phone or a car and a box will become a small building. The Child Care Nursery in Dubai explains that Preschoolers show an understanding of the difference between what is real and what is not.
- Imagination - Make-believe play should be encouraged by teachers in the preschool years. Children often identify with characters in books or on the television and they engage in role playing these characters in many unique ways.
- Focus on their own thinking - Teachers can make activities more interactive with the children and get them to think on their own and express their own thoughts. For instance, after reading a book, the teacher might ask the children to draw a picture or give one word about what they learned from the story.
- Memory - Children in their early years remember a lot of new things and are ready to share their wealth of knowledge about a topic they know as opposed to new things they learn. In order, to make children remember new things, teachers should make sure to involve personal experiences to a story or event.
- Social skills - A good way for teachers to teach the children about social cognition is to read children’s books about feelings and how they relate to thoughts and behaviour.
With careful planning and knowledge of cognitive development, teachers can support cognitive growth in a child through everyday activities.