Mental development is a set of quantitative and qualitative changes in mental activity of the child in regard to age, enrichment experiences and is influenced by educational influences. At preschool age at a rapid pace there is an accumulation of knowledge, formed it, improved cognitive processes, child seizes the simplest ways of mental activity. The provision of mental development of preschool child is of great importance for the whole of his future activities.
Mental development of the child is under the influence of the social environment. In the process of communication with others, he learns the language, and with it the existing system of concepts. As a result, already at preschool age, the child masters the language so that using it freely as a means of communication.
Mental development preschooler happens in the process of the activity: first, in communication, subject activity, game, and then in educational, employment, productive (drawing, modeling, application, design).
The most effective mental development is influenced by training and education.
Modern pedagogy believes that the main indicators of mental development are the adoption of a system of knowledge, the accumulation of the Fund, development of creative thinking and mastering the methods of cognitive activity required for the acquisition of new knowledge.
To properly organize the mental education of preschool children, it is necessary to know the regularities and the possibilities of their mental development. Their view of defined goals, contents, organization and methods of mental education. Soviet psychology and pedagogy study of the regularities and possibilities of mental development in preschool age, to find ways of optimal solution of task of mental education: to maximize the opportunities of the child, on the one hand, and to prevent overload, which can cause a General depression of the organism, on the other.
Scientists are exploring the many issues of mental development and education. Studied the laws of development of feelings, perception, which is essential for developing the content and methods of sensory education as the basis of mental education of preschool children; examines the formation of visual-efficient, visual-figurative and conceptual, logical thinking of children; find out the features of the formation of cognitive abilities; develop contents and methods of mental education in different periods of early childhood.
By the end of preschool age children have accumulated a large enough supply of basic knowledge about the surrounding, they possess the basic mental operations (comparison, generalization, etc.), able to distinguish significant and insignificant features of objects and phenomena, to establish some causal relationships, they have formed the beginnings of learning activities. Full mental development happens only in organized activities, so the task of educators is to create appropriate conditions for this and the implementation of targeted educational influences on the child.
Mental education is focused on the impact of adults on the development of active mental activity of children. It includes: message available knowledge about the world, their systematization, the formation of cognitive interests, intellectual skills, cognitive development abilities.
Especially the role of mental education in preparing children for school. The acquisition of knowledge, development of mental activity and independence, the acquisition of intellectual skills is an important prerequisite for successful learning in school and to prepare for an upcoming employment.
In the Program of education in kindergarten determined the following tasks of mental education of preschool children: the formation of correct ideas about the simplest areas of life; the development of cognitive mental processes: sensations, perceptions, memory, imagination, thinking and speech; development of curiosity and mental abilities; the development of intellectual skills, the formation of the easiest ways of mental activity.
Let us consider each of these tasks.
The child in the preschool years, each day is faced with new objects and events. L. N. Tolstoy wrote about the preschool years: Isn’t that then I have gained all that I now live, and have gained so much, so fast that in the rest of my life I have not acquired a hundredth of that? From five children prior to me only step. And from newborn to five years of a terrible distance.
However, the accumulation of knowledge and understanding without the proper leadership is haphazard: they can be superficial, often erroneous. The child thinks that the cloud is wool, and the star – light bulbs. Watching life, he tries to draw conclusions. In the book of K. I. Chukovsky’s From two to five given a lot of children’s statements, testifying to the inquiring mind of the child.
The task of the teacher consists in the progressive increase in children of the stock of knowledge, organizing, clarifying, organizing. The child should get a clear idea about the surrounding objects, their assignment, some of the qualities (color, size, shape) and properties (beats, breaks, breaks, pours, etc.), the materials from which they are made. It gets also knowledge of some natural phenomena, their relationships, and patterns (the characteristic features of the seasons and the relationships between these features, a typical features of some animals and their connection with the way of life of these animals, etc.). In the process of observation of the phenomena of inanimate nature, the development of plants, insects, animals, the teacher provides children the rudiments of the materialist views of the world.
Preschoolers are introduced to available social phenomena and events: the work of the Soviet people, with public holidays; with the Moscow capital of the Soviet state, with some people living in our country. Children learn about the life and work of V. I. Lenin and his associates. Familiarization with social phenomena and events fosters children’s interest in the public life of the country, formation of feeling of love for the Motherland and the foundations of internationalism.
An important task of mental education is the development of cognitive mental processes of sensation, perception, memory, imagination, thinking, and language development.
Knowledge of the world begins with sensations and perceptions. The higher the level of development, the richer the possibility of knowledge of reality. Therefore, in kindergarten, great emphasis on sensory education.
A special role in the preschool age belongs to language development. People use their native language to Express their thoughts and understanding expressed by others. Mastering it gives the child the opportunity to gain knowledge of reality indirectly (through the story, the artwork, the explanation of the teacher, etc.) and not only by immediate perception of objects or phenomena. In kindergarten resolved these tasks of speech development as the enrichment of vocabulary, the formation of the grammatical structure, development of coherent speech.
At preschool age children form the ability of conscious memory, the memory increases; the challenge is to exercise arbitrary memory, enriching it with useful knowledge.
Much attention is paid to development of imagination; it is necessary for any creative activity. In the first preschool years is recreating the imagination on the basis of which the accumulation of life experience and the development of thinking formed the creative imagination. For the younger preschooler is typical of the visual-effective and visual-figurative thinking. On this basis, develops verbal-logical, conceptual thinking. Caregiver forms in children analytic-synthetic mental activity, which enables deeper understanding of phenomena, to distinguish significant and insignificant.
Curiosity is a quality inherent in the child. It is expressed in the active interest of the outside world, in an effort to examine, to touch, to bring into action. The presence of the curiosity evidenced by numerous questions.
A mentor supports the curiosity of preschoolers, organizing observations, trying time to respond to their issues, guiding their thought on an independent search of the answer. The task of mental education is to develop the children’s curiosity, inquisitive mind and to form the basis of a stable cognitive interests.
Before kindergarten, the challenge is to develop the mental abilities of the child. Abilities in psychology it is accepted to call such properties of the person, which create conditions for successful mastering of a particular activity. The ability to manifest and develop in the process of the corresponding activities. Human mental abilities can be characterized by such qualities of mind as intelligence (quickness of mental reactions), criticality (the ability to objectively assess facts, events, results of work and analyze them to spot mistakes, etc.), inquisitiveness (ability to the persistent search for solutions to mental tasks, using various methods to find the correct answer), thoughtfulness.
The teacher thus organizes mental activity of children to contribute to the development of these qualities. For the development of the ingenuity he performs the game where you have to quickly give the answer (Give the next number, Say it backwards, Flies – not flying, etc.), at a fast pace to solve simple tasks; for the development of the critical mind engages children analysis of children’s work, replies; for the development of an inquiring organizes basic research, provides task-the puzzle.
One of the objectives of mental education of preschool children is the development of intellectual abilities and skills, i.e. the formation of the easiest ways of mental activity: a survey of the objects, allocating them significant and irrelevant signs, comparison with other objects, etc. These skills are an integral part of cognitive activity, they help the child to successfully acquire knowledge.
The concept of sensory education. The basis of mental education is touch education, which enables the development and enrichment of sensory experience of the child, forms his ideas about the properties and qualities of the items. Touch education is the purposeful development of sensations and perceptions. The word touch comes from the Latin word senstis – feeling, sensation, perception, the ability experience. Knowledge of the world begins with sensations, with perceptions. Richer than feeling and perception, the wider and more varied will be obtained person information about the world. Thus, the sensory culture of the child, the level of development of sensations and perceptions is an important prerequisite for successful cognitive activity.
Touch culture has great significance for aesthetic education. The ability to distinguish between colors, shades, shapes, combinations of shapes and colors, height and timbre of the sounds gives the opportunity to better understand works of visual and musical art to enjoy listening to music, viewing paintings, sculptures, etc.
The Soviet pedagogy issues touch education occupies a position that differs fundamentally from the positions of the bourgeois pedagogy, reflected in particular in the sensory system of education Maria Montessori.
Developed by Montessori in the early twentieth century, the sensory system of education aimed to achieve a high level of discrimination children colors and shades, forms and sizes. The didactic materials were created in accordance with the principle of self-control, which gave children the opportunity to practice independently, without the participation of the teacher. However, development of the senses was not associated with the development of speech, from the productive activity. The emphasis was on the development of fine muscles of the hands, the formation of the ability of touch to determine subtle differences in size and shape, to catch the subtle difference in shades of color. Montessori does not aim to make children educated people.
Soviet pedagogy believes that sensory education should be implemented in various types of activities: visual, constructive, music and movement, while making the acquaintance of children with surrounding.
So E. I. Miheeva linked the work to improve bodies feelings with the development of speech of children, acquainting them with the surrounding objective reality. She has developed teaching materials, games (especially games with natural materials) is also aimed at distinguishing the color, size, shape, but to familiarize children with the properties and qualities of the objects takes place in a fun activity that promotes better assimilation of knowledge and understanding.
Problems touch education currently studied in research institutions, at the departments of preschool pedagogy pedagogical institutes.
Of preschool-age children learn to distinguish and call color, form ideas about their shades, that by mixing colors out new colors or shades, and learn to compare objects by color, develop the ability when looking at paintings to see how color creates artistic expressiveness of an image. At preschool age children learn spatial representations forward – backward, up – down, far – near, left – right and others, and guided them in life situations, distinguish the shape of objects, their sizes, compare objects between themselves.
Gradually they learn to navigate in time and master time concepts, understand the sequence and time duration. Initially, the child is difficult to comprehend the relativity of the concepts yesterday, today, tomorrow (as tomorrow suddenly becomes today and today turns into yesterday), the length of time (minute, five minutes, an hour). This is achieved through the accumulation of experience and targeted training.
In the content of sensory education included the development of auditory sensitivity, skills to listen and to distinguish sounds in the environment, development of speech hearing (sound side of speech, the ability to analyze the sound structure of words) and a musical ear (the ability to distinguish sounds on height, to perceive rhythmic pattern, etc.).
Touch education also includes the development of tactile sensitivity – the ability to distinguish by touch the quality of the items and name them correctly: smooth, furry, rough, soft, hard, heavy, light, cold, warm etc. One of the sides of the touch of education is the development of olfactory and taste sensations.
In the process everyday life, in games and in the classroom under the guidance of the tutor is a versatile touch education of preschool children.
The development of sensations and perceptions happening successfully in a purposeful meaningful activity. Productive activities (drawing, modeling, application, design), not only creates favorable conditions for the development of sensations and perceptions, but also causes the need for mastery of form, color, spatial orientations.
Before we can draw any subject, it is necessary to isolate the form, set its similarity with certain geometrical figure; in the construction of buildings in the sample have to divide it on part, among a set of parts to find the necessary. The primary method of sensory education is to survey children objects to determine their properties.
The survey is a specially organized perception of objects for later use of its results in one way or another meaningful activity. During the survey, children learn to identify and distinguish the size, shape, spatial relationships, color, features of the sounds of human speech and musical sounds.
One of the important objectives of touch education is formation at children of representations about sensory standards. Touch standards is the samples which were developed in the process of social and historical experience. Such standards are primary colors, geometric shapes (sphere, cube, circle, square, etc.), different pitch of musical sounds expressed in music. If the child is familiar with the standards and their verbal symbols, it is easier to navigate the world: he relates he encountered the items with a particular standard and calls color, shape, size of object, the spatial arrangement of its parts.
The teacher teaches children the techniques of the survey. Initially confronts them with a goal: to draw a subject, it is necessary to consider of what parts it consists; to build a building, it is necessary to analyze the sample. He then introduces children to the main stages of the survey.
When teaching drawing, design and inspection consists of the following stages: the holistic perception of the image of the subject; the isolation of its individual parts and determination of their properties (form, size, etc.); determining spatial relationships of parts relative to each other (above, below, left, right); the isolation of smaller parts of the subject and to establish their location in relation to main parts; re a holistic perception of objects.
In preparation for other activities, such as work, selected and the appropriate investigation methods. To define properties of paper and fabric, the teacher invites children to listen – what happens when you crumple paper and cloth, to try to break sheet paper and a piece of cloth, washed in a water puppet dress of paper and fabric.
A training survey takes into account the children’s age: younger subjects are more simple in form (ball, cube, turret), painted in primary colors, without excessive detail; the senior can consider, and analyze all of the surrounding objects, to allocate a greater number of qualities (color, shape, weight, hardness or softness, texture, material, etc.). Children, which consistently is working to survey, allocate and call a large number of features of each object. This is the analytical thinking of the child, which will enable him in the future a deeper look at objects and phenomena, to notice their major and minor parties, to modify them in the right direction.
The teacher uses various means to implement touch education. So, in graphic activity the child learns colors and shades, the constructive – exercising discernment shape, size, spatial relationships, surface properties (smooth, rough, fuzzy); when you execute the movements to the music differentiates the pace, rhythm and character of the music. In the lesson on modeling a teacher pays attention of children that the clay is soft, it is convenient to mold; sometimes gives the piece a solid and a piece of soft clay, offering to compare them, choose the one which is easier to mold; when the work will dry up, offers to take them in hand and touch what they are solid. Through sensual perception, the child learns the concepts of hard and soft. And by the time of the transition to the senior team is already in appearance can determine the quality of the clay.
Great opportunities for sensory education are provided in educating children with others, especially with nature. Acting with various objects, the child gets a lot of sensations: it is surrounded by colors, smells, sounds, one has only to look and listen. The tutor on the walk the children stop to listen, what sounds are heard around. He offers them a game Anyone hears more sounds?. For the purpose of development of visual perceptions the teacher organizes observation: Look at the sky: everywhere does it the same color? Children notice as the light pinkish color of the edges of the clouds which hid the sun, as the bright blue color of the sky goes almost grey, etc.
The accumulation of sensory experience a range of sensory representations of the child becomes wider. Below to say, heavy or light this item, you need to know, what is the approximate weight of other items of the same size (wood, metal, plastic). To determine hard or soft the object, it is necessary to know what is behind the concept of hard or soft.
Experience the children transferred to other objects and phenomena, utilize it in everyday life: Let’s pour sand: it will be raw, and it will build the tunnel, keep this bucket in the sand, it’s very heavy.
The teacher, using the environment, consistently develops feelings and perceptions of children.
Mental education of preschool children is carried out in the game, teaching, labor, household activities. The more diverse the activities of the child, the multilateral for him the path of cognition and development cognitive abilities. In all kinds of activities, he communicates with other people, gaining from them knowledge and skills, acquires a certain relationship, takes possession of the language. Focused leadership increases the efficiency of pedagogical influence aimed at solving problems of mental education.
An important means of mental education of children is a reality: people, objects, nature, social phenomena. Due to the interaction with the surrounding world expanding horizons child, develop his cognitive processes. Communication with adults, radio and television programmes, increase the amount of information the child receives from the life.
Using various objects, children learn their purpose, properties and qualities: ink, brush, paper for drawing; to work in the garden you need a shovel and rake; all things are made of different materials with certain properties (the porcelain Cup, she kicks, spoon and fork metal), etc. the Teacher in the process of household activities is constantly directs children’s attention to what surrounds them, emphasizes the individual properties items, the word refers to the actions that it performs, uses the concepts that denote spatial and temporal relations. For example, while dressing, he drew kids ‘ attention to the color of clothing, the material from which it is made: Alesha beanie warm down. She’s fluffy. And Oli’s fur hat. Putting children sleep, educator says: It’s evening. Soon night come. Children fall asleep, and Wake up in the morning and will play again.
A lot of new knowledge the child receives in the process of observation in nature. Observations of the plants, insects, birds bring children a lot of the flower blossomed, the leaves, the snowflakes are like stars, kittens yesterday, saw nothing, and today their eyes opened. Children’s knowledge in the process of observation be advised: I thought tomatoes grow on a tree like apples And bugs, it turns out, also can fly. The teacher directs children observations, helps to see and set that did not notice the child. Helping children to discover the world, it not only makes their lives richer and more interesting, but also forms the basis of materialist views.
In the process of systematically observing children develop the important trait of personality – observation, i.e. the ability to quickly and easily see the changes in the environment. The development of this property is essential for many professions. Like any other quality, observation develops in the course of activity can form directed under the guidance of the tutor.
Simple tasks on the development of observation can be given to children systematically in everyday life. For example, before the arrival of their kindergarten teacher put in group room a bouquet of lilies of the valley. Look, children, “he says,” what new appeared in the room, and tell me quietly. I want to know which of you is the most observant.
The development of observation contributes to the education of children for sustainable educational interests. Already at preschool age in individual children have had a steady interest in the nature (observing insects, animals, growing plants, caring for them), to technology (the desire to know the device’s windup toys, various items with the mechanisms of interest to the mechanical designer), to the solution of various task, puzzles, etc.
One of the means mental education is the game – specific children’s activities in which the child reflects the surrounding reality, reveal your knowledge, share them with friends. Certain types of games have different influence on the mental development of children: role-enhance understanding of the surroundings and contribute to the development of verbal communication; game-dramatization help more understanding of works of literature and activate it; construction-design and develop the constructive skills and expand knowledge of geometric shapes and spatial relationships. The game will be to actively influence the mental development of the child, if the caregiver enriches its content, properly organize.
Children play in a ship that sets sail. The Navigator plans a route, the crew members engaged in hunting; during the accident, they are in radio contact with the ground, causing the helicopter, which brings the necessary equipment for repair, after which the ship returned safely to port.
During the game, children share knowledge, come up with different variants of game situations. The teacher, watching game, specifies their performance, offers a new role game action situation and thereby expanding children’s horizons. In games a pre-scheduled topic, discuss the plan, consider what equipment is necessary to prepare, produce it, set the game rules. This requires children mental alertness and focus, and promotes their formation.
Especially important in mental education is didactic game, the mandatory elements of which are cognitive content and mental task. Repeatedly participating in the game, the child firmly learns the knowledge with which it operates (for example, names and appearance of plants, items needed for work, the contents of literary works, etc.). Solving mental task in the game, the kid is practicing in an arbitrary memorizing and reproduction, classification of objects or phenomena on General grounds, in the allocation of properties and qualities items, in the determination of their individual characteristics. For example, in games What has changed?, What did not? the child must remember the number of subjects or their location, and then recall the picture and determine what changes have occurred. In games Find object the same shape, Pick a color, decide what you need for the job you want to group items by common characteristics. In games Learn for description, a Wonderful bag, guess voice the children determine the subject of one of the signs.
Thus, educational games not only promote the consolidation and refinement of knowledge and activate mental activity of children.
The game as is characteristic of child activities enables him to practice mental tasks without much effort. In the process of labor is a practical examination of the subjects: the child gets acquainted not only with their external characteristics and qualities, but also to the changes which they undergo in the process of operation: the soap foam; dug the ground becomes soft, loose; moist sand is well build, etc.
Work in nature allows the child to establish a causal connection, helps to understand the interrelationship and interdependence phenomena on the basis of his own observations he makes inferences, conclusions: if the plant is not watered, it dies; in the garden, which is well lit by the sun, plants grow faster in the shade – slower; on plants in the fall the fruits ripen and seeds in the spring, they can grow new plants.
At work, play and household activities have a great influence on the mental development of children, the leading role in the intellectual education belongs to the learning. The advantage of training is that it purposefully. Training is carried out systematically, systematically, ensuring a progression in the accumulation of knowledge and skills, as well as their strength.
Learning in the preschool years is the systematic, planned, purposeful process of development of cognitive abilities of children, arms them with a system of basic knowledge, skills and skills to the extent education Program in kindergarten. Training plays a key role in the mental education of preschool children, as it comprehensively solved all the problem of mental education. It provides a consistent message to children of knowledge, clarifying and systematizing them, the development of cognitive processes, mental activity. The training promotes the development of observation, inquisitiveness and such qualities of mind as curiosity, ingenuity, criticality.
Training is also needed for the successful implementation of the physical, moral, labor and aesthetic education. In kindergarten children are taught cultural and hygienic skills, basic movements, they learn cultural rules of behavior, they formed the moral qualities, labour, graphic, constructive, musical skills.
Learning in kindergarten is an important prerequisite for successful teaching in school, not only because children possess the knowledge, abilities and skills, but also because they have formed the basis of training activities.
Soviet scientists developed the theory of teaching children of preschool age. A great contribution to the development of the Soviet preschool didactics made Platonovna Alexander Usov. In her research showed the role of educational work in the educational process of the kindergarten, gave the characteristic of educational activity of preschoolers and peculiarities of its formation, about the content and teaching methods in the classroom.
Learning in kindergarten is different from the school in content, organizational forms and methods. In school, students equip the basics of scientific knowledge. The task of the kindergarten is to give preschoolers the same scientifically correct, but basic knowledge about surrounding objects and phenomena. The amount of knowledge and skills that preschoolers master are insignificant in comparison with the school, but these knowledge and skills are of great importance for the further development of the child. V. F. Odoevsky called education in pre-school age science to any science. The content of education in kindergarten includes an introduction to the surrounding objects, with simple connections and relations between them, with the immediate causes of the observed phenomena. Its purpose is to transfer to children not only knowledge and skills, but also of the ways of mastering them.
Various organizational forms of education in kindergarten and school. The main form of preschool education – an activity that is different from a school lesson, structure, level of requirements to children. In the children’s garden are not set homework, no grades are given; testing of acquired knowledge takes place in the process a new message.
Preschool learning is different and methods. Great location in a visual methods are widely used didactic games and gaming techniques. Assimilation of new material occurs mainly in the process of active action