Children being children: the value of an “importance filter”

Dr Jonathon Sargeant

Abstract


The perspectives of young children are of considerable interest to the community yet remains largely misunderstood. This paper posits that children demonstrate an optimistic view of the world and the future that is also encased in a deeper understanding of key global, local, and social issues than previously thought. This study challenges the notion that children are either adversely affected by knowledge or ignorant of global issues outside their control. The effects of external media and the reputed social decay of society and the pessimistic worldview reportedly held by young children are questioned. In acknowledging the children’s understanding of key issues, this research identifies that children engage in an internal metacognitive processing of information that allows them to maintain their optimistic view of the world. This paper introduces the concept of an Importance Filter, an internal information processing mechanism that assists children in making sense of their world.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21913/JSW.v1i1.106