My 3 year old nephew, Jace.

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My nephew Jace is three years old and therefore falls into the category of the 2-7 year old age range that Piaget refers to in the text. According to Piaget, this is the "preoperational stage", where children's mental representation differs from their physical experience. In other words, their imagination blossoms. Jace definitely depicts these characteristics so I was curious to test him in these "conservation" tests. With Jace, I simply put his favorite juice in two different cups. These cups were very similar and held the same amount of juice. Then, there was a tall, narrow bottle. When I poured the liquid from one of the cups into the bottle, Jace wanted the bottle more than the cup because he wanted more juice. The bottle and the cup held the same amount of juice, but he failed to realize it based on the appearance of the liquid. I tried explaining to him that the cup had just as much, but he wouldn't believe it. I thought this was an example of egocentrism. He didn't want to look at the juice from a different perspective other than his own. image004.jpg

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That's sweet that you actually did the experiment and it worked. It is one thing to read about it in a textbook, but it's a lot more interesting when you experience it yourself.

I bet this was an interesting experience for you. For someone who is old enough to understand that the cups do hold the same amount of liquid it was probably difficult to try and make your nephew understand it two. Both of you are coming from two different perspectives.

That is pretty cool. There was a time where we couldn't understand the same concept. There are different stages. Its like trying to explain calculus to a elementary school kid. They wont get it at the time but later they will understand the concepts better and it wont look like gibberish to them.

Interesting enough I just finished reading another blog that mentioned wanting to give this same experiment a try and thought that it was a very cool experiment to try out for yourself. I predicted that something similar would happen so it is nice to see that little kids do, in fact, have very wild imagination.

What a great experience! When I saw this topic choice, this was the one I really wanted to do but my niece who is also three wasn't around for me to try it on. I'm glad you got to experience this hands on though! How many times to we really get to try out thing's we've learned on unsuspecting three year olds?! Also, think about how you could trick a child in that age range! Not to be mean but you could totally give them the choice of two things, knowingly have one look like it has more when it actually has less and the child will choose the one that LOOKS like it has more when it doesn't! Very cool, very fun. :D

It is so cool that you can try this experiment with your nephew. As we learned from the lecture, it is common that children in the specific age range will behave like that. But I am pretty curious that did you try to explain it to your nephew about the truth? Lol

It is cool to think that these tasks are actually true in real life. It is one thing to read about them in a book, but to hear of personal experiences where they were tested is super interesting. It is also interesting to think that toddlers are egotistic and cannot understand that other people think in other ways.

It's hard to believe that conservation is a "learned" principle. How do we acquire that knowledge? Or I guess it could be the case that neuro-biological changes are somehow programmed to occur at certain points in our development, so maybe conservation isn't a phenomenon that we learn about by observing it in action.

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This page contains a single entry by adams968 published on March 25, 2012 10:21 PM.

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