by Hanna Vock


This checklist can help you reflect, be it for yourself or with your team, how cognitive advancement is coming along in your group / your kindergarten – and where resources could yet be drawn on and things might be intensified.

Please make use of this checklist in respect of the contents of these texts on cognitive advancement:

Cognitive Advancement in Kindergarten. Gaining Knowledge, Practising the Act of Thinking (in German)

Custom-fit Cognitive Advancement


What do I know about what individual children are thinking, especially the (possibly) gifted ones?

    • Do they tell me what they are thinking about?
    • Do I ask them about what they are thinking?

Which strategies of independent acquisition of knowledge are they developing?

    • How do I help them with this?

When, where and how do the children practise methodical action?

    • Which support / guidance do I provide?

Which important routines are they developing in kindergarten?

    • Which further routines might be useful?

To what extend do the children understand our song lyrics, stories and picture books?

    • Do I check on this sufficiently?

To what extend do the children really understand the contents of our discussions?

    • Do I check on this sufficiently?

How well do the children understand and apply the rules of our games (parlour games, games for the whole group …)? How many of the children would be able to explain the rules to other children?

Do we have clear and reasonable rules of speech for our discussions? Do the children understand these rules and do they find them plausible?

How do we find out about questions preoccupying the children? Do I know the questions the brighter children in our group are pondering? What questions are currently on their minds?

Do I routinely ask the children questions at differing levels of difficulty – are there questions among these which evoke their own opinions, questions that do not only ask to reproduce what they have been told, but that provoke independent thinking?

Is the acquisition of knowledge integrated “organically” in our everyday activities in kindergarten (for example in projects) – or are the ways we pass on knowledge “contrived”?

Do we have the opportunity to work in small groups of children that have been put together in accordance with common interests, similar developmental states or other pedagogic considerations?

    • Do we make sufficient use of this possibility?

Do we (aside from planned excursions) undertake spontaneous little trips into the near vicinity of the kindergarten to explore interesting things or interview people?

    • What keeps us from doing this more often?
    • Do we have and make use of the opportunity to recall, reflect and evaluate such experiences together with the children?

Do the children frequently / always have a project and the resulting questions on their minds?

    • How do I make sure?
    • Who supports me in this?

Do we dispose of a data base of experts (parents, grand-parents, acquaintances … who have special skills and are able to inspire the children)?

    • Is this data base being used at all?
    • Is it about time to restock it?


Date of publication in German: 2013, October
Copyright © Hanna Vock, siehe Impressum
Translation: Arno Zucknick


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