Thinking children learning about schemas

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  • This article was downloaded by: [The Aga Khan University]On: 10 December 2014, At: 06:04Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

    Early Years: An International ResearchJournalPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:

    Thinking children learning aboutschemasAnita Soni aa Senior Educational Psychologist for Early Years , Worcestershire,UKPublished online: 08 Jul 2010.

    To cite this article: Anita Soni (2010) Thinking children learning about schemas, Early Years: AnInternational Research Journal, 30:2, 200-200, DOI: 10.1080/09575146.2010.488874

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  • 200 Book reviews

    Thinking children learning about schemas, by Ann Meade and Pam Cubey,Maidenhead, Open University Press/McGraw-Hill Education, 2008, 176 pp., 19.99(paperback), ISBN 978-033522880-5

    This book explores schemas and builds upon Chris Atheys seminal work in this area.It aims to leave practitioners and students more confident and knowledgeable inobserving, identifying and extending childrens schemas.

    There are six chapters to the book, with the first chapter introducing schemalearning theory and clearly setting it within constructivist theory. The first chapter alsointroduces the two research projects used throughout the book, the CompetentChildren action research project and the Wilton Playcentre centre of innovationproject, and gives an overview of each chapter. The second chapter also reviews theresearch and literature on childrens thinking, with a particular focus on extendingchildrens thinking about schemas. The second chapter is also interesting to read as itgives the policy context and curriculum approach in New Zealand and draws somecomparisons with the Early Years Foundation Stage in England. Chapters 3, 4 and 5examine the findings from the two action research projects. There is discussion at theend of each chapter on implications from the research for adults working in similarcontexts. Chapter 6 draws the chapters and the book together and considers the rolefor adults in enhancing schema development and extending childrens thinking. Itends with some useful reflective questions that could be used within discussions andtraining sessions.

    I consider the first two chapters to be particularly useful for students and otherswho are in the early stages of understanding childrens thinking with reference to sche-mas. The following chapters discuss some interesting and thought-provoking results.The value of adultchild interaction in supporting childrens thinking, particularly inthe use of open theory-seeking questions or adults offering their own theories andideas themselves, is discussed but reported to be at a low level of frequency. Meadeand Cubey note that this has been reported by many commentators, and suggest thismay be due to feelings of inadequacy in relation to mathematical and scientificknowledge. The value of parents being involved in understanding and supporting theirchilds schema is also discussed, and again emphasises the value of continuity betweenhome and early education setting. The final chapter has a useful model showing howadult knowledge of schema learning theory (both parents and practitioners) and theirinterventions to enrich schema understanding can make a significant impact onchildrens learning. It would have been interesting to read about how children withSEN (special educational needs) develop schemas, particularly those with socialcommunication difficulties where interests can be viewed as obsessions.

    This book is described as being suitable for those studying early childhood orworking in early years settings. It is a valuable book to help practitioners and studentsfeel more knowledgeable and confident in schema learning theory.

    Anita SoniSenior Educational Psychologist for Early Years, Worcestershire, UK 2010, Anita Soni




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