Early and middle childhood cognitive development


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Early and middle childhood cognitive development

  1. 1. + Cognitive Development in Early and Middle Childhood
  2. 2. + Early Childhood Cognitive Development
  3. 3. + Intellectual Development  In some ways, the intellectual sophistication of 3-year-olds is astounding.  Their creativity and imagination leap to new heights, their language is increasingly sophisticated, and they reason and think about the world in ways that would have been impossible even a few months earlier.
  4. 4. + Piaget’s Stage of Preoperational Thinking  Piaget saw the preschool years as a time of both stability and great change. He suggests that the preschool years fit entirely into a single stage of cognitive development—the preoperational stage—which lasts from the age of 2 years until around 7 years.  Preoperational stage During this stage, children’s use of symbolic thinking grows, mental reasoning emerges, and the use of concepts increases
  5. 5. + Piaget’s Stage of Preoperational Thinking  At this stage, children are not yet capable of operations: organized, formal, logical mental processes.  It is only at the end of the preoperational stage that the ability to carry out operations comes into play.  Symbolic function According to Piaget, the ability to use a mental symbol, a word, or an object to represent something that is not physically present
  6. 6. + The Relation Between Language and Thought  Symbolic function is at the heart of one of the major advances that occurs in the preoperational period: the increasingly sophisticated use of language.  Piaget suggests that language and thinking are tightly interconnected.  Even more important, the use of language allows children to think beyond the present to the future.
  7. 7. + Centration: What You See Is What You Think  Centration The process of concentrating on one limited aspect of a stimulus and ignoring other aspects  Preschoolers are unable to consider all available information about a stimulus. Instead, they focus on superficial, obvious elements that are within their sight.  These external elements come to dominate preschoolers’ thinking, leading to inaccuracy in thought.
  8. 8. + Conservation: Learning That Appearances Are Deceiving  Conservation The knowledge that quantity is unrelated to the arrangement and physical appearance of objects  Preschoolers can’t understand that changes in one dimension (such as a change in appearance) does not necessarily mean that other dimensions (such as quantity) change.  The lack of conservation also manifests itself in children’s understanding of area.
  9. 9. + Incomplete Understanding of Transformation  Transformation The process whereby one state is changed into another  Children in the preoperational period are unable to envision or recall successive transformations.  Basically, they ignore the intermediate steps.
  10. 10. + Egocentrism: The Inability to Take Others’ Perspectives  Egocentric thought Thinking that does not take the viewpoints of others into account  Egocentric thought takes two forms: the lack of awareness that others see things from a different physical perspective and the failure to realize that others may hold thoughts, feelings, and points of view that differ from theirs.  Egocentrism lies at the heart of several types of behavior during the preoperational period.
  11. 11. + The Emergence of Intuitive Thought  Intuitive thought Thinking that reflects preschoolers’ use of primitive reasoning and their avid acquisition of knowledge about the world  In the late stages of the preoperational period, children’s intuitive thinking has certain qualities that prepare them for more sophisticated forms of reasoning.  Children also begin to show an awareness of the concept of identity.
  12. 12. + Evaluating Piaget’s Approach to Cognitive Development  Clearly, children are more capable at an earlier age than Piaget’s account would lead us to believe.  Piaget tended to concentrate on preschoolers’ deficiencies in thinking, focusing his observations on children’s lack of logical thought.  By focusing more on children’s competence, more recent theorists have found increasing evidence for a surprising degree of capability in preschoolers.
  13. 13. + Information-Processing Approaches to Cognitive Development  Information-processing approaches focus on changes in the kinds of “mental programs” that children use when approaching problems.  For many child developmentalists, information-processing approaches represent the dominant, most comprehensive, and ultimately the most accurate explanation of how children develop cognitively.
  14. 14. + Preschoolers’ Understanding of Numbers  Researchers using information processing approaches to cognitive development have found increasing evidence for the sophistication of preschoolers’ understanding of numbers.  The average preschooler is able not only to count, but to do so in a fairly systematic, consistent manner.
  15. 15. +  Preschoolers’ Understanding of Numbers By the age of 4, most are able to carry out simple addition and subtraction problems by counting, and are able to compare different quantities quite successfully.
  16. 16. + Memory: Recalling the Past  Autobiographical memory Memory of particular events from one’s own life  Preschool children’s recollections of events that happened to them are sometimes, but not always, accurate.  Scripts Broad representations in memory of events and the order in which they occur
  17. 17. + Forensic Developmental Psychology: Bringing Child Development to the Courtroom  Forensic developmental psychology focuses on the reliability of children’s autobiographical memories in the context of the legal system.  It considers children’s abilities to recall events in their lives and the reliability of children’s courtroom accounts where they are witnesses or victims.  Children’s memories are susceptible to the suggestions of adults asking them questions.
  18. 18. + Eliciting Accurate Recollections From Children
  19. 19. + Information-Processing Theories in Perspective  According to information-processing approaches, cognitive development consists of gradual improvements in the ways people perceive, understand, and remember information.  Its reliance on well-defined processes that can be tested, with relative precision, by research is one of the perspective’s most important features.  Yet information-processing approaches have their detractors, who raise significant points.
  20. 20. + Vygotsky’s View of Cognitive Development: Taking Culture Into Account  Vygotsky viewed cognitive development as a result of social interactions in which children learn through guided participation, working with mentors to solve problems.  Children gradually grow intellectually and begin to function on their own.  Vygotsky contends that the nature of the partnership between developing children and adults and peers is determined largely by cultural and societal factors.
  21. 21. + The Zone of Proximal Development and Scaffolding: Foundations of Cognitive Development  Zone of proximal development (ZPD) According to Vygotsky, the level at which a child can almost, but not fully, comprehend or perform a task without assistance  Scaffolding The support for learning and problem solving that encourages independence and growth
  22. 22. + The Zone of Proximal Development and Scaffolding: Foundations of Cognitive Development  The process of scaffolding not only helps children solve specific problems, but also aids in the development of their overall cognitive abilities.
  23. 23. + Evaluating Vygotsky’s Contributions  Vygotsky’s ideas represent a consistent theoretical system and help explain a growing body of research attesting to the importance of social interaction in promoting cognitive development.  Vygotsky’s melding of the cognitive and social worlds of children has been an important advance in our understanding of cognitive development.
  24. 24. + Comparison of Theories
  25. 25. + The Growth of Language  During the preschool years, children’s language skills reach new heights of sophistication.  By the end of the preschool years, they can hold their own with adults, both comprehending and producing language that has many of the qualities of adults’ language.
  26. 26. + Language Development During the Preschool Years  Syntax The combining of words and phrases to form meaningful sentences  By the time a preschooler is 3, the various combinations reach into the thousands. (Table 9-3)
  27. 27. + Growing Speech Capabilities
  28. 28. + Growing Speech Capabilities, cont’d
  29. 29. + Growing Speech Capabilities  Fast mapping The process in which new words are associated with their meaning after only a brief encounter  Grammar The system of rules that determine how thoughts can be expressed  Young preschoolers are correct in their grammatical constructions more than 90% of the time.
  30. 30. + Private Speech and Social Speech  Private speech Spoken language that is not intended for others and is commonly used by children during the preschool years  Pragmatics The aspect of language relating to communicating effectively and appropriately with others  Social speech Speech directed toward another person and meant to be understood by that person
  31. 31. + How Living in Poverty Affects Language Development  Research has found that the type of language to which children were exposed was associated with their performance on tests of intelligence.  The greater the number and variety of words children heard, for instance, the better their performance at age 3 on a variety of measures of intellectual achievement.
  32. 32. + How Living in Poverty Affects Language Development  Family income and poverty have powerful consequences for children’s general cognitive development and behavior.
  33. 33. + Early Childhood Education: Taking the Pre- Out of the Preschool Period  Developmentalists have found increasing evidence that children can benefit substantially from involvement in some form of educational activity before they enroll in formal schooling.  When compared to children who stay at home and have no formal educational involvement, those children enrolled in good preschools experience clear cognitive and social benefits.
  34. 34. + The Varieties of Early Education  Child-care centers  Family child-care centers  Preschools  School child care
  35. 35. + The Effectiveness of Child Care  Most research suggests that preschoolers enrolled in child-care centers show intellectual development that at least matches that of children at home, and often is better.  Similar advantages are found for social development.  High-quality care provides intellectual and social benefits, while low-quality care not only is unlikely to furnish benefits, but poor programs actually may harm children.
  36. 36. + The Quality of Child Care  The major characteristics of high-quality include the following:  The care providers are well trained.  The child-care center has an appropriate overall size and ratio of care providers to children.  The curriculum of a child-care facility is carefully planned out and coordinated among the teachers.  The language environment is rich, with a great deal of conversation.
  37. 37. + The Quality of Child Care  The caregivers are sensitive to children’s emotional and social needs.  Materials and activities are age appropriate.  Basic health and safety standards are followed.
  38. 38. + Preparing Preschoolers for Academic Pursuits: Does Head Start Truly Provide a Head Start?  Whether Head Start is seen as successful or not depends on the lens through which one is looking.  Preschoolers who participate in Head Start are better prepared for future schooling than those who do not take part.  Traditional programs such as Head Start are not the only approach to early intervention that has proven effective.
  39. 39. + Are We Pushing Children Too Hard and Too Fast?  According to Elkind, U.S. society tends to push children so rapidly that they begin to feel stress and pressure at a young age.  Developmentally appropriate educational practice Education that is based on both typical development and the unique characteristics of a given child
  40. 40. + Learning From the Media: Television and the Internet  Television—and, more recently, the Internet and computers— play a central role in many U.S. households.  Computers are also are becoming influential in the lives of preschoolers.
  41. 41. + Controlling TV Exposure  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that until the age of 2, children watch no television, and after that age, no more than 1 to 2 hours of quality programming each day.  One reason for restricting children’s viewing of television relates to the inactivity it produces.  As they get older and their information-processing capabilities improve, preschoolers’ understanding of the material they see on television improves.
  42. 42. + Sesame Street: A Teacher in Every Home?  Formal evaluations of Sesame Street find that preschoolers living in lower income households who watch the show are better prepared for school, and they perform significantly higher on several measures of verbal and mathematics ability at ages 6 and 7 than those who do not watch it.  On the other hand, Sesame Street has not been without its critics.
  43. 43. + Middle Childhood Cognitive Development
  44. 44. + Cognitive and Language Development  During this period, children’s cognitive abilities broaden, and they become increasingly able to understand and master complex skills.  At the same time, though, their thinking is still not fully adultlike.
  45. 45. + Piagetian Approaches to Cognitive Development  From Piaget’s perspective, the preschooler thinks preoperationally.  This type of thinking is largely egocentric, and preoperational children lack the ability to use operations—organized, formal, logical mental processes.
  46. 46. + The Rise of Concrete Operational Thought  Concrete operational stage The period of cognitive development between 7 and 12 years of age, characterized by the active and appropriate use of logic  Decentering The ability to take multiple aspects of a situation into account
  47. 47. + The Rise of Concrete Operational Thought  However, once concrete operational thinking is fully engaged, children show several cognitive advances representative of their logical thinking.  Still, they remain tied to concrete, physical reality and have difficulty with abstraction.
  48. 48. + Piaget in Perspective: Piaget Was Right; Piaget Was Wrong  Piaget’s approach was quite successful in describing cognitive development.  At the same time, though, critics have raised justifiable objections to his approach.  Piaget underestimated children’s capabilities, as well as the age at which cognitive abilities emerge.
  49. 49. + Information Processing in Middle Childhood  According to information-processing approaches, children become increasingly sophisticated in their handling of information.  Like computers, they can process more data as the size of their memories increases and the “programs” they use to process information become increasingly sophisticated.
  50. 50. + Memory  Memory The process by which information is initially recorded, stored, and retrieved  Through encoding, the child initially records the information in a form usable to memory.  Proper functioning of memory requires that material that is stored in memory must be retrieved.  During middle childhood, short-term memory capacity improves significantly.
  51. 51. + Memory  Metamemory An understanding about the processes that underlie memory that emerges and improves during middle childhood  School-age children’s understanding of memory becomes more sophisticated as they grow older and increasingly engage in control strategies.  Similarly, children in middle childhood increasingly use mnemonics.
  52. 52. + VYGOTSKY’S APPROACH TO COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT AND CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION  Vygotsky’s approach supports the practice of children actively participating in their educational experiences.  Several current and noteworthy educational innovations have borrowed heavily from Vygotsky’s work.  Reciprocal teaching is a technique to teach reading comprehension strategies.
  53. 53. + Language Development: What Words Mean  The linguistic sophistication of children, particularly at the start of the school-age period—still requires refinement to reach adult levels of expertise.
  54. 54. + Mastering the Mechanics of Language  Vocabulary and mastery of grammar continues to increase during the school years at a fairly rapid clip.  By the time they reach first grade, most children pronounce words quite accurately.  School-age children may have difficulty decoding sentences when the meaning depends on intonation, or tone of voice.
  55. 55. + Metalinguistic Awareness  Metalinguistic awareness An understanding of one’s own use of language  Metalinguistic awareness helps children achieve comprehension when information is fuzzy or incomplete.
  56. 56. + How Language Promotes Self-Control  The growing sophistication of their language helps school-age children control their behavior.  Children may use “self-talk” to help regulate their own behavior.  The effectiveness of their self-control may grow as their linguistic capabilities increase.
  57. 57. + Bilingualism: Speaking in Many Tongues Bilingualism The ability to speak two languages With bilingual instruction, students are able to develop a strong foundation in basic subject areas using their native language. An alternative approach is to immerse students in English as quickly as possible. Bilingual students often have greater metalinguistic awareness, understanding the rules of language more explicitly, and show great cognitive sophistication.
  58. 58. + Schooling Around the World: Who Gets Educated?  In the U.S., as in most developed countries, a primary school education is both a universal right and a legal requirement.  Children in other parts of the world are not so fortunate.  In almost all developing countries, fewer females than males receive formal education, a discrepancy found at every level of schooling.
  59. 59. + What Makes Children Ready for School?  Delaying children’s entry into school does not necessarily provide an advantage and in some cases may actually be harmful.  Ultimately, age per se is not a critical indicator of when children should begin school.  Instead, the start of formal schooling is more reasonably tied to overall developmental readiness, the product of a complex combination of several factors.
  60. 60. + Reading: Learning to Decode the Meaning Behind Words  Reading involves a significant number of skills, from low-level cognitive skills (the identification of single letters and associating letters with sounds) to higher level skills (matching written words with meanings located in long-term memory and using context and background knowledge to determine the meaning of a sentence).
  61. 61. + Reading Stages  Development of reading skill generally occurs in several broad and frequently overlapping stages (Table 12-1).  Stages 0 to 4 span birth through beyond eighth grade
  62. 62. + Development of Reading Skills
  63. 63. + How Should We Teach Reading?  According to proponents of code-based approaches to reading, reading should be taught by presenting the basic skills that underlie reading.  In contrast, some educators argue that reading is taught most successfully by using a whole-language approach.  A growing body of data suggests that code-based approaches are superior.
  64. 64. + Educational Trends: Beyond the Three Rs  Elementary school classrooms today stress individual accountability, both for teachers and for students.  As the U.S. population has become more diverse, elementary schools have also paid increased attention to issues involving student diversity and multiculturalism.
  65. 65. + Multicultural Education  Multicultural education Education in which the goal is to help students from minority cultures develop competence in the culture of the majority group while maintaining positive group identities that build on their original cultures  Cultural assimilation model The view of American society as a “melting pot” in which all cultures are amalgamated
  66. 66. + Multicultural Education  Pluralistic society model The concept that American society is made up of diverse, coequal cultures that should preserve their individual features  Bicultural identity The maintenance of one’s original cultural identity while becoming integrated into the majority culture
  67. 67. + Should Schools Teach Emotional Intelligence?  Emotional intelligence The set of skills that underlie the accurate assessment, evaluation, expression, and regulation of emotions  Goleman argues that emotional literacy should be a standard part of the school curriculum.
  68. 68. + Should Schools Teach Emotional Intelligence?  Programs meant to increase emotional intelligence have not been met with universal acceptance.  Still, most people consider emotional intelligence worthy of nurturance.
  69. 69. + EXPECTATION EFFECTS: HOW TEACHERS’ EXPECTANCIES INFLUENCE THEIR STUDENTS  Teachers treat children for whom they have expectations of improvement differently from those for whom they have no such expectations.  Teacher expectancy effect The phenomenon whereby an educator’s expectations for a given child actually bring about the expected behavior
  70. 70. + EXPECTATION EFFECTS: HOW TEACHERS’ EXPECTANCIES INFLUENCE THEIR STUDENTS  These communicated expectations in turn indicate to the child what behavior is appropriate, and the child behaves accordingly.
  71. 71. + Homeschooling: Living Rooms as Classrooms  Homeschooling is a major educational phenomenon in which students are taught, by their parents, in their own homes.  Homeschooling clearly works, in the sense that children who have been homeschooled generally do as well or better on standardized tests as students who have been educated traditionally.
  72. 72. + Homeschooling: Living Rooms as Classrooms  In addition, their acceptance rate into college appears to be no different from that of traditionally schooled children.  Critics of homeschooling argue that it has drawbacks.
  73. 73. + Intelligence: Determining Individual Strengths  Intelligence The capacity to understand the world, think rationally, and use resources effectively when faced with challenges  The difficulty in defining intelligence stems from the many paths followed over the years in the quest to distinguish more intelligent people from less intelligent ones.  Intelligence tests
  74. 74. + BINET’S TEST  Binet’s pioneering efforts in intelligence testing left several important legacies.  Mental age The typical intelligence level found for people of a given chronological age  Chronological (physical) age A person’s age according to the calendar  Intelligence quotient (IQ) A score that expresses the ratio between a person’s mental and chronological ages
  75. 75. + Measuring IQ: Present-Day Approaches to Intelligence  Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scale, Fifth Edition (SB5) A test that consists of a series of items that vary according to the age of the person being tested  Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition (WISCIV) A test for children that provides separate measures of verbal and performance (nonverbal) skills, as well as a total score
  76. 76. + Measuring IQ: Present-Day Approaches to Intelligence  Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition (KABC-II) An intelligence test that measures children’s ability to integrate different stimuli simultaneously and step-by-step thinking
  77. 77. + WHAT IQ TESTS DON’T TELL: ALTERNATIVE CONCEPTIONS OF INTELLIGENCE  Fluid intelligence Intelligence that reflects information processing capabilities, reasoning, and memory  Crystallized intelligence The accumulation of information, skills, and strategies that people have learned through experience and that they can apply in problem-solving situations
  78. 78. + WHAT IQ TESTS DON’T TELL: ALTERNATIVE CONCEPTIONS OF INTELLIGENCE  Triarchic theory of intelligence The belief that intelligence consists of three aspects of information processing: the componential element, the experiential element, and the contextual element
  79. 79. + Group Differences in IQ  Although the questions on traditional IQ tests are not so obviously dependent on test takers’ prior experiences, our examples, cultural background, and experiences do have the potential to affect intelligence-test scores.  Many educators suggest that traditional measures of intelligence are subtly biased.
  80. 80. + Explaining Racial Differences in IQ  The issue of how cultural background and experience influence IQ-test performance has led to considerable debate among researchers.  The debate has been fueled by the finding that IQ scores of certain racial groups are consistently lower, on average, than the IQ scores of other groups.  The issue is important because of its social implications.
  81. 81. + The Bell Curve Controversy  Herrnstein and Murray argue that the average 15-point IQ difference between Whites and African Americans is due primarily to heredity rather than to environment.  In short, most experts in the area of IQ were not convinced by The Bell Curve contention that differences in group IQ scores are largely determined by genetic factors.
  82. 82. + The Bell Curve Controversy  Today, IQ is seen as the product of both nature and nurture interacting with one another in a complex manner.
  83. 83. + Below the Norm: Mental Retardation (Intellectual Disability)  Mental retardation (intellectual disability) A significantly subaverage level of intellectual functioning that occurs with related limitations in two or more skill areas  Although limitations in intellectual functioning can be measured in a relatively straightforward manner using standard IQ tests, it is more difficult to determine how to gauge limitations in adaptive behavior.
  84. 84. + Degrees of Intellectual Disability  Mild retardation Intellectual disability with IQ scores in the range of 50 or 55 to 70  Moderate retardation Intellectual disability with IQ scores from around 35 or 40 to 50 or 55  Severe retardation Intellectual disability with IQ scores that range from around 20 or 25 to 35 or 40  Profound retardation Intellectual disability with IQ scores below 20 or 25
  85. 85. + Above the Norm: The Gifted and Talented  Gifted and talented Showing evidence of high performance capability in intellectual, creative, or artistic areas, in leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields  Acceleration The provision of special programs that allow gifted students to move ahead at their own pace, even if this means skipping to higher grade levels
  86. 86. + Above the Norm: The Gifted and Talented  Enrichment Approach through which students are kept at grade level but are enrolled in special programs and given individual activities to allow greater depth of study on a given topic