ERIC Number: EJ1178708
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
Preschoolers' Understanding of How Others Learn through Action and Instruction
Sobel, David M.; Letourneau, Susan M.
Child Development, v89 n3 p961-970 May-Jun 2018
It is widely believed that exploration is a mechanism for young children's learning. The present investigation examines preschoolers' beliefs about how learning occurs. We asked 3- to 5-year-olds to articulate how characters in a set of stories learned about a new toy. Younger preschoolers were more likely to overemphasize the role of characters' actions in learning than older children were (Experiment 1, N = 53). Overall performance improved when the stories explicitly stated that characters were originally ignorant and clarified the characters' actions, but general developmental trends remained (Experiment 2, N = 48). These data suggest that explicit metacognitive understanding of the relation between actions and learning is developing during the preschool years, which might have implications for how children learn from exploration.
Descriptors: Preschool Children, Beliefs, Inquiry, Learning Processes, Age Differences, Story Telling, Metacognition, Developmental Stages
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1223777