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Scale for Assessing the Support of Dialectic Thinking of Children in the Educational Environment of a Preschool Institution 54
This work tests the hypothesis concerning the connection between the dialectical thinking of preschool children and the educational environment of the preschool attended by children. The relevance of the study is due to the steady interest of specialists in the problem of the development of dialectical thinking as an instrument for solving complex theoretical and practical problems (Vygotsky L. S., Arlin P. K., Basseches M., Piaget J., Riegel K. F.). Testing the hypothesis was based on a comparison of the results of measuring the development of dialectical thinking of preschoolers and an assessment that reflects the stimulation of the dialectic thinking of children by the preschool institution’s environment. The dialectical thinking of children is seen as the ability to operate with opposites. Measurement of the level of development of preschoolers’ dialectical thinking was based on the use of three methods: “What happens simultaneously,” “Cycles,” and the “Unusual tree”. To assess the support of dialectical thinking in the educational process of a preschool, a special Scale of Support for Dialectical Thinking (SDT) was developed. As indicators of the scale the following indexes were used: presentation of the opposites in statements when analyzing objects in the classroom; search for propositions containing a contradiction; discussion of the processes of change; development and transformation of objects; consideration of cyclical events; the possibility of changing the subject environment by children. The study involved 152 children, 6 year olds, from 18 groups of preschool educational institutions; 82 boys and 70 girls. The research results indicate that in the educational process of the examined preschool institutions, a connection was found between the development of children’s dialectical thinking and the organization of the educational process in the preschool, which confirms the hypothesis postulated. Although cyclical processes are considered by teachers, dialectical structures in these processes are not analyzed. Children's ideas about cyclic processes are fragmented and do not adequately reflect the development process. Gender differences were found: the dialectical thinking of boys is supported to a greater extent than the thinking of girls in the framework of a preschool, which is likely associated with differences in the content of activity in free time for boys and girls. The results on the SDT scale were compared with the results of the scale Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS-R): the difference of scope of these instruments was illustrated. Given the relevance of supporting dialectical thinking as a tool for understanding development processes, the results indicate the promise of employing the techniques used and the SDT scale.
Keywords: dialectical thinking, education environment, preschool age, Scale of Support for Dialectical Thinking (SDT)
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