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Using Network Science to Study Children’s Conceptual Development

Descrizione del progetto

Spiegare come i bambini sviluppano i concetti astratti

Le manifestazioni dei primi concetti astratti negli esseri umani possono essere osservate già nell’infanzia. Definiti come nozioni generali espresse nella mente, nel discorso o nel pensiero, sono fondamentali nella costruzione dei pensieri e sono cruciali in tutti gli aspetti della cognizione. Tuttavia, la comprensione del loro sviluppo nella prima infanzia rappresenta ancora una sfida per la scienza. Il progetto ConceptNet, finanziato dall’UE, indagherà questo problema basandosi sull’assunzione del ruolo cruciale degli stimoli culturali offerti dalla lingua. Un approccio innovativo preso a prestito dal campo delle reti dinamiche permetterà di catturare la complessità dell’input linguistico dei bambini. ConceptNet contribuirà a perfezionare l’istruzione scientifica nelle scuole.

Obiettivo

Concepts are mental representations that organize experience. They are the building blocks of ideas (e.g. the thought “birds are animals” requires the knowledge of both the concepts “birds” and the concept “animal”). They enable inductive reasoning and predictive inferences which guide behavior and explanation. Some concepts are already present in infancy. These early concepts are richer than previously thought. However, much of the abstract and sophisticated concepts that make human cognition so special (e.g. scientific concepts) are not present at birth. Thus one of the most exciting challenges in psychology is to understand how abstract concepts develop. Much of the abstract concepts that form the basis of our ability to organize the world and make inferences (e.g. “animal”, “artefact”, “alive beings”) have non-observable shared properties (e.g. a cat and a flower are perceptually quite different, but both belong to the concept alive beings). Thus, the refinement of abstract concepts requires access to cultural cues, mostly via language, which provide information beyond what can be obtained through the senses.,, The goal of this project is to explore how children’s conceptual development can benefit form the language they hear around them. To capture the complexity of the linguistic input as well as the children developing conceptual knowledge, I use methods from the growing field of dynamic networks. I will carry out my research at the Institute of Complex Systems, Paris Île-de-France (ISC-PIF). I will also use the model to provide insights about how scientific concepts can be taught efficiently at school. To this end, I will collaborate with experts in science education at the secondment foundation La Main à La pâte (LAMAP), which is the leading French NGO in developing and promoting best practices in science education.

Coordinatore

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE CNRS
Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 184 707,84
Indirizzo
RUE MICHEL ANGE 3
75794 Paris
Francia

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Regione
Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Tipo di attività
Research Organisations
Collegamenti
Costo totale
€ 184 707,84