Knowledge Under Construction (Hardcover)
The Importance of Play in Developing Children's Spatial and Geometric Thinking
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 9780742547889, 257pp.
Publication Date: March 29, 2007
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Knowledge under Construction investigates how young children develop spatial, geometric, and scientific thinking skills-particularly those associated with architecture. Based on original research and analysis of videotapes of children's play with blocks, the authors' findings suggest that such play is anything but pointless. Their conclusions fill in gaps in our current understanding of how children learn to think spatially and scientifically even while challenging portions of that understanding, including some of Piaget's thesis about the primacy of topological space in children's learning. A system of measurement developed to identify and categorize children's spontaneous behavior at play allows adults to observe patterns of behavior as children play and record the development of process skills and cognitive abilities, enhancing our understanding of how children begin to learn about space and architectural relationships. The book also examines the educational implications of our enhanced understanding. One possible development is a new, alternative way to measure cognitive abilities and development in children based on their work with blocks.
About the Author
Daniel Ness, Ph.D. Columbia University, is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Learning at Dowling College where he teaches courses in mathematics curriculum and instruction and cognitive development. He has taught mathematics at all levels, and his 10 years of clinical practice extends from teaching mathematics to conducting clinical interviews and diagnosing mathematical behaviors. Dr. Ness is the author of numerous articles on mathematics cognition and the development of spatial and geometric thinking. He is a contributing co-editor of "After the Bell" in Science Scope, a contributing author of Trivializing Teacher Education: The Accreditation Squeeze (Rowman & Littlefield), and co-editor of the Encyclopedia on Education and Human Development (M.E. Sharpe). Stephen J. Farenga, Ed.D. Columbia University, is an associate professor and former chairperson of the Department of Human Development and Learning at Dowling College. His research has appeared in major journals in science education, technology, and education of the gifted. Dr. Farenga has taught science for 15 years at the elementary and secondary levels and has served on the Commissioner's Advisory Council on the Arts in Education in New York State. Dr. Farenga has established an educational research clinic to examine methods of best practice and has served as a consultant for urban and suburban school districts. He is a contributing co-editor of "After the Bell" in Science Scope, a contributing author to Trivializing Teacher Education: The Accreditation Squeeze (Rowman & Littlefield), and co-editor of the Encyclopedia on Education and Human Development (M.E. Sharpe).