ERIC Number: ED418776
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Feb
Concept Development in Preschool Children.
Gelman, Susan A.
This paper examines the cognitive process of concept development in preschool children, based on recent psychological research. Rather than attempting an exhaustive review of the more than 7000 articles written on children's concepts of categories, the paper highlights and illustrates four key themes that emerge from recent research: first, concepts are tools with powerful implications for children's reasoning; second, children's early concepts are not necessarily concrete or perceptually based, as even preschoolers are capable of abstract reasoning; third, children's concepts are not uniform across content areas, individuals, or tasks; and fourth, children's concepts reflect their emerging theories about the world. The paper notes that these four themes contradict some widely held, but erroneous, views of early concept development and explores a variety of issues regarding early education raised by these themes. Contains 52 references. (JPB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Forum on Early Childhood Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education (Washington, DC, February 6-8, 1998).