THE IMPORTANCE OF NATURAL ENVIRONMENT OF A PRESCHOOL INSTITUTION FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COGNITIVE COMPETENCY OF STUDENTSJournal: GAMTAMOKSLINIS UGDYMAS / NATURAL SCIENCE EDUCATION (Vol.5, No. 2)
Publication Date: 2008-08-25
Authors : Vincentas Lamanauskas; Alina Palionienė;
Page : 15-29
Keywords : education policy; self-education; preschool education;
The Relevance of the Research. In the general programmes/curricula and the Standards of Education of the School of General Education of Lithuania (2003) it is stated that “preschool, primary and basic child education is considered as one of the most important priorities of contemporary education policy, as the basis for lifelong learning”. Contemporary preschool education regulations are an aspiration to help a child to acquire competencies necessary for everyday life and successful education/self-education at school, the basis of which is the sum total of already possessed value attitudes, gained abilities and skills, and experience. It is not enough to call child's competencies an aspiration – it is important to attempt to “measure” them, and it is what has been emphasized in the present work. The importance of one of the competencies – the cognitive competency – is emphasized in Preschool Education Standards (2003). The straightest way to the development of child's cognitive competency is the formation of natural environment in a preschool institution. Cognitive psychology considers per-manent investigation of environment as one of the most important factors of the development of child personality. In contemporary reformed nursery school the investigation activity, its importance, signifi-cance, functionality, relations between natural environment and the cognitive competency is little or almost not investigated area. The object of research - the importance of natural environment for the development of the cognitive competency. The aim of research - to analyze what kind of importance natural environment of a preschool institution has for the development of the cognitive competency. The Methodology. J. A. Comenius, J. J. Rousseau, J. H. Pestalozzi suggested naturality/nature as the example or means to cognize and investigate the world. In order to collect the data about the importance of natural environment for the development of the cognitive competency, in the work the reference has been made to J. Bruner's theory of cognitive development. In modern cognitive conception of learning it is stated that only by investigating cognitive processes we may better perceive the behaviour of a person himself/herself. For the evolution of the development of cognition natural environment is important and closest to a child because there sensory abilities may develop. Results of research. Educators of preschool educational institutions positively evaluate value of a natural environment for formation of the cognitive competence. On the other hand it is not the main limiting factor. Experts understand essence and value of updating and formation of natural environment in preschool education institutions. Change of a situation is interfered by poor material resources, the low competence of preschool educators (teachers) in the field of natural science education, inadequate programs and standards. 68 percent of experts consider, that it is very important to establish close communications with a following level of education – primary and basic (lower secondary) school. In opinion of 59 percent of experts it is very important constant improvement of professional competence (skills) of teachers of preschool education. Half of experts (50%) recognize that virtual, instead of the natural environment today prevails. It is established, that in opinion of the majority of experts (72, 7%) the natural environment of preschool education institutions is artificial and limited.
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