scispace - formally typeset
Search or ask a question
Author

Lara Ragpot

Bio: Lara Ragpot is an academic researcher from University of Johannesburg. The author has contributed to research in topics: Early numeracy & Competence (human resources). The author has an hindex of 7, co-authored 12 publications receiving 88 citations.

Papers
More filters
Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examines various dimensions of play and work within a constructivist early childhood education paradigm, with special reference to playful learning, arguing that teachers of young children need to conceptualize play with a supportive policy and procedural environment that meet the criteria for evaluational, relational and instrumental relevance.
Abstract: The work reviews the ongoing controversy over work and play within the framework of a constructivist early childhood curriculum. Educators and parents with narrow perception of play view it as mere physical actions of walking, clapping and singing outside class work. However, educators who hold a constructivist epistemological view of child play see play as educative, and possessing ingredients for stimulation that foster an all-round development of children. The paper examines various dimensions of play and work within a constructivist early childhood education paradigm, with special reference to playful learning. The authors argue that teachers of young children need to conceptualize play with a supportive policy and procedural environment that meet the criteria for evaluational, relational and instrumental relevance. Some challenges associated with the use of playful learning in early childhood education centres in Nigeria and South Africa are highlighted.

18 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors investigated the influence of cognitive skills (executive function), language factors (listening comprehension, English as a second language, ESL) and kindergarten attendance on early numeracy in a cross-sectional sample of South African children.

15 citations

01 Jan 2011
TL;DR: In this paper, a qualitative study was conducted to ascertain how different participants in schools understood and interpreted the different values in the Manifesto on Values, Education and Democracy and whether these values were being implemented at their schools.
Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative study was to ascertain, firstly, how different participants in schools understood and interpreted the different values in the Manifesto on Values, Education and Democracy and secondly whether the values in the Manifesto were being implemented at their schools. Data was collected from a variety of participants through questionnaires, individual and focus group interviews. The results indicate that there are discrepancies and inconsistencies in the understanding and interpretation of the different values as well as in the implementation of the Manifesto. As such we argue that currently the Manifesto is more likely a myth rather than a manifesto in reality. On the basis of the findings several recommendations are made for the successful implementation of the Manifesto to become a reality in schools.

13 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article investigated whether early numeracy skills of South African first graders who are at-risk for mathematical learning difficulties can be improved with an intervention program and found that the intervention group had improved more in numerical relational skills, compared to low-controls; this effect remained statistically significant after controlling for executive functions, language skills and kindergarten attendance.

12 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present the theoretical groundwork for a research project on learning and cognitive development of number concepts in the early years of childhood and give a background sketch of the gen...
Abstract: The authors present the theoretical groundwork for a research project on learning and cognitive development of number concepts in the early years of childhood. Giving a background sketch of the gen...

10 citations


Cited by
More filters
01 Jan 2005
TL;DR: In “Constructing a Language,” Tomasello presents a contrasting theory of how the child acquires language: It is not a universal grammar that allows for language development, but two sets of cognitive skills resulting from biological/phylogenetic adaptations are fundamental to the ontogenetic origins of language.
Abstract: Child psychiatrists, pediatricians, and other child clinicians need to have a solid understanding of child language development. There are at least four important reasons that make this necessary. First, slowing, arrest, and deviation of language development are highly associated with, and complicate the course of, child psychopathology. Second, language competence plays a crucial role in emotional and mood regulation, evaluation, and therapy. Third, language deficits are the most frequent underpinning of the learning disorders, ubiquitous in our clinical populations. Fourth, clinicians should not confuse the rich linguistic and dialectal diversity of our clinical populations with abnormalities in child language development. The challenge for the clinician becomes, then, how to get immersed in the captivating field of child language acquisition without getting overwhelmed by its conceptual and empirical complexity. In the past 50 years and since the seminal works of Roger Brown, Jerome Bruner, and Catherine Snow, child language researchers (often known as developmental psycholinguists) have produced a remarkable body of knowledge. Linguists such as Chomsky and philosophers such as Grice have strongly influenced the science of child language. One of the major tenets of Chomskian linguistics (known as generative grammar) is that children’s capacity to acquire language is “hardwired” with “universal grammar”—an innate language acquisition device (LAD), a language “instinct”—at its core. This view is in part supported by the assertion that the linguistic input that children receive is relatively dismal and of poor quality relative to the high quantity and quality of output that they manage to produce after age 2 and that only an advanced, innate capacity to decode and organize linguistic input can enable them to “get from here (prelinguistic infant) to there (linguistic child).” In “Constructing a Language,” Tomasello presents a contrasting theory of how the child acquires language: It is not a universal grammar that allows for language development. Rather, human cognition universals of communicative needs and vocal-auditory processing result in some language universals, such as nouns and verbs as expressions of reference and predication (p. 19). The author proposes that two sets of cognitive skills resulting from biological/phylogenetic adaptations are fundamental to the ontogenetic origins of language. These sets of inherited cognitive skills are intentionreading on the one hand and pattern-finding, on the other. Intention-reading skills encompass the prelinguistic infant’s capacities to share attention to outside events with other persons, establishing joint attentional frames, to understand other people’s communicative intentions, and to imitate the adult’s communicative intentions (an intersubjective form of imitation that requires symbolic understanding and perspective-taking). Pattern-finding skills include the ability of infants as young as 7 months old to analyze concepts and percepts (most relevant here, auditory or speech percepts) and create concrete or abstract categories that contain analogous items. Tomasello, a most prominent developmental scientist with research foci on child language acquisition and on social cognition and social learning in children and primates, succinctly and clearly introduces the major points of his theory and his views on the origins of language in the initial chapters. In subsequent chapters, he delves into the details by covering most language acquisition domains, namely, word (lexical) learning, syntax, and morphology and conversation, narrative, and extended discourse. Although one of the remaining domains (pragmatics) is at the core of his theory and permeates the text throughout, the relative paucity of passages explicitly devoted to discussing acquisition and proBOOK REVIEWS

1,757 citations

01 Mar 2017
TL;DR: The authors explored the bidirectional and longitudinal associations between executive function (EF) and early academic skills (math and literacy) across 4 waves of measurement during the transition from preschool to kindergarten using two complementary analytical approaches: cross-lagged panel modeling and latent growth curve modeling.
Abstract: The present study explored the bidirectional and longitudinal associations between executive function (EF) and early academic skills (math and literacy) across 4 waves of measurement during the transition from preschool to kindergarten using 2 complementary analytical approaches: cross-lagged panel modeling and latent growth curve modeling (LCGM). Participants included 424 children (49% female). On average, children were approximately 4.5 years old at the beginning of the study (M = 4.69, SD = .30) and 55% were enrolled in Head Start. Cross-lagged panel models indicated bidirectional relations between EF and math over preschool, which became directional in kindergarten with only EF predicting math. Moreover, there was a bidirectional relation between math and literacy that emerged in kindergarten. Similarly, LGCM revealed correlated growth between EF and math as well as math and literacy, but not EF and literacy. Exploring the patterns of relations across the waves of the panel model in conjunction with the patterns of relations between intercepts and slopes in the LGCMs led to a more nuanced understanding of the relations between EF and academic skills across preschool and kindergarten. Implications for future research on instruction and intervention development are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

134 citations

Book
09 Aug 2020
TL;DR: The Quest for Meaning as mentioned in this paper is a guide to semiotic theory and practice, discussing and illustrating the main trends, ideas, and figures of semiotics, as well as providing basic examples of how the discipline can be applied in everyday life.
Abstract: Semiotics is the study of the most critical feature of human consciousness - the capacity for creating and using signs such as words and symbols for thinking, communicating, reflecting, transmitting, and preserving knowledge. The Quest for Meaning is designed as a guide to basic semiotic theory and practice, discussing and illustrating the main trends, ideas, and figures of semiotics. Written as an introduction to the field, this study makes an otherwise complex discipline accessible to the interested reader. Marcel Danesi examines the various themes, concepts, and techniques that constitute current semiotic theory, and does so in lucid, easy to follow language. Cross-references between topics show the interconnectedness of many aspects of semiotic practice with a view to easing the understanding of the subject as a whole. Logically organized, Danesi treats such things as food, clothing, mathematics, and popular culture to semiotic readings, providing basic examples of how the discipline can be applied in everyday life. As a step-by-step introduction, The Quest for Meaning is the definitive guide for students and teachers exploring semiotics at the undergraduate level and beyond.

78 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Evans et al. as mentioned in this paper examined 142 recent empirical studies (from 2014 onward) on how to increase access to and improve the quality of education across the continent, specifically examining how these studies update previous research findings.
Abstract: Countries across Africa continue to face major challenges in education. In this review, we examine 142 recent empirical studies (from 2014 onward) on how to increase access to and improve the quality of education across the continent, specifically examining how these studies update previous research findings. We find that more than half of the studies evaluate government implemented programs, about one-third include detailed cost analysis, and one quarter evaluate multiple treatment arms. We identify several areas where new studies provide rigorous evidence on topics that do not figure prominently in earlier evidence syntheses. New evidence shows promising impacts of structured pedagogy interventions (which typically provide a variety of inputs, such as lesson plans and training for teachers together with new materials for students) and of mother tongue instruction interventions, as well as from a range of teacher programs, including both remunerative (pay-for-performance of various designs) and non-remunerative (coaching and certain types of training) programs. School feeding delivers gains in both access and learning. New studies also show long-term positive impacts of eliminating school fees for primary school and positive impacts of eliminating fees in secondary school. Education technology interventions have decidedly mixed impacts, as do school grant programs and programs providing individual learning inputs (e.g., uniforms or textbooks). www.cgdev.org David K. Evans and Amina Mendez Acosta

71 citations