ERIC Number: ED210088
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
What Do Children Learn When They Manipulate Objects?
Kamii, Constance; O'Brien, Thomas C.
An interview taped in 1978 with Constance Kamii, a child development researcher who studied Piagetian theory at the University of Geneva, is presented in this document. When asked what teachers of young children should keep in mind, Dr. Kamii talked about teaching to the child's level and cautioned against dealing with symbolic materials, advising teachers to incorporate manipulable objects into curricula. Kamii suggests teachers can encourage children to make predictions about the outcomes of object manipulation and thereby learn essential relationships. The importance of teaching to a child's level of cognitive development is emphasized in an anecdote about the failure of an experimenter to teach children the concept of specific gravity. Kamii maintains this experimental failure was the result of teaching beyond children's capacity for understanding formal operations. Teaching cannot be accomplished directly, asserts Kamii; rather, people can be helped to learn when teachers start with knowledge already available to the learner. Kamii's forthcoming research projects are mentioned. (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southern Illinois Univ., Edwardsville.
Identifiers: Kamii (Constance); Piagetian Theory