By Kairen Cullen
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Extra resources for Child psychology : a practical guide
This theory is based on the idea that the history, location and culture of the person’s birthplace is responsible for the kinds of learning they can experience and also for the cultural tools such as language, numeracy and technology that are available and that they can develop. These socio-cultural aspects are necessary for a shared understanding of the world and a similar way of thinking for members of the same society. We live in a world full of technology. Our children are exposed from a very young age to computers, mobile telephones, television and a host of other communication and entertainment facilities.
He made it clear that language did not arise from the storage of huge amounts of vocabulary or as a stimulus–response behaviour. Instead, he argued that 53 language was constantly created spontaneously in relation to activity in the world. Humans, therefore, had to have the capacity to use whichever words they heard in completely new combinations and to then create sentences and phrases never heard before in a particular situation. Chomsky is known for a number of key ideas including the language acquisition device and universal grammar.
Chinese proverb 29 Another of Piaget’s big ideas is illustrated in an experiment in which he presents a child with different-sized, see-through containers, into which he pours liquid. Each container is filled with exactly the same amount of liquid but because some are taller and slimmer or shorter and wider, children at a pre-operational level (two to seven years; see table on p. 33) find it difficult to appreciate this fact. They will guess that the amount of liquid increases the taller the container, and vice versa for shorter but wider containers.