Dissertation > Language, writing > Chinese > Philology

A Pedagogical Study of the Etymological "Proto-context" of Chinese Character Through Multi-media Technique

Author TuTao
Tutor ZhangShiYa
School Southwest China Normal
Course Principles of Education
Keywords teaching of learning characters etymology of Chinese characters children’s cognition thinking development multi-media Chinese character culture identification of Chinese nationality
Type PhD thesis
Year 2005
Downloads 557
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Can etymological "proto-context" be represented through multi-media technique? What are the theoretical basis and educational significance of this representation? This research aims to answer these questions through experiments. The attempt to answer these questions gives rise to the following premises: (1) Is the etymological "proto-context" of Chinese character multi-dimensional? (2) Does this multi-dimensional feature have something in common with the development of children’s cognitive psychology and the rule of their cognitive competence? (3) In what way can the multi-dimensional feature of Chinese character’s etymological proto-context be integrated with the multiple orientations of the psychological and cognitive development of children?Researches of Cerebrology have proved that the infancy stage is the critical period of brain development, and researches of Children’s Cognitive Psychology have justified that imaginative thinking, then transmitting to abstract thinking, is one of the major characteristics of children’s thinking development. Meanwhile, children innately have curious nature and their mental structure is multi-dimensional, therefore their development should be multi-orientational. Hence, doing research on teaching of young children learning characters is feasible and important. When learning characters, the young children should be provided with the materials of audio-visual images andabundant and impressive multi-dimensional cognitive context, for developing their multiple intelligences.Chinese character, which contains the essence of Chinese culture, is the inscriber and transmitter of Chinese culture. The etymological proto-context of Chinese character is an "ecosystem" of ethnological religion, philosophy, morality, ethic, science and art. The evolutionary course of Chinese character, from pictographs to abstract symbols, conforms to the thinking development of the ancient philosophers, which is from primordial thinking to logical thinking. It also adheres to the children’s thinking pattern characterized by thinking in terms of images and then abstract thinking. As we know, Chinese characters are unified abstract symbols. These symbols, composed of form, sound and sense, can be considered as elements of cognition, and the interrelationship of these three elements can help to learn and memorize characters. Furthermore, context lays great impact on recognition of characters. Chinese character endures simplification of Official Script and Regular Script, and becomes less pictorial, which, in some extent, increases the difficulty of learning Chinese characters. Fortunately, the configuration of Chinese character can be traced back to the same origin and the development of their formation is interrelated with one another. Therefore, this research bases theoretically on the evolution process of Chinese character, which is from Original Pictures, Oracle Bone Inscription, Inscription on Ancient Bronze Object, Seal Character, and Official Script to Regular Script, and tries to cast back to the origin of the character formation and to represent its original niche. Through this, the relationship of the form and sense can be revealed by pictorial feature of the original forms of Chinese characters. Consequently, the learning and memorizing characters can become more efficient. Obviously, the representation of the evolution process (from images to abstract symbols) conforms to the rules of young children’s thinking development (from imaginative thinking to abstract thinking). So, the method of constructing this system is feasible and scientific.Multi-media technique is the technological sustenance of this proposed system, because it merges characters, image, sound, video and animation into one organic whole, and thus bears the advantage of lifelikeness, multiple dimensions, mutual controllability, time and space infinity and virtual construction.

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