Friday, May 31, 2013

What is Cystallized Intelligence?

Otherwise known as knowledge, children develop crystallized intelligence as they grow and deepen their understanding of the world around them. As adults, we can play a key role in supporting what children learn and know.  To get a better grasp on what crystallized intelligence means, one might think of the word crystallized as synonymous with clear.  In other words, the child gets it—they have a solid understanding of the concept that you may want them to know better.  The more clearly a child understands a concept, the more adept they can be at making sense of and building on that concept.

Noticing seasonal changes, a five-year-old asks her father in late spring, “If we go to the beach on summer days and play in the snow on winter days, what do we do on fall days?”

Children’s basic understanding of concepts and use of language reflects their crystallized intelligence, or knowledge.  This includes the ability to comprehend and use language, which is essential to children’s learning throughout their lives. When adults name objects and ideas, expand on children’s language and provide opportunities to develop listening skills, they promote development of crystallized intelligence (Lynch & Warner, 2013).  

Play and learning experiences can help to provide a foundation for crystallized intelligence. Stimulating child-adult interactions around science, math and art concepts is integral to exhibit development and programming at DuPage Children’s Museum! Come by today and use our exhibits as a discussion point for building on a child’s conceptual and language base!

Resource: Lynch, Sharon A. and Warner, L. 2013. “How Adults Foster Young Children’s Intellectual Development.” In Young Children, Vol. 68, No. 2, 86-91. Washington, DC: NAEYC.

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