More than ever, early years practitioners need to provide activities for their young pupils that encourage problem-solving, prediction and critical thinking. But what do we mean by "thinking", and how can we be sure that children really understand their classroom activities? Invaluable for anyone looking to understand young children's thinking, this essential textbook helpfully combines introductions to theories about thinking with observations from real-life practice. The book explores underlying theories behind topics such as: the relationship between nature and nuture; models of cognitive development, with ideas from key thinkers such as Piaget, Vygotsky and Bruner; basic neuroscience and its application to early childhood; the social, emotional and cultural context of children's development; emotional intelligence; language and thought, including the use of motherese, and children's talk in pretend play; and whether children can think philosophically. The author accompanies every topic with observations from the classroom, supported by her own critical analysis linking theory to practice throughout.
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