Invitation to the Life Span by Kathleen Stassen Berger Chapter 5- Early Childhood Body and MindPowerPoint Slides developed byMartin Wolfger and Michael JamesIvy Tech Community College-Bloomington
Body Changes Growth Patterns• Children become slimmer as the lower body lengthens.• Each year from age 2 through 6, well- nourished children add almost 3 inches in height and gain about 4 1⁄2 pounds in weight.• Center of gravity moves from the breastbone down to the belly button.
Body Changes Nutrition• Children need far fewer calories per pound of body weight than infants do.• Obesity is a more frequent problem than malnutrition.• Children in low-income families are especially vulnerable to obesity because their cultures still guard against undernutrition and their parents may rely on fast foods.• Overfeeding is causing an epidemic of illnesses associated with obesity, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Body Changes• Many children want foods that are high in fat, salt, and sugar.• Adults frequently give in, even rewarding children with candy. – Too much sugar and too little fiber rot the teeth. – Tooth decay is the most common disease of young children in developed nations – affects more than one-third of all children under age 6 in the United States .
Body Changes “Just Right”• Some children insist on eating only certain foods, prepared and presented in a particular way. This rigidity, known as the “just-right” phenomenon, would be pathological in adults but is normal in children under age 6.• When 1,500 parents were surveyed about their 1- to 6- year-olds (Evans et al., 1997), their responses indicated that over 75 percent of the 3-year-olds (the peak age) evidenced some just-right tendency, in that they: – Preferred to have things done in a particular order or in a certain way – Had a strong preference to wear (or not wear) certain clothes – Prepared for bedtime by engaging in a special activity, routine, or ritual – Had strong preferences for certain foods
Body Changes Motor Skills• Children develop all their motor skills spontaneously and diligently as they play.• By age 6, most North Americans ride tricycles; climb ladders; pump their legs on swings; and throw, catch, and kick balls.• Muscle growth, brain maturation, and guided practice advance every gross motor skill.• Practice improves dexterity and advances fine motor skills, which involve small body movements.
Brain Development• By age 2, a child’s brain weighs 75 percent of what it will in adulthood, and extensive sprouting and then pruning of dendrites has already taken place.• The brain reaches 90 percent of adult weight by age 6.
Brain Development Speed of Thought• The primary reason for faster thinking is new and extensive myelination.• Myelin is a fatty coating on the axons that speeds signals between neurons.• A gradual increase in myelination makes 5-year-olds much quicker than 3-year- olds, who themselves are quicker than toddlers.
Brain Development• One part of the brain that grows and myelinates rapidly during early childhood is the corpus callosum, a band of nerve fibers that connects the left and right sides of the brain.• Growth of the corpus callosum makes communication between the two brain hemispheres more efficient.• Lateralization- Literally, sidedness, referring to the specialization in certain functions by each side of the brain, with one side dominant for each activity.
Brain Development The Prefrontal Cortex• Maturation of the prefrontal cortex gradually enables children to focus attention and curb impulsiveness.• Before such maturation, many young children jump from task to task; they cannot stay quiet.• Others act in the opposite way: In a phenomenon called perseveration, some children persevere in, or stick to, one thought or action, unable to quit.
Brain DevelopmentFrom ages 2 to 6, maturation of theprefrontal cortex has several notablebenefits:● Sleep becomes more regular.● Emotions become more nuanced andresponsive.● Temper tantrums subside.
Brain Development Emotions and the Brain• Limbic System- parts of the brain that are crucial in the expression and regulation of emotions• Amygdala- A tiny brain structure that registers emotions, particularly fear and anxiety.• Hippocampus- A brain structure that is a central processor of memory, especially memory for locations.• Hypothalamus- A brain area that responds to the amygdala and the hippocampus to produce hormones that activate other parts of the brain and body.• Prolonged stress may lead to emotional and cognitive impairment.
Thinking During Early Childhood Piaget: Preoperational Thought• Preoperational means “before (pre) logical operations (reasoning processes).”• The child’s verbal ability permits symbolic thinking. Language frees the child from the limits of sensorimotor experience.
Thinking During Early ChildhoodCharacteristics of preoperational thought:• Centration- A characteristic of preoperational thought whereby a young child focuses (centers) on one idea, excluding all others.• Egocentrism- Piaget’s term for young children’s tendency to think about the world entirely from their own personal perspective.• Focus on appearance- A characteristic of preoperational thought whereby a young child ignores all attributes that are not apparent.
Thinking During Early Childhood Characteristics of preoperational thought:• Static reasoning- A characteristic of preoperational thought whereby a young child thinks that nothing changes. Whatever is now has always been and always will be.• Irreversibility- A characteristic of preoperational thought whereby a young child thinks that nothing can be undone. A thing cannot be restored to the way it was before a change occurred.• Conservation- The principle that the amount of a substance remains the same (i.e., is conserved) when its appearance changes.• Animism- The belief that natural objects and phenomena are alive.
Thinking During Early Childhood Vygotsky: Social Learning• Every aspect of children’s cognitive development is embedded in the social context.• Apprentice in thinking- Vygotsky’s term for a person whose cognition is stimulated and directed by older and more skilled members of society.
Thinking During Early Childhood• Zone of proximal development (ZPD)- Vygotsky’s term for the skills—cognitive as well as physical—that a person can exercise only with assistance, not yet independently.• Scaffolding- Temporary support that is tailored to a learner’s needs and abilities and aimed at helping the learner master the next task in a given learning process.
Thinking During Early Childhood• Private speech- The internal dialogue that occurs when people talk to themselves (either silently or out loud).• Social mediation- Human interaction that expands and advances understanding, often through words that one person uses to explain something to another.
Thinking During Early Childhood Children’ Theories• Theory-theory- The idea that children attempt to explain everything they see and hear.• Theory of mind- A person’s theory of what other people might be thinking. In order to have a theory of mind, children must realize that other people are not necessarily thinking the same thoughts that they themselves are. That realization is seldom achieved before age 4.
Language Vocabulary• Language is pivotal to every kind of cognition in early childhood.• Early childhood is a sensitive period, the best time to master vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation.• The average child knows about 500 words at age 2 and more than 10,000 at age 6.
Language• The naming explosion (explained in Chapter 3) becomes more general: Verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and conjunctions, as well as many more nouns, are mastered.• Fast-mapping- The speedy and sometimes imprecise way in which children learn new words by tentatively placing them in mental categories according to their perceived meaning.
Language Basic Grammar• The grammar of a language includes the structures, techniques, and rules that communicate meaning. Word order and word repetition, prefixes and suffixes, intonation and emphasis—all are part of grammar.• Overregularization- The application of rules of grammar even when exceptions occur, making the language seem more “regular" than it actually is.
Early Childhood Education Child-Centered Programs• Stress children’s natural inclination to learn through play rather than by following adult directions.• Encourage self-paced exploration and artistic expression.• Show the influence of Vygotsky, who thought that children learn through play with other children and through cultural practices that structure life.• Montessori schools emphasize individual pride and accomplishment, presenting literacy-related tasks (such as outlining letters and looking at books).• Reggio Emilia approach- A famous program of early- childhood education that originated in the town of Reggio Emilia, Italy; it encourages each child’s creativity in a carefully designed setting.
Early Childhood Education Teacher-Directed Programs• Stress academic subjects taught by a teacher to an entire class.• Children learn letters, numbers, shapes, and colors, as well as how to listen to the teacher and sit quietly.• Make a clear distinction between work and play.• Are much less expensive, since the child/adult ratio can be higher.
Early Childhood Education Intervention Programs• Project Head Start- The most widespread early-childhood education program in the United States, begun in 1965 and funded by the federal government.• At first, the program was thought to be highly successful at raising children’s intelligence; ten years later, early gains were said to fade.
Injuries and Maltreatment Accidents• Accidents are the leading cause of death worldwide for people under age 40.• Among 2- to 6-year-olds in the United States, four times more children die in accidents than die of cancer, which is the second most common cause of death.• Injury control/harm reduction- Practices that are aimed anticipating, controlling, and preventing dangerous activities.
Injuries and Maltreatment• Primary prevention- Actions that change overall background conditions to prevent some unwanted event or circumstance, such as injury, disease, or abuse.• Secondary prevention- Actions that avert harm in a high-risk situation, such as stopping a car before it hits a pedestrian or installing traffic lights at dangerous intersections.• Tertiary prevention- Actions, such as immediate and effective medical treatment, that are taken after an adverse event (such as illness, injury, or abuse) occurs and that are aimed at reducing the harm or preventing disability.
Injuries and Maltreatment Maltreatment• Child maltreatment – Intentional harm to or avoidable endangerment of anyone under 18 years of age.• Child abuse – Deliberate action that is harmful to a child’s physical, emotional, or sexual well-being.• Child neglect – Failure to meet a child’s basic physical, educational, or emotional needs.
Injuries and Maltreatment Consequences of Maltreatment• Severely maltreated children suffer physiologically, academically, and socially in every culture.• The worst consequence is that maltreated children come to consider other people to be hostile and exploitative. That belief makes them fearful, aggressive, and lonely.• The earlier their abuse starts and the longer it continues, the more trouble they have with peers and adults.
Injuries and Maltreatment Three Levels of Prevention Again• Primary prevention includes any measure that reduces financial stress, family isolation, and unwanted parenthood.• Secondary prevention may include home visits by nurses, high-quality day care, and preventive social work—all designed to help high-risk families.• Tertiary prevention reduces harm when maltreatment has already occurred. Requires permanency planning, an effort to find a long- term solution to the problem.
Injuries and Maltreatment• Foster care- A legal, publicly supported system in which a maltreated child is removed from the parents’ custody and entrusted to another adult or family, which is reimbursed for expenses incurred in meeting the child’s needs.• Kinship care- A form of foster care in which a relative of a maltreated child, usually a grand -parent, becomes the approved caregiver.