Cognitive and Developmental Issues
"Children have real understanding only of that which they invent themselves, and each time we try to teach them something too quickly, we keep them from reinventing it themselves."
- Jean Piaget1
This section provides guidance on issues elementary teachers should consider when designing and teaching an instructional unit to elementary students. It incorporates findings from educational research and other resource documents, including NCTM's Principles and Standards for School Mathematics.2
Moreover, this chapter provides ideas and information to support teachers in beginning to translate some of the latest educational research into daily classroom practice. Teachers' effectiveness in the classroom has been shown to benefit greatly from looking at various developmental stages of students and considering cognitive science and other contributions from educational research. Too often, teachers do not focus on how students learn and the critical importance of these cognitive issues for their teaching.
This chapter explores: