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ERIC Number: EJ822895
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jan
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-1357-5279
Understanding Cognitive Development: Automaticity and the Early Years Child
Gray, Colette
Child Care in Practice, v10 n1 p39-47 Jan 2004
In recent years a growing body of evidence has implicated deficits in the automaticity of fundamental facts such as word and number recognition in a range of disorders: including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, apraxia and autism. Variously described as habits, fluency, chunking and over learning, automatic processes are best understood in terms of their distinctive properties. While typically identified as fast, parallel, attention-free processes, a commonly agreed definition of automaticity continues to elude theorists investigating this concept. Most theorists would, however, agree that since attentional resources are finite, automaticity of basic facts serves to free sufficient mental resources for a learner to focus their attention on the novel or more complex aspects of a task. Yet despite the importance of automaticity to the learner, the term remains largely unfamiliar to most educationalists and early years practitioners. In order to address this issue, the present paper seeks to review several influential theories of automaticity, to describe the problems associated with defining a process as automatic and to draw from relevant research to demonstrate how the early years environment can be organised to promote automaticity in the young learner. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A