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Cognitive Development

Cognitive Development Domain (CD)

The Cognitive Development domain focuses on children’s ability to acquire, organize, and use information in increasingly complex ways. In their search for understanding and meaning, young children play an active role in their own cognitive development. They begin to explain, organize, construct, and predict—skills that lay the cognitive foundation needed to explore and understand increasingly sophisticated concepts and the world in which they live. Children learn to apply prior knowledge to new experiences, and then use this information to refine their understanding of concepts as well as form new understanding.

For very young children, cognitive development is supported and encouraged through their relationships with others. It happens through daily activities, routines, and interactions with adults and other children. Through relationships, children become aware of things in the physical environment, as well as other people. They begin to understand that their actions have an effect on their environment and are able to think about things that are not present. They typically learn a great deal about themselves and form ideas about family roles and community helpers based on their daily experiences in their own home and community. They also begin to understand simple scientific concepts by noticing, wondering, and exploring people, toys, plants, animals, and materials around them.

As children grow older and move into the preschool years,their thinking becomes increasingly complex and they become more effective thinkers. They begin to ask questions as they engage in increasingly focused explorations. Children can begin using the scientific method. This will happen as we encourage them to wonder, ask questions, predict, experiment to see if their predictions are correct, record their findings, and then reflect and draw conclusions based on the results. Children also begin to demonstrate problem-solving skills through this process and other types of explorations. We also want to help children develop an understanding of and deep respect for nature and their environment. Finally, when we give children opportunities to be creative with open-ended materials, their creativity blossoms and they learn to express themselves in imaginative ways. Through the process of exploring their world and a variety of materials, children develop an appreciation for different forms of art, for the natural world, and for the people and cultures they relate to.


Cognitive Development Learning (CD) Domain

Component: Construction of Knowledge: Thinking and Reasoning

Goal CD-1: Through their explorations, play, and social interactions children use their senses to discover and construct knowledge about the world around them.

Goal CD-2: Through their explorations, play, and social interactions children recall information and apply it to new situations and problems.

Goal CD-3: Through their explorations, play, and social interactions children demonstrate the ability to think about their own thinking: reasoning, taking perspectives, and making decisions.

Component: Mathematical Thinking and Expression

Goal CD-4: Through their explorations, play, and social interactions, children count with understanding and use numbers to tell how many, describe order, and compare.

Goal CD-5: Through their explorations, play, and social interactions, children demonstrate concepts about position, as well as identify and describe simple geometric shapes.

Goal CD-6: Through their explorations, play and social interactions, children compare, sort, group, organize, measure, and create simple patterns using concrete objects.

Goal CD-7: Through their explorations, play, and social interactions, children use mathematical thinking to ask questions and solve problems.

Component: Scientific Exploration and Knowledge

Goal CD-8: As a result of their explorations and participation in simple investigations through play, children observe, describe, and demonstrate respect for living things, the environment, and the physical world.

Goal CD-9: As a result of their explorations and participation in simple investigations through play, children demonstrate their ability to use scientific inquiry by observing, manipulating objects, asking questions, making predictions, and developing generalizations.

Component: Social Studies, Family and Community Connections

Goal CD-10: Through their explorations, play, and social interactions, children demonstrate an understanding of relationships, roles, and what it means to be a participating member of their families and the diverse groups/communities they belong to.

Goal CD-11: Through their explorations, play, and social interactions children identify and demonstrate appreciation of similarities and differences between themselves and others.

Component: Creative Arts and Expression

Goal CD-12: Children engage in a variety of creative activities for enjoyment and self-expression including play, visual arts, music, expressive movement, and drama.

Goal CD-13: Children demonstrate an appreciation for different forms of art including visual arts, music, expressive movement, and drama.

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