Middle childhood is the stage when childrenundergo so many different changes –physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively.This is the stage between 6 to 12 years old.Children in this stage receive less attention thanchildren in infancy or early childhood. Thesupport of the family and friends of the child isvery important during this phase of development.
Physical Development of thePrimary PupilPhysical development involves many differentfactors:height, weight, appearance, visual, hearingand motor abilities. Primary school childrenundergo many different changes as they gothrough this stage of development. This couldbe caused by different factors; both naturaland environmental.
Physical growth during the primary school years isslow but steady. During this stage, physicaldevelopments involves :1. Having good muscle control and coordination,2. developing eye-hand coordination,3. having good personal hygiene and4. being aware of safety habits.
HEIGHT and WEIGHTIn this development stage, children will havestarted their elementary grades, specifically theirprimary years – Grades 1 to 3.This period of gradual and steady growth willgive children time to get used of the changes in theirbodies. An average increase in height of a little over 2inches a year in both boys and girls will introducethem to many different activities that they can nowdo with greater accuracy.
Weight gain averages about 6.5 pounds a year.Most children will have slimmer appearance comparedto their preschool years because of the shifts inaccumulation and location of their body fats. A child’slegs are longer and more proportioned to the bodythan they were before.A number of factors could indicate how much achild grows, or how much changes in the body willtake place: genes, food, climate, exercise, medicalconditions and diseases / illness.
BONES andMUSCLESChildhood years are the peak bone-producingyears. This is the best time to teach of good dietaryand exercise habits to help them have strong, healthybones throughout their lives. Many lifestylefactors, like nutrition and physical activities, cansubstantially influence the increase of bone massduring childhood.
MOTOR DEVELOPMENTYoung school-aged children are gaining control overthe major muscles of their bodies. Most children have agood sense of balance. They like testing their musclestrength and skills.Children in this stage love to move a lot – theyrun, skip, hop, jump, tumble, roll and dance. Becausetheir gross motor skills are already developed, they cannow perform activities like catching a ball with onehand, tying their shoelaces, they can manage zippers andbuttons.
Performing unimanual (require theuse of one hand) and bi-manual(require the use of two hands)activities becomes easier. Children’sgraphic activities such as writingand drawing, are now morecontrolled but are still developing.They can print their names and copysimple designs, letters and shapes.They hold pencils, crayons, utensilscorrectly with supervision. Motordevelopment skills includecoordination, balance, speed, agilityand power.
Coordination- is a series of movements organized andtimed to occur in a particular way to bring about aparticular result. Children develop eye-hand and eye-footcoordination when they play games and sports.Balance- is the child’s ability to maintain the equilibriumor stability of his/her body in different positions.Static balance- is the ability to maintain equilibrium in afixed position, like balancing on one foot.Dynamic balance- is the ability to maintain equilibriumwhile moving.Speed- is the ability to cover a great distance in theshortest possible time.Agility- is one’s ability to quickly change or shift thedirection of the body.
Power- is the ability to perform a maximum effort in theshortest possible time. All this skills are vital in performing differentactivities, games and sports. Development of these skillsmay spell the difference between success and failure inthe future endeavor of a child.
Cognitive Development of PrimarySchoolers Jean Piaget is the foremost theorist when it comes tocognitive development. According to him, intelligence isthe basic mechanism of ensuring balance in the relationsbetween the person and the environment. Everythingthat a person experiences is a continuous process ofassimilation and accommodations.
Jean Piaget’s Concrete OperationalStageConcrete Operation is the third stage of Piaget’stheory of cognitive development. It spans from 7 toapproximately 11 years, children have better understandingof their thinking skills.• LogicConcrete operational thinkers, according toPiaget, can already make use of inductive logic. Inductivelogic involves thinking from specific experience to a generalprinciples. But at this age, children have great difficulties inusing deductive logic or using a general principle todetermine the outcome of specific event.
• ReversibilityOne of the most important developments in this stage isan understanding of reversibility, or awareness that can actioncan be reversed.Example:Teacher: Jacob, do you have a brother?Jacob: Yes.Teacher: What is his name?Jacob: Marjun.Teacher: Does Marjun have a brother?Jacob: Yes.
Cognitive MilestoneElementary-aged children encounter developmentalmilestone. The skills they learn are in a sequentialmanner, meaning they need to understand numbers beforethey can perform a mathematical equation. Up until age8, a child learn new skills at a rapid pace.Specifically, young primary school-aged children cantell left from right. They are able to speak and expressthemselves develops rapidly. By six, most can read words orcombinations of words.
Information Processing SkillsSeveral theorist argue that like a computer, a humanmind is a system that can process information through theapplication of logical rules and strategies. They also believethat the mind receives information, performs operations tochange its form and content, stores and locates it andgenerate responses from it.
Socio-emotional DevelopmentThe developmental theorist, Erik Erikson, formulatedeight stages of man’s psychological development . Eachstage is regarded as a ‘’psychological crisis’’ which arise anddemands resolution before the next stage could beachieved.Preschool children belong to the fourth stage ofErikson’s psychological stage. Children have to resolve theissue on Industry vs. Inferiority.
Erik Erikson’s Fourth Stage of Psychosocial DevelopmentIndustry vs. inferiority is the psychosocial crisis thatchildren will have to resolve in this stage. Industry refers toa child’s involvement in situations where long, patient workis demanded to them, while inferiority is the feeling createdwhen a child gets a feeling of failure when they cannotfinish or master their school work.In this stage, children, will most likely, have begungoing to school. School experiences become priority, withchildren so busy doing school work.
• Understanding the SelfOne’s self-concept is the knowledge about theself, such us beliefs regarding personality traits, physicalcharacteristics, abilities, values, goals and roles.Having a self-concept does not mean that a childthinks he is better than others. It means that he likehimself, feels accepted by his family and friends andbelieves that he can do well.Primary school children’s self-concept is influencednot only by their parents, but also with the growing numberof people they begin to interact with, including teachersand classmates. Children have a growing understanding oftheir place in the world.
• School YearsIn the transition from pre-elementary to primaryschool, children tend to become increasingly self-confidentand able to cope well with social interactions. The issues offairness and equality become important to them as theylearn to care for people who are not part of their families. Building FriendshipsMaking friends is a crucial but very important ofchildren’s social and emotional growth.Children, during this stage, most likely belong to apeer group.
Peer groups are characterized by children whobelong approximately to the same age group and socialeconomic status.Primary school children prefer to belong to a peergroups of the same gender. Many children use theirsurroundings to observe and mingle with other children.Some will see this as an opportunity to make friends whileothers remain a bit of loner.
• AntisocialBehaviorWhen children poke, pull, hit or kick other children whenthey are first introduced, it is fairly normal. Children at this ageare still forming their own world views and other children mayseem like a curiosity that they need to explore. Parents andteachers can help children make friends. We can consider thefollowing:o Expose the children to kid rich environments (e.g.playgrounds, park)
o Create a play group in your class and let the childrenmingle with their classmates.o When your children hit other children, remind them thattheir behavior hurts others.o Coordinate with the parents and other teachers so thatthe children will have greater opportunity to interactwith other children.
• Self-controlOnce children reach school age, they begin to takepride in their ability to do things and capacity to exerteffort. They like receiving positive feedback from theirparents and teachers. This become a great opportunity forparents and teachers to encourage positive emotionalresponses from children by acknowledging theirmature, compassionate behaviors.