The Detriments Of Formal Schooling On Early Cognitive Development

1282 words - 5 pages

Education is delivered through an institution that creates a difficult environment to perform well in. The high expectations that some parents and political groups set ads to already existing high pressures for students to meet. Starting formal schooling at the age of five in hopes of achieving greater academic successes increases the pressures placed on children to conform at a younger age. This process is believed to deprive the necessary skills that are attained in kindergarten's and pre-formal structures of study and encourage development with age appropriate experiences through basic steps that aid in securing future academic success. The focus of this paper is to demonstrate how the ineffectiveness of formal schooling would have on students by beginning accelerated mental growth programs at the age of five. This position will be argued through the concept of 'self' in cognitive development stages and include a critical analysis of underlying reasons pushing for earlier academics which may be detrimental to student's future achievements in education.Since how we perceive ourselves and how we perceive others is a basic development that needs to occur prior to commencing a formal academic environment, it makes sense to start with the 'self' and how it influences the relationships that come to dominate how people interact within academics. The outcome of future academic success is largely due to basic necessary processes that children are developing and experiencing. For example, at the tender age of five, they are discovering who they are and how they feel about who they are, at home, with friends and family and in school. The development of the 'self' evolves through interactions and relationships that are dominant in the child's life and are present while within Piaget's pre-operational stage. Piaget's stages of cognitive development are relevant in formal schooling being proposed at the age of five because it addresses the pre-operational stage where children are "gradually developing the use of language and ability to think in a symbolic form" (Woolfolk, A.E., Winne, P.H., & Perry, N.E. 2003 p.30) which leads to mastering the performance of mental actions. Formal academics at this age, while not entirely grasping the thinking that is connected to symbolic mental and physical actions directly influences the relationship that children make of themselves resulting in future academic failures because of weak perceptions of their self-concept. Erikson's eight stages of psychosocial development concur, in his stage of initiative versus guilt, where children need to experience independence of new responsibilities in a positive atmosphere to reinforce their confidence in mastering basic motor and cognitive skills (Woolfolk, A.E., Winne, P.H., & Perry, N.E. 2003 p. 63). Children's self-concept is crucial at this stage of their development as they are discovering their place in the world and it gives them the opportunity to test their skills...

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