Matej Bel University, Faculty of Education (SLOVAKIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 1034-1041
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
The paper presents the objectives, subject and methodology of a research focused on today's children and their world and is performed by the research team of the Matej Bel University in the town of Banská Bystrica in Slovakia. The project titled "Children At The Threshold Of Education And Their World" (VEGA 1/0598/15) is supported by the Scientific Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic. Overall, it aims at updating and innovating the knowledge about present day children and their world through monitoring the state of several specific areas, such as cognitive, psycho-motoric, socio-emotional and moral features of children’s development.

The paper shares the first phase of the project implementation: theoretical basis, as well as the research aim - children during the preparation and entering education at schools, research strategy and the principles of creating the research tools. As the theoretical basis, we consider the ontogenetic theories (Piaget, Vygotskij), and particularly the theory of Jerome S. Bruner based on the cognitive psychology, as well as the connection between the development of language and speech with the cognitive development of children. It is centered around Bruner´s theory of "three modes of representation: enactive representation (action-based), iconic representation (image-based), and symbolic representation (language-based)".As the theoretical basis, we also consider the pedagogical theories based on the personal development of children that focus on thorough knowledge of children and their potentialities. The children of present days largely possess other, or different dispositions that are reflected in the actual education practice, as well as the contemporary theories on childhood. The research strategy is to be predominantly qualitative, supplemented by selected quantitative data.

The object of the research should be 6 years old children (as this age is the schooling threshold in Slovakia). We are going to observe language, cognitive, social, emotional, grapho-motoric and moral features expressed in the statements - products (drawings). The research sample will include children prior to entering, and within the first months of schooling. The research aim is to identify the specific, as well as general indications that would allow the teachers to identify the current level of child's development.

As the research tools, we will use structured micro-interviews with analytical objective, and analyses of children's drawings (stature, family, free topic). As additional tools, we will use explorative surveys of parents', grandparents' and teachers' opinions on today's children and their specifics.

The outcome and expected contribution of this research should be the up-to-date knowledge of today's children, children that contemporary teachers work with at schools. From the educational point of view, it is very important to update the theoretical knowledge and confront it with the reality. The acquired outcomes will be implemented into the pregradual training of teachers.
Research on child, school-age child, qualitative research, semantic analysis, oral methods in research on child.