Tip 131: August 2019 – Educaring: A Stimulating and Nurturing Environment
Website Educational Tips for Cognitive Development
Piaget said that, “Changes in a child’s thinking or cognitive structure
were a direct result of a child’s exploration of the environment.” so it is
essential for adults to provide a safe nurturing environment for young
children. Respect and reasonable expectations are necessary ingredients in
any situation. Adults need to go beyond just direct care and provide a
stimulating developmentally appropriate environment.
Every child can learn and be successful. Some children learn faster than
others, and some learn more than others. Some children learn some things
only with great effort; while some children learn from one kind of
experience and others from a different method.
If a child does not learn, then there is something lacking in the
– Adults need unlimited enthusiasm for infant progress and accomplishments,
both great and small. Infants are quick to “catch” enthusiasm for almost
any activity from a patient, skillful adult who rejoices with the infant
over each step or partial step forward.
– Adults need to provide a predictable and stable environment. All children
need to know “what comes next,” and what are the limits in terms of their
own behavior. Toddlers have real trouble coping with uncertainty and
– The more preschoolers can trust adults’ expectations, the more
trustworthy they themselves become. Adults who respect children and their
need to develop “autonomy” can give them even greater freedom to explore
and experiment with their own behavior.
Facilitating and Supporting YoungChildren’s Effort
Learning of some kind is going on in every child every waking moment of
every day. These can be both positive and negative so adults need to
recognize it is experiences that are the best instructors for young
children. Supportive adults need to provide a range of interesting and
appropriate materials and activities. They also should present things in a
way that is attractive and conducive to learning by offering the right
amount, and kind of assistance. Not too much, but never refusing to assist.
Don’t demand perfection. Expecting more than young children can deliver may
be daunting and discouraging, and may be damaging their self-esteem.
Expectations about behavior, skill mastery, and comprehension should be not
only age-appropriate, but tailored to each child’s temperament and ability.
“In a world that is constantly changing, there is no one subject or set
of subjects that will serve you for the foreseeable future, let alone
the rest of your life. The most important skill to acquire now is
learning how to learn.” John Naisbitt