Learning 24 Nov 2016

Grade 12 and JK test a theory

By by Hetty Boon, JK Lead Teacher, Lakeside Campus
Photograph by CIS Communications

The DP Psychology course sees students examining the systematic study of behaviour and mental processes. They question and explore how psychological knowledge is generated, developed and applied, in order to have a greater understanding of themselves and human behaviour in general.

Over the last month, Grade 12 Psychology students have been exploring Jean Piaget’s concept of egocentrism, where a three to four year old child cannot imagine a point of view other than their own. Presented with a unique opportunity to test this theory in person and observe a three to four year old’s behaviour, Grade 12 have been collaborating with my Junior Kindergarten class.

The Grade 12’s set up a small barrier between themselves and their younger friends. On each side of the barrier, they placed a few small objects – a toy lion, a tree, a toy goat, etc. The Grade 12 student then asked their JK friend, “what can you see?” The younger child listed the objects in from of them on their side of the barrier. The two then switched sides and again the older asked the younger, “What can you see?” Again the child listed what was in front of them.

Then the older student asked a third question: “Can you tell me what I can see in front of me?” Typically children at this age will answer that question by listing what is in front of them on their side of the barrier. Even though they have been on the other side of the barrier and know what is there, when asked to recall that point of view they cannot. They will answer the question as if their older friend can see the same things they can see. This is what Piaget defined as “egocentrism”. As children grow and develop, they will gain the ability to recall various points of view other than their own.

Besides the educational purpose of this collaborative activity, both JK and Grade 12 students had fun and enjoyed each other’s company. It is a great example of how students work together and build a strong CIS community from Kindergarten to Grade 12!

Lena Fonteyne, Grade 12 Psychology Student, Reflects on the Process

Currently, we are studying child development in our Grade 12 Psychology class. The opportunity arose to go visit JK-3 each Friday and interact with the children. These gatherings offer us a unique learning opportunity where we are able to gain hands on experience (and understanding) in child development, and enhance our understanding of the concepts in child psychology. Additionally, it is a nice break from our stressful workload. We look forward to playing with the children every Friday - it brightens up our week! This interactive learning experience has been very memorable and an excellent example of real life field work.