Gavrilova Margarita N.
Researcher at the Department of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University.
Background. Executive functions are one of the factors that contribute to the balanced development of children and their success in the future. In this regard, the study of factors that may influence the development of executive functions is an urgent task. The study examines the role of the kindergarten attendance duration in the development of working memory, cognitive flexibility and inhibition as components of executive functions in preschool children.
Methods. The NEPSY–II battery subtests were used to test the level of development of regulatory functions. Data on the period of children’s kindergarten attendance were collected according to preschool attendance journal.
Sample. The study involved 947 children aged 53 to 86 months (Mage = 70.3; SDage = 4.3), 515 boys and 495 girls from Moscow, Kazan, and Sochi.
Results. As a result of comparison of averages using Welch’s criterion, significant differences were found in the development of regulatory functions in children with different periods of kindergarten attendance. The level of visual and verbal working memory development was significantly higher in children who attended kindergarten for more than two years as compared to children with shorter time of attendance. Physical inhibitory control is significantly lower in children who attend kindergarten for less than a year compared to those who attend kindergarten for longer periods of time. Significant differences were shown in the level of visual working memory development depending on the region and on the duration of attendance.
Conclusion. The study demonstrated significant differences in the level of visual working memory, verbal working memory, and physical inhibitory control in children depending on the duration of kindergarten attendance. The highest scores were found in preschoolers attending kindergarten for more than two years. Thus, the results of the study emphasize the importance of kindergarten educational environment for successful cognitive development of preschoolers.Keywords: executive functions; working memory; inhibition; cognitive flexibility; kindergarten; educational environment; preschoolersDOI: 10.11621/LPJ-23-39
Relevance. There is growing interest in the market for educational applications in Russia. A significant number of these are aimed at preschoolers. Although much is known about the key features of preschoolers learning ( due to the cultural-historical approach as well ), there is still little research analyzing whether these features are taken into account in the design and methodology of mobile applications available on the market.
Objective. To analyze math apps for preschoolers from the standpoint of cultural-historical theory.
Design. We went to Google Play and AppStore with the query “mathematics for preschoolers” and selected four apps that are most popular among users and recommended by experts. We analyzed them according to the following criteria: (1) adult engagement, (2) quality of the child’s interactions with the application content, (3) types of content, (4) forms of material presentation and the correspondence of the method of number concept formation to the preschool age specifics, (5) the quality of mathematical content, that ensures the principle of continuity with the primary school curriculum.
Results. None of the apps was based on developmental learning methodology, and none used opportunities for involving an adult in a dialogue and joint activities with a child. Not all the apps considered the characteristics of the age group in their design of content and the child's interactions with the app. Only one of the apps provides continuity with the primary school curriculum.
Conclusions. Scientific knowledge and practical achievements in the field of mathematical education for preschoolers are not always reflected even in the most popular programs. Our analysis allows to draw the attention of parents, teachers, and developers to important design elements that could make an app really educational for preschool children.Keywords: math apps; preschool education; elementary mathematical concepts; interaction with the appDOI: 10.11621/vsp.2020.03.08