The use of substitute objects
Emilia (4-4) and Olivia (4-4) place sand into bowls with both hands and Emilia says, “the cakes are all done” (Obs. Notes, p. 8).
Olivia grabs a walnut-looking object and places it on top of the cake (Obs. Notes, p. 9).
Theoretical description of the cognitive process that enabled the use substitute objects
In example 1, Emilia and Olivia substituted sand in a bowl for a birthday cake.
In example 2, Olivia substituted a walnut-looking object for a birthday candle.
Piaget would explain that the ability to use substitute objects began with experiencing real objects, which led to the formation of schema. With more experience, similar information was assimilated into existing schemes. Different information was accommodated to create new schemes. This process was motivated by the children's need to achieve a state of equilibrium within their cognitive structures.
(Theoretical Description chart, Spring 2015)
The use of scripts or participation in sociodramatic play
Willow (3-11) bends over like a cat and places her face near the plate as if she were eating (Obs. Notes, p. 9).
Stewart (4-7) waves his “rocket” around. Stewart: “Oh, no! I’m running out of gas so I can only fly for a few minutes. I’m landing with my emergency landing gear” (Obs. Notes, p. 11).
Theoretical description of the cognitive process that enabled the use of scripts