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G & D Ch. 5


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Physical & Cognitive Development in Early Childhood

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G & D Ch. 5

  1. 1. CHAPTER 5 Physical & Cognitive Development in Early Childhood
  2. 2. Physical Growth <ul><li>Individual Differences </li></ul><ul><li>Average differences in height & weight between boys & girls begins to increase </li></ul><ul><li>Boys start becoming taller </li></ul><ul><li>Differences in economically deprived countries v. developed countries </li></ul><ul><li>Better nutrition & health care </li></ul><ul><li>Difference in U.S. between advantaged & disadvantaged children </li></ul>
  3. 3. Growth of the Brain <ul><li>Fastest Growing Part of the Body </li></ul><ul><li>By age 5, the brain is 90% of adult size </li></ul><ul><li>Increase in growth due to increase in the number of interconnections </li></ul><ul><li>It allows for more complex communications between neurons </li></ul><ul><li>Increase in the amount of myelin </li></ul><ul><li>Increase in the size of the corpus callosum </li></ul>
  4. 4. Brain Lateralization <ul><li>Each Hemisphere has Certain Functions </li></ul><ul><li>Each hemisphere processes information slightly differently </li></ul><ul><li>The left processes sequentially </li></ul><ul><li>The right processes holistically </li></ul>
  5. 5. Boy Brain / Girl Brain <ul><li>Male & Female Brains are Predisposed to Function Slightly Differently </li></ul><ul><li>Girls & Boys Show Some Hemispheric Differences </li></ul><ul><li>Gender & Cultural Relations to Brain Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Some Cultures Process Information Related to Vocal Sounds Differently </li></ul><ul><li>Increases in Myelin May Be Related to Growing Cognitive Capacities as well as Memory Improvements </li></ul><ul><li>Boys & Girls have Differences in Lower Body Reflexes </li></ul><ul><li>Boys & Girls Process Auditory Information Differently </li></ul><ul><li>Boys show greater Specialization of Left Hemisphere Language </li></ul><ul><li>Girls Language Capabilities is More Evenly Distributed Between Hemispheres </li></ul><ul><li>Girls Language Development is Faster than Boys </li></ul>
  6. 6. Motor Development <ul><li>Gross Motor Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Advances in gross motor skills related to brain development & myelination of neurons in areas related to balance & coordination </li></ul><ul><li>Gender Differences </li></ul><ul><li>Boys overall motor activity level higher than girls: jump higher & throw a ball better </li></ul><ul><li>Girls better in coordination of arms & legs & balancing & coordinated exercises </li></ul><ul><li>Fine Motor Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Develop with gross motor skills but require practice </li></ul>
  7. 7. Handedness <ul><li>Preference by the End of Preschool </li></ul><ul><li>By age 5 there’s a clear tendency to use one hand over the other </li></ul><ul><li>Today children are not forced to use the right hand </li></ul>
  8. 8. Nutrition <ul><li>Eating the Right Foods </li></ul><ul><li>Growth rate is slower than in infancy </li></ul><ul><li>Need less food to maintain growth </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging the child to eat more than they seem to want can lead to obesity (more than 20% above average weight for height) </li></ul><ul><li>Childhood obesity increased significantly since the mid-1980s </li></ul>
  9. 9. Injuries <ul><li>Accidents are the Greatest Risk </li></ul><ul><li>Due to level of physical activity </li></ul><ul><li>Boys are more active than girls & take more risks </li></ul><ul><li>More accidents in poorer areas </li></ul><ul><li>Lead Poisoning </li></ul><ul><li>Tiny amounts of lead can be very harmful </li></ul><ul><li>Linked to lower IQ, verbal & auditory problems, hyperactivity & distractibility </li></ul>
  10. 10. Piaget’s Preoperational Thinking <ul><li>The Use of Symbolic Thought, Mental Reasoning,& Concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Symbolic Function </li></ul><ul><li>The ability to use a mental symbol, a word, or object to stand for or represent something not present </li></ul><ul><li>Relation between language & thought </li></ul><ul><li>Symbolic function is the basis of sophisticated language use in the Preoperational Stage </li></ul><ul><li>Language & thinking are interconnected </li></ul><ul><li>Use of language allows the child to think beyond the present to the future </li></ul><ul><li>Language = thought or thought = language? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Centration & Conservation <ul><li>Centration </li></ul><ul><li>The process of concentrating on one limited aspect of a stimulus ignoring other aspects </li></ul><ul><li>Preschooler’s focus is on the superficial, obvious elements </li></ul><ul><li>Conservation </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge that quantity is unrelated to physical appearance or arrangement of objects </li></ul><ul><li>Centration prevents focusing on the relevant features of a situation </li></ul>
  12. 12. Preoperational Thinking <ul><li>Egocentricism </li></ul><ul><li>Thinking that doesn’t take into account others’ viewpoints </li></ul><ul><li>Takes 2 forms: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Lack of awareness that others see things form a different perspective </li></ul><ul><li>2. Failure to realize that others may hold thoughts, feelings, & points of view different from your own </li></ul><ul><li>Seen in talking to oneself in the presence of others or ignoring what others are saying </li></ul>
  13. 13. Preoperational Thinking <ul><li>Intuitive Thought </li></ul><ul><li>Preschooler’s primitive reasoning & keen acquisition of knowledge about the world </li></ul><ul><li>They begin to understand the concept of functionality (actions, events, & outcomes are related to each other in fixed patterns) </li></ul><ul><li>They begin to show awareness of the idea of identity (certain things stay the same regardless of changes in shape, size, & appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Both are important to understand conservation </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluating Piaget </li></ul><ul><li>Children have the innate ability to count </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive skills develop in a more continuous manner than stage theories imply </li></ul><ul><li>Developmental changes are more quantitative than qualitative as Piaget claims </li></ul>
  14. 14. Memory <ul><li>Autobiographical Memory </li></ul><ul><li>Memory of particular events on one’s life </li></ul><ul><li>Unless the event is meaningful or vivid, it is likely not to be remembered </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural factors affect memory </li></ul><ul><li>Autobiographical memories fade & inaccurately recalled </li></ul><ul><li>Scripts: broad representations in memory of events & the order in which they occurred </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent events melded into scripts </li></ul>
  15. 15. Vygotsky <ul><li>Definitions </li></ul><ul><li>Zone of Proximal Development </li></ul><ul><li>Level at which a child can almost, but not fully, perform a task independently, but can do it with assistance from someone more competent </li></ul><ul><li>Scaffolding </li></ul><ul><li>The support for learning & problem solving that encourages independence & growth </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Physical items & intellectual & conceptual framework for solving problems </li></ul>
  16. 16. Vygotsky <ul><li>Cognitive Development & Social Interaction Tied Together </li></ul><ul><li>Children are apprentices, learning from adult & peer mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural & social factors involved in the learning process </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s cognitive development is dependent on the interaction with others </li></ul><ul><li>There are differences in how some societies support learning for boys & girls </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural tools provide a structure that can be used to help children define & solve problems as well as an intellectual POV that encourages cognitive development </li></ul>
  17. 17. Language & Thought <ul><li>Syntax </li></ul><ul><li>Combining words & phrases to form sentences </li></ul><ul><li>Fast Mapping </li></ul><ul><li>New words are associated with their meaning only after a brief encounter </li></ul><ul><li>Grammar </li></ul><ul><li>Rules that determine how thoughts can be expressed </li></ul><ul><li>Private Speech </li></ul><ul><li>Speech spoken & directed to oneself </li></ul><ul><li>Pragmatics </li></ul><ul><li>Aspect of language relating to communicating effectively & appropriately with others </li></ul><ul><li>Social Speech </li></ul><ul><li>Speech directed toward another & meant to be understood by that person </li></ul>
  18. 18. Theory of Mind <ul><li>Develops an intuitive understanding of the link between mind & behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Moves through 3 phases: </li></ul><ul><li>Earliest phase (approx. 2 years) - aware of desires & speaks of wants & likes; by age 2 children understand people have desires & desires can cause behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Mid-phase (approx. 3 years) - distinguishes the mental world from the physical world but still emphasize desire in explaining others’ actions </li></ul><ul><li>Late phase (approx. 4 years) - understands that behavior is based on beliefs about the world, even when those beliefs are wrong; realizes that people not only have thoughts & beliefs, but those thoughts & beliefs are crucial to explaining why people do things </li></ul>
  19. 19. Early Childhood Education <ul><li>Involvement in Some Form of Education Before Formal Schooling is Beneficial </li></ul><ul><li>Varieties of early education: </li></ul><ul><li>Child-care centers </li></ul><ul><li>Preschools </li></ul><ul><li>School childcare </li></ul>
  20. 20. Sesame Street <ul><li>Significantly Higher Vocabularies </li></ul><ul><li>Significantly Higher Scores on Measures of Verbal & Math </li></ul><ul><li>Tend to be Better Readers Spending More Time Reading </li></ul>
  21. 21. Effectiveness of Childcare <ul><li>More Verbal Fluency </li></ul><ul><li>Memory & Comprehension Advantages </li></ul><ul><li>Higher IQ Scores </li></ul><ul><li>More Self-confidence </li></ul><ul><li>More Independent </li></ul><ul><li>More Socially Knowledgeable </li></ul>
  22. 22. Television & its Influences <ul><li>Aggressive Behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent exposure to TV violence causes children to be more aggressive </li></ul><ul><li>Violent video games causes similar behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Stereotyping </li></ul><ul><li>TV viewing causes children to adopt many stereotypes that dominate TV programming </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer Behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Commercials are effect with children </li></ul><ul><li>Children grow to like products advertised on TV </li></ul><ul><li>Urge parents to buy products </li></ul>
  23. 23. Television & its Influences <ul><li>Prosocial Behavior </li></ul><ul><li>TV viewing of prosocial behavior influenced children </li></ul><ul><li>Factors that restrict porsocial behavior: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Prosocial behavior portrayed much less frequently than aggressive behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>2. Prosocial programs must compete w/other kinds of programs & other activities child does </li></ul><ul><li>Influences on Cognition </li></ul><ul><li>Children watching Sesame Street were more proficient in certain academic skills & adjusted to school more readily </li></ul><ul><li>Higher vocabularies, better math & prereading skills, better prepared for school, frequently improve their academic skills & develop more positive attitudes </li></ul>
  24. 24. Television & its Influences <ul><li>Criticism of TV </li></ul><ul><li>Children watching a lot of TV have short attention spans & have difficulty concentrating due to brief segments of programming </li></ul><ul><li>Children become passive, lazy thinkers </li></ul><ul><li>Neither criticism is backed by research </li></ul><ul><li>TV doesn’t harm children’s attention span </li></ul><ul><li>No link between amount of TV viewing and creativity </li></ul><ul><li>No evidence that TV watching has harmful effects </li></ul><ul><li>What parents need to do </li></ul><ul><li>Ways to regulate child’s TV viewing </li></ul><ul><li>Children must have absolute, enforced rules re: the amount of TV & the types of programs they can watch </li></ul><ul><li>Children must know what they want to watch before they turn on TV & not watch just because they’re bored </li></ul><ul><li>Parents should watch TV with children & discuss the programs </li></ul><ul><li>Parents should be good TV viewers themselves not watching Inappropriate programs with children present </li></ul>