New Study Suggests Preschoolers Learning More Than We Realize - FOX 13 News

New Study Suggests Preschoolers Learning More Than We Realize

Posted: Updated:
MIDDLETOWN TWP., Pa. -

Are you a "helicopter" parent? Do you hover over your pre-schooler with flash cards, hoping to make him or her smarter? A new study shows you may not have to-- little Johnny and Janey are soaking up a whole lot more than we realize.

Ariana is about to turn three, old enough to know what a chair is. But any adult will tell you that at her young age, there's still plenty of words she doesn't know. So when Dr. Jennifer Zosh showed her two images side by side, how did Ariana know to pick out a thing called a "pizer?" "Kids are amazing at learning," Dr. Zosh explained. "And I think sometimes we don't give them enough credit. Sometimes we think we need to tell kids everything."

Dr. Zosh is a developmental psychologist at Penn State Brandywine, who is studying how kids learn. In one experiment, she showed young kids two objects, one they'd recognize, and one they'd never heard of. She makes up names for those objects, to ensure it's a new word they won't recognize. Three-year-old Madeline picked out something Dr. Zosh called a "tanzer." But how'd she do it? "Kids, especially when they hit about three years old or so, they now have enough knowledge about the world to be able to use that to figure things out for themselves," Dr. Zosh told Fox 29.

When we watched Madeline pick out the tanzer, her finger hovered over the object she recognized. But because she never heard the word "tanzer" before, she figured out it must be the other object. "I'm amazed actually at some of the things I guess I didn't realize that she knew... or the kind of process of elimination," Madeline's mom Anamarie Jones-Blisard said.

What's more, Dr. Zosh's research shows that when kids do figure it out for themselves, they're more likely to remember the word. "It's better for them to use this process than if I were to just show them this and say, this is a glark," Dr. Zosh said. "See, this is a glark. If they are asked to figure it out for themselves, they show better memory."

So want do we parents need to learn? "Kind of realize that there is a lot that they can do at such a young age, that maybe we weren't aware of," Jones-Blisard advised.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Jolie, Pitt wed in Chateau Miraval, France

    Jolie, Pitt wed in Chateau Miraval, France

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-08-28 13:00:15 GMT
    Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were married Saturday in Chateau Miraval, France, says a spokesman for the couple.Jolie and Pitt wed Saturday in a small chapel in a private ceremony attended by family and friends. 
    Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were married Saturday in Chateau Miraval, France, says a spokesman for the couple.Jolie and Pitt wed Saturday in a small chapel in a private ceremony attended by family and friends. 
  • More Comfortable

    Thursday, August 28 2014 8:39 AM EDT2014-08-28 12:39:28 GMT

    Cooler and drier air moves in today but the heat and humidity return for the second half of the holiday weekend.

    A cold front came through last night meaning cooler, less humid air is moving in for Thursday.  Mostly sunny skies and winds gusting to 25mph are also expected today.  Friday starts off very cool and also features a pleasant afternoon.

     The holiday weekend is looking warmer and unsettled. Shower and thunderstorm chances increaselate Sunday and Labor Day.

  • 8 piping plover chicks fledged in Del. state park

    8 piping plover chicks fledged in Del. state park

    Wildlife officials say eight piping plover chicks fledged this season at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes.
    Wildlife officials say eight piping plover chicks fledged this season at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices