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Cognitive development of children and adolescents


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Cognitive development of children and adolescents

  1. 1. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 1 COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS Theories of Cognitive Development Cognitive Development Cognitive development is gradual, systematic changes by which mental process become more complex and refined. Establishment of new schemes is essential in cognitive development. Piaget’s Main Tenet: The Child Actively Seeks Knowledge Jean Piaget viewed children as constructivists, meaning they are active seekers who respond to the environment according to their understanding of its essential features. He also believed that intelligence was not random but it was a set of organized cognitive structures that the child actively constructed, and viewed intelligence as basic life function that helps the child to adapt to his environment. According to Piaget, human beings inherit two essential intellectual functions which he called organization and adaptation. 1. Organization is inborn and automatic, and it refers to the child’s tendency to arrange available schemata into coherent systems or body of knowledge. Children are constantly rearranging their existing knowledge to produce new and more complex cognitive structures (Gines, et al., 1998). 2. Adaptation is the child’s tendency to adjust to the demands of the environment. This occurs in two ways: a. Assimilation is interpreting or understanding environment events in terms of one’s existing cognitive structures and ways of thinking. b. Accommodation is changing one’s existing cognitive structures and ways of thinking to apprehend environment events. Stages of Cognitive Development Piaget divided cognitive development into four stages: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational. He outlined this theory that follows an increasingly adaptive behavior mechanism from diffused to generalized responses of the patterns of behavior. He said that all children pass through these stages in this order and that no child can skip a stage. However, different children may pass through the stages at somewhat different rates. 1. Sensorimotor Stage (Birth to 2 years). During this stage, children acquire knowledge through sensory experiences and performing actions accordingly. This is entirely unconscious, self-unaware, and non-symbolic cognition. There are six divisions of this stage: a. Reflexes (0 to 1 month). These refer to the behavioural foundation upon which more complex behaviors are based. They develop when applied to a wider variety of stimuli and events e.g. sucking and modify with continuous experience.
  2. 2. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 2 b. Schemes (1 to 4 months). These refer to an organized pattern of behavior which the child interacts and comes to know his world e.g. sucking and grasping. This substage coordinates and integrates previously independent schemes such as visual and auditory. Moreover, schemes are directed inward e.g. grasp for the sake of its grasping than on the effect it has on the world. c. Procedure (4 to 8 months). The schemes are directed outward and develop into procedures of interesting behaviors that produce interesting effects in the world. Procedure gets repeated e.g. banging on a pot with a wooden spoon. d. Intentional Behavior (8-12 months). Prior to this substage, child produces some outcome from his behavior and repeats it. Now, the child wants to produce a particular result then figures out the action. e. Experimentation (12-18 months). Experimentation is the child’s trial-and- error exploration of the world to discover new and different ways of acting on it. Here the child produces new actions and observes the effects e.g. pulling the rug to get an out-of-reach object. f. Representation (18-24 months). Before this substage, all actions and results occur externally. In this substage, the child begins to think about and acting on the world internally e.g. naming an object that is not currently present but is just thought of. Besides, the child witnesses an action but does not reproduce it and he reproduces the witnessed action at a later time. This is called deferred imitation. 2. Preoperational Stage (2 to 6 years). During this stage, children develop their capacity to employ symbol, particularly language. Because of symbols, they are no longer limited to the stimuli that are immediately present and they use these symbols to portray the external world internally e.g. child can talk about the ball and can form a mental image of it. In stage, children also develop their ability to conserve the qualitative and quantitative identify of objects even when they change perceptually. 3. Concrete Operational Stage (6-12 years). Children are more logical and able to complete task not able to perform in preoperational period. Thinking is still with real or concrete objects and actions, and not yet abstract thinking. This is the beginning of rational activity in children. They come to master various logical operations including arithmetic, class and set relationships, measurement, and conceptions of hierarchical structures (Gines, et al., 1998). Child mastered by age 6 the Conservation of Number and he mastered by age 8 or 9 the Conservation of Length and Weight. 4. Formal Operational Stage (12 years and over) Children develop their abstract thinking. It is their ability to think logically about things that are only possible and not necessarily real or concrete. They also develop their hypothetical-deductive reasoning.
  3. 3. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 3 Vygotsky’s Socio-Cultural Theory of Cognitive Development Lev S. Vygotsky’s theory emphasizes that social interaction plays a vital role in cognitive development. His theory basically means that development depends on interaction with people and the tools that the culture provides to help form their own view of the world (Gallagher , 1999). These cultural tools can be transmitted to three ways. These are: 1. Imitative Learning- a person tries to imitate or copy another person. 2. Instructed Learning- a person remembers the instructions of the teacher and then uses them to self-regulate. 3. Collaborative Learning- a group of person who strive to understand each other and they work together to learn a specific skills. He believed that children are born with elementary mental abilities such as perception, attention and memory. These innate abilities transforms into higher mental functions as children interact with their culture and society (Meece, 2002). His theory also states that language plays a vital role in cognitive development. Within his theory, he identified three stages in children’s use of language: 1. Social speech- speech used by children for purpose of communication to other people. 2. Egocentric speech- speech that is more intellectual and children use this by verbalizing their ideas. 3. Inner speech- speech used by children to think in their minds about their problem or task, instead of verbalizing their ideas in order to solve their problem or to decide what to do next. His Socio-Cultural Theory also refers to the difference between what a learner can do independently and what can be done with other’s guidance. He called this as Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). He assumed that interactions with adults or peers in the zone of proximal development help children move to higher levels of mental functioning within the classroom (Meece, 2002). The implications of Vygotsky’s theory to education are to encourage cooperative learning exercises and to engage student in the discovery process with guidance from knowledgeable source. He suggests that teachers use cooperative learning exercises where less competent children develop with the aid from more adept peers within the zone of proximal development. He believed that when a student is at the ZPD for a particular task, providing the appropriate assistance, will give the student enough of a “boost” to achieve his goal or to complete the task (McLeod, 2012). ZPD is associated with scaffolding. The concept of scaffolding was introduced by Wood and Middleton. It is defined as a learner to concentrate on those elements of the task that are initially beyond his capacity and complete only those elements that are within his range of competence. According to Wood and Middleton, scaffolding becomes most effective when the assistance is correlated to the needs of the learner (McLeod, 2012).
  4. 4. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 4 Meece has provided some of the major contributions of Vygotsky’s theories to education. His theory gives insight to role of private speech and peer interactions in cognitive development and explains the significance of guided participation and scaffolding (Meece, 2002). Furthermore, he also emphasized in his theory that three factors that shape children’s behavior, and these are called ecological contexts. 1. Cultural Contexts- He said that one’s culture comprises the environment that humans have created and continue to perpetuate in their caregiving practice. Culture consists of human designs for living, which are embodied in beliefs, values, customs, and activities. 2. Social Contexts- He believed that learning occurs through interpersonal, social context. Thinking, as he defined, is a process of social interaction between children and more experienced and knowledgeable members of community. This social interaction helps them to master culture-specific skills and develop their behaviors that will enable them to successfully adapt to their particular community. 3. Historical contexts- His viewpoint, the child’s environment which he is reared and his own developmental history in terms of his experiences in that society are both significant in identifying the ways in which the child will think. Conceptual thinking must be transmitted to children through words, thus language becomes a crucial cognitive tool for deciding how children learn to think (Owens, 2006). Information-Processing Theory Exponents of this theory perceive that we are a processor of information. It means that we are not merely responding to stimuli rather we process the information we receive. They equate our mind to a computer, which receives information and follows a certain program to produce an output. Structure of the Information-Processing System The standard information-process model has three major components: sensory memory, working memory or short-term memory, and long-term memory (Wikipedia, 2013). Figure 1: Model of Memory Systems
  5. 5. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 5 1. Sensory Memory Environment is the source of variety of stimuli. In psychology, stimulus is an energy pattern which is recorded by our senses such light, sound, heat, cold, etc. Human body has special sensory receptor cells that transduce external stimulus to electrical energy so the brain can understand. This process of transduction creates memory. Each sensory system has its own sensory register which receives and temporary stores all of the stimuli. The sensory register stores sensory information for a while, then analyzes it to identify whether the sensory input should be conveyed into working or short-term memory or should be forgotten. (See diagram 1) It is absolutely critical that the individual attend to the information at this first stage in order to transmit it to the second stage. Transmission of sensory information to working memory can be done if the stimulus has a stimulating effect to the individual or the stimulus activates a known pattern. 2. Working Memory or Short-Term Memory It is believed to be the center of conscious thought, compare to a computer it is the Central Processing Unit (CPU) or using the concept of Sigmund Freud it is the conscious memory. As individual pays attention to an external stimulus or internal thought, working memory is created. Processing of information may take around 15 to 20 seconds unless it is repeated or rehearsed at which point it may take up to 20 minutes. OUTPUT (RESPONSE) RetrievalEncoding & Elaboration SENSORY INPUT (EXTERNAL STIMULUS) SENSORY MEMORY WORKING MEMORY LONG-TERM MEMORY Rehearsal / Repetition Forgotten Attention
  6. 6. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 6 Working memory has subsystems that store and process verbal information and visual images. It also supervises the coordination of subsystems that includes awareness of the follow of information into and out of the memory and visual representation of the possible moves, all stored for a limited amount of time. The short-term has a limited capacity, which can be readily demonstrated by simple expedient of trying to remember a list of random items without allowing repetition. In the experiments conducted by George Miller in 1956, he gave the number 7 + 2, which he described as the “magical number” or sometimes referred to as Miller’s Law however latest study proposes the number may be more like 5 + 2 for most things we are trying to recall. The number of objects an average human can hold in working memory, also called memory span, varies in how much individuals can work with (Mastin, 2010). One of technique for retaining and retrieving information in short-term memory, and it also the method used to get information into long-term memory is chunking. Chunking of information helps to the capacity of short- term memory. It is the organization of pieces of information into shorter meaningful units to make it more manageable. For example, it is easier to recall 0917-571-4380 rather than 09175714380. 3. Long-Term Memory Long-term memory is responsible of storing information over a long period of time. It encodes information for storage semantically- based on meaning and association. However, some studies suggest that it also encodes to some extend by acoustic. For example, when we are trying to recall a word, we try to associate by a certain sound. Short-term memory can be become long-term memory through the process of organization involving repetition and meaningful association (Mastin, 2010). There are two major memory strategies: 1. Rehearsal- A memory strategy that involves repeating the words or information to be remembered or recalled either verbally or mentally. 2. Retrieval- A memory strategy that gets information out of the long- tern memory. Two common forms of retrieving the information: recognition and recall. Recognition is a form of retrieval that involves noticing whether a stimulus is identical or similar to one previously experienced, and recall is a form of retrieval that involves remembering or recalling a stimulus that is not present (Owens, 2006). Bio-Cultural Theories Individual Differences: Theories of Intelligence that Influence Individual Differences
  7. 7. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 7 Sternberg’s Triarchic Theory of Intelligence Robert Sternberg, a psychologist, defined intelligence as “mental activity directed toward purposive adaptation to, selection and shaping of, real-world environments relevant to one’s life. (Stenberg, 1985)” To him, successful intelligence has less to do with the success in the classroom but more to do with the success in the real-world. Besides, he proposed that successful intelligence comprises of three different factors and that successfully intelligent people learn to balance these factors effectively. 1. Analytical or componential intelligence. This aspect of intelligence allows a person to process information effectively and think abstractly, and it also refers to problem-solving abilities. 2. Creative or experiential intelligence. This aspect of intelligence allows a person to come up with new ideas by combining seemingly unrelated information or facts based from past experiences and present skills. People high in creative intelligence can find connections between concepts that seem different and distinct. 3. Practical or contextual intelligence. This aspect of intelligence allows a person to adapt to dynamic environment and to discover practical solutions to real problems. People with this intelligence are often referred as “street smart.” Figure 2: Triarchic Theory of Intelligence Application to Education Sternberg believes that these types of intelligence can be developed, and students learn better if the way they are taught matches their learning ability. 1. To develop student’s analytical intelligence, teachers can ask them to analyze, critique, compare and contrast, evaluate, and assess. 2. To develop student’s creative intelligence, teachers can ask them to create, discover, invent, imagine, and predict what might happen 3. To develop student’s practical intelligence, teachers can ask them to put into practice, apply, use, implement, or employ. This teaching orientation is effective in The Gender Schema Theory Analytical Intelligence Practical Intelligence Creative Intelligence
  8. 8. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 8 The gender schema theory was developed by Carol Martin and Charles Halverson. This theory derives from information-processing approaches to cognitive development and features social learning and cognitive theories. They suggest that children’s motivation to behave in gender appropriate ways derives from their gender schemas. Owens (2006) defines gender schema as a pattern of beliefs and stereotypes about gender that children use to organize information about gender-related characteristics, experiences, and expectations. Gender is a salient characteristic in children’s world, relating both themselves and to others. Therefore, it is used to organize information in a place that may be used by older and more knowledgeable children. According to the proponents of this theory, they suggest that sex stereotypes serve as schemata to organize and structure social information. Acceptance of maleness or femaleness starts by age 2 or 3 and readily incorporates stereotyped views by play activities, roles and behaviors appropriate to their gender. This theory emphasizes that boys should do boy-related activities like playing toy trucks and girls should do girl-related activities like playing dolls. This will help children to identify their gender and reliably put themselves in the appropriately gender-related category and not in other group (Owens, 2006). Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences suggests that intelligence is not a single intellectual capacity but it has eight different capacities. 1. Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence It is well-developed verbal skills and sensitivity to the sounds, rhythms and meanings of words. Roles: teachers, editors, journalists, radio broadcasters 2. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence It is the ability to think conceptually and abstractly, and capacity to detect logical or numerical patterns. Roles: engineers, programmers, scientists 3. Spatial-Visual Intelligence It is the ability to perceive the visual-spatial world accurately and abstractly, to do changes on those perceptions, and to re-create aspects of visual experiences in the absence of pertinent stimuli. Roles: sculptors, photographers, architects 4. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence It is the ability to control one’s body movements and the ability to handle objects skilfully. Roles: athletes, dancers, nurses, geologists 5. Musical Intelligence It is the ability to produce and appreciate pitch, rhythm, melody, and aesthetic sounding tones and the ability to understand the forms of musical expressiveness. Roles: singers, DJs, violists, song composers 6. Interpersonal Intelligence
  9. 9. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 9 It is the capacity to discern and respond appropriately to the moods, temperaments, motivations and desires of others. Roles: psychologists, politicians, therapists, salesmen 7. Intrapersonal Intelligence It is the capacity to be self-aware and in-tune with inner feelings and to use these feelings to guide one’s own behavior, and knowledge of one’s own strengths, weaknesses, desires, and intelligences. Roles: person who is self- aware and involved in the process of changing personal thoughts, beliefs, and behavior in relation to their situation. 8. Naturalist Intelligence It is the ability to recognize and categorize plants, animals and other objects in nature or appreciate the world and nature. Roles: zoologists, botanists Achievement Motivation and Intellectual Performance Achievement motivation is a person’s tendency to strive for successful performance, to assess one’s performance against specific standards of excellent and to experience pleasure as a result of having performed successfully. The achievement motivation is premised on the fact that a person needs to experience a certain degree of achievement essential for himself in school, sports, occupation, and business for self-esteem and social approval. A person with high achievement motivation tends to choose challenging activities (Zulueta & Malaya, 2012). McClelland’s Achievement Motivation Theory David McClelland achievement motivation theory suggests that there are certain needs that are learned and socially acquires as the person interacts with his environment. According to him, there are three needs and he classified them as need of power, needs of affiliation, and need for achievement. 1. Needs of Power. This need indicates person’s to control and influence other’s behaviors. 2. Needs of Affiliation. This needs shows person’s desire for affection and to establish friendly relationships. 3. Need for achievement. This need implies person’s desire to succeed in a competitive situation and his desire to prove his superiority over others. Intellectual Performance Factors Affecting Development Three Factors which Affect Modern Development: Psychologist’s Point of Age- Related Changes A. Universal Changes
  10. 10. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 10 Universal changes are changes that all individuals undergo as biological organisms. All individuals experience the process of growth and maturation as they grow older. B. Group – Specific Changes Group-specific changes are changes manifested and observed from members growing up together in a particular group and hence influenced by the dominant culture. This includes a system of meaning, customs, languages, values, attitudes, attitudes, traits, laws, beliefs, and moral guidelines. C. Individual Changes These changes are typical of particular individuals and they result from unique, unshared events. Every individual is unique, a product of a unique combination of genes which sets him apart from anyone. Atypical Change is a kind of individual change that is detrimental to individual. This change comes from the influence of genes and environment. Mental development of an individual is impaired due to chromosome abnormality, or visual impairment due to abuse of drugs. Theoretical Perspective on Development A. The Psychoanalytical Perspective Psychoanalytic Theory: Sigmund Freud’s Pleasure-Seeking Child Sigmund Freud formulated his psychoanalytic theory on an intuitive basis, drawn from his observation and notes that he made about life histories of his mentally disturbed patients. The major tenets of his theory pertained to children’s sexual and aggressive desire, the importance of early experiences as determinants of later development, and to ways the unconscious mind- the seething cauldron of our innate pleasurable instinct that influences our adult behavior (Owens, 2006). The Three Basic Elements of Personality According to Freud, our mind is made up of the id, ego, and superego. The goal of the psyche is to maintain or regain an acceptable level of dynamic equilibrium that maximizes pleasure and minimizes tension (Limpingco & Tria, 1999). 1. Id- It is our conscious mind and contains our human motives and emotions such as love, aggression, fear, and so on. It operates by the pleasure principle- by seeking immediate gratification of instinctual needs. 2. Ego- It is the rational level of personality and emerges when psychic energy is diverted from the id to energize the important cognitive processes such as perception, learning and logical reasoning (Gines, et al., 1998).It also functions as the executive in dealing with real-life events and balances irrational demands from the id and the higher guidance of superego (Owens, 2006).
  11. 11. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 11 3. Superego- t is the judicial branch of the personality, person’s moral arbiter. It reminds us of our dos and don’ts. It sets out a series of guidelines that define and limit the flexibility of the ego. Psychosexual Stages of Development Freud believed that all human beings pass through a series of psychosexual stages, each stage dominated by the development of sensitivity in a particular erogenous or pleasure-giving spot in the body. In addition, each stage provides individuals a unique conflict that they must resolve before they proceed to the higher stage. Table 1: Sigmund Freud’s Psychosexual Stages of Development Stage Erogenous Zone or Primary Source of Pleasure Gratification Conflicts Oral Stage (birth to 2 years) Mouth, Gums Eating, biting, thumb sucking, chewing Weaning- child weaning from his mother’s breast or bottle too early or too late. Anal Stage (2 to 3 years) Anus Discharging and retaining bowel movement Toilet Training- child is severely toilet trained or undertrained. Phallic Stage (3 to 6 years) Phallus OR Genital Penis for males, and clitoris for females Oedipus Complex (Males) and Electra Complex (Females)- chid fails to identify with the same-sex parent. Latency Stage (6 to 12 years) None Directed to same sex, school works, and hobbies Social interaction with others Genital Stage (13 years onwards) Genital Heterosexual, mating, maturation Establishing intimate relationships Source: Limpingco, D. A. & Tria, G. E., 1999. Personality. 2nd ed. Quezon City: Ken Inc. (pp. 26) Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages: Identity-Seeking Child Erik Homburger Erikson discussed psychosocial stages and he came up with the eight distinctive stages of Psycho-social development. He believed that personality develops in a series of stages and describes the impact of social experience across the whole lifespan. In his Theory of Psychosocial Development, it centers on the development of “ego identity”. It means our conscious sense of self that we develop through social interaction. According to Erikson, our ego identity is constantly changing due to the new experiences and information we acquire in our daily interaction with others. Besides, he also believed that a sense of competence motivates behaviors and actions. He was more concerned with
  12. 12. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 12 becoming competent in an area of life. If the stage is handled well, the person will feel a sense of mastery, which is sometimes referred to as “ego strength” or “ego quality”. Otherwise, if the stage is handled poorly, the person will emerge with a sense of inadequacy. However, it can be resolved successfully at a later time. Every stage of psychosocial development, people experience conflict that serves as the turning point in human development also called crisis. These conflicts focus either on developing a psychological quality or failing to develop that quality. These are the stages of Psychosocial Development: 1. Trust Vs Mistrust (birth to 18 months). The infant is this stage develops a sense of ambiguity on the world he or she lives. So as parents- the first teachers, we need to provide reliability, care, and affection for our children to develop their sense of trust. A lack of this will lead to mistrust. 2. Autonomy Vs Sham and Doubt (18 months to 3 years). The child discovers his or her skills and abilities. So as parents or teachers, we need to encourage our child to becoming more independent whilst at the same time protecting our child so that constant failure is prevented. Success leads to feeling of autonomy, and failure results feeling of shame and doubt. 3. Initiative Vs Guilt (3 to 5 years). The child begins to plan activities, makes up games, and initiates activities with others. This is the stage where child interacts regularly to other children at school. So as parents or teachers, we need to give the opportunity to our child to play or socialize to other children to develop his or her sense of initiative, and feels secure in his or her ability to lead others and makes decisions. Conversely, if this tendency is squelched, either through criticism or control, child develops a sense of guilt. He or she may feel like a nuisance to others and will therefore remain follower, lacking self-initiative. 4. Industry (Competence) Vs Inferiority (6 to 11 years). Child needs to cope with social demands and academic demands. We, teachers, begin to take a vital role in his or her life as we teach him or her specific skills. If child is encouraged and reinforced for his or her initiative, he or she begins to feel industrious and feels confident in his or her ability to achieve goals. If this initiative is not encouraged, if we restricted them, the child begins to feel inferior, doubting his or her own abilities and therefore may not reach his or her potential. 5. Identity Vs Role Confusion (12 to 18 years). Child becomes adolescent. He or She becomes more independent, and begins to look at the future in terms of career, relationships, families, housing, etc. He or she wants to belong to a society and fits in. During this stage, adolescent explores possibilities and begins to form his or her own identity based upon the outcome of his or her exploration. Our role as parents and teachers,
  13. 13. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 13 we need to guide him or her and help them in overcoming his or her crises or problems. Failure to establish a sense of identity within society can lead to role confusion and will weaken his or her sense of self. 6. Intimacy Vs Isolation (19 to 40 years). Young adult begins to share himself or herself more intimately to others. He or she explores relationships leading toward longer term commitments with someone other than a family member. We parents and teachers do not have important role in this development. We just provide suggestions for our young adult to have a successful relationship to someone else. Success leads to strong and healthy relationship but failure results to loneliness and isolation. 7. Generativity Vs Stagnation (40 to 65 years). Adult creates or nurtures things that will outlast him or her, often by having their own children or creating a positive change that benefits other people e.g. being successful in his or her work by getting a promotion to help his family in their financial need. Failing in this stage, adult becomes stagnant and feels unproductive (shallow involvement in the world) but succeeding in this stage results to feelings of usefulness and accomplishment. 8. Ego Integrity Vs Despair (65 years and over). Older adult tends to slow down his or her productivity, and explores life as a retired person. During this time, he or she contemplates his or her accomplishments and is able to develop integrity if he or she sees himself or herself as leading a successful life. Success at this stage leads to feeling of wisdom, while failure results in regret, bitterness, and despair. B. Behaviorism and Social Learning Perspective Albert Bandura’s Social Cognitive Learning Theory: Imitating Child Social cognitive learning theory which was proposed by Albert Bandura has become the most influential theory of learning and development. His theory added a social element, arguing that people can learn new information and behaviors by watching other people known as observational learning or modelling. It emphasizes the concept of imitation as a form of learning. Learning according to this theory results from the ability of the child to select the pattern of behavior to imitate. Basic Concepts of Social Cognitive Learning Theory 1. People can learn through observation. There are three basic models of observational learning: (1) a live model which involves an actual individual demonstrating or acting out a behavior, (2) a verbal instructional model which involves descriptions and explanations of a behavior, and (3) a symbolic model which involves real or fictional characters displaying behaviors in books, films, televisions, programs, or online media.
  14. 14. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 14 2. Mental states are important to learning. He describes intrinsic reinforcement as a form of internal reward, such as pride, satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment. 3. Learning does not necessarily lead to a change in behavior. Watson’s Classical Conditioning: Conditioned Child John Broadus Watsons argued that any science of behavior must be based on observable events, and his approach is known as behaviorism. His work was heavily influenced by Ivan Pavlov who was first to demonstrate the process of classical conditioning. It is a type of learning that results from the repeated pairing of stimuli (Owens, 2006). Skinner’s Operant Conditioning: Mechanical Child A key concept in Burrhus Frederic Skinner’s system is the process of operant conditioning. Operant conditioning, according to Skinner, is a process of learning in which reinforced behaviors tend to be repeated and occur more frequently (Owens, 2006). In other words, if a response is followed by a reward, the response will be strengthened. There are two processes in shaping the behavior: (1) the differential reinforcement, which means that some responses are reinforced and some are not, and (2) the successive approximation, which means that some responses are reinforced successively and some are not. The successive approximations that are reinforced are those that come increasingly closer to the response ultimately desired (Limpingco & Tria, 1999). Skinners also emphasized the importance of reward in shaping the behavior. Reward is a form of positive reinforcement that will help to increase the probability the desired behavior will recur. Punishment is a form of negative reinforcement that will help to decrease the probability the unpleasant behavior will not recur. C. Environmental Perspective Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Contexts Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological system theory states that development is the product of children’s relationship to their environment- the features of their particular society or culture, and the social institutions that affect the beliefs and behavior of parents and caregivers. This is often referred as context. His theory also emphasizes the five environmental subsystems that affect the child’s development. 1. The Microsystem. This is innermost ecological system. It includes family, peers, schools, and neighborhood. All relationships within it are bidirectional and reciprocal; child’s environment actively shapes his development, and the child actively shapes his environment. These
  15. 15. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 15 relationships are foundation of child’s cognitive and emotional development. 2. The Mesosystem. This involves interconnections between microsystem: interaction between family and teachers and relationship between child’s peers and the family. 3. The Exosystem. This consists settings that indirectly affect a child’s development such as parent’s workplace, city government, and mass media. 4. The Macrosystem. This involves ideologies of child’s culture. The values, beliefs, customs and laws of a particular culture are environment elements that influence child’s development. It also influences how parents, teachers, and other caregivers rear a child. 5. The Chronosystem. This is the context of time and includes patterns of stability and change in children’s environment over time (Owens, 2006). Exceptional Development The Intellectually Gifted Intellectually gifted child is who deviates from the average child intellectually, generally belongs to the 15 to 20 percent of the school population who perform exceptionally in academic performance and have an IQ of 125 or above. Characteristics of Intellectually Gifted Child (Zulueta & Malaya, 2012): 1. He learns very fast with minimum direction and grasps concepts easily. 2. He can readily understand what he reads and could retain and recall principles and theories presented. 3. He organizes his thought systematically. 4. He recognizes relationships; thinks reflectively and critically. 5. He is aware of the various events in the environment that often children do not take note. 6. He has a good command of language or several languages and dialects. 7. He has wide range of vocabulary words. 8. He accepts intellectual challenge and works on his mental tasks diligently. 9. He is curious of things and events and of people’s behavior. 10. He is creative and initiates activities. 11. He is original in ideas and concepts and has a way of present them. 12. He is a very keen observer; responds quickly and accurately. 13. He reasons out why things occur, how things exist, where things come from and digs deeper in literature to get support his reasons. 14. He has a variety of interests on any subject. Children with Intellectual Deficit Child with intellectual deficit deviates from the average children intellectually. Mentally retarded and slow learners are among this. Characteristics of Child with Intellectual Deficit (Zulueta & Malaya, 2012):
  16. 16. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 16 1. He has short attention span. 2. He finds difficulty in comprehending what he reads. 3. He cannot remember what he reads. 4. He asks questions irrelevant to the topic on hand. 5. The teachers made tests and standard tests’ results are low. 6. He shuns abstract and difficult mental tasks. 7. He is very slow in responding. 8. He needs close supervision in his activities. 9. He lacks inquisitiveness and desire to explore or investigate. 10. He is delayed in development- teething, walking and talking. Turner Syndrome Turner syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects development in females. The most typical feature of Turner syndrome is short stature. Girls with this genetic disorder are short as adults- rarely five feet tall. One-third of them have extra folds on the neck called webbed neck, a low hairline at back of the neck, puffiness or swelling of the hands and feet, skeletal abnormalities, or kidney problems. These girls are born with heart defect that can be life-threatening. They are sterile because of abnormalities in sexual development. Turner syndrome develops when the sperm cell fails to produce sex chromosomes and the zygote becomes female who has one instead of two chromosomes, resulting in a total of 45 chromosomes, instead of having 46, normal number of chromosomes. Klinefelter Syndrome Klinefelter syndrome is another chromosome abnormality resulting from one extra X chromosome to a normal human male karyotype, having a total of 47 chromosomes. This is also known as 47, XXY or XXY males. Males with this genetic disorder may have weaker muscles and reduced strength. They tend to grow taller than average as they grow older, but they may have less muscle control and coordination compare to other boys of their age. These males are often infertile, or may have reduced fertility. Klinefelter syndrome occurs when a normal ovum is fertilized by a sperm cell that has both an X and Y chromosome instead of having only one or the other. This produces a zygote with an extra X chromosomes, having a genetic structure of XXY. Pervasive Development Disorder Pervasive development disorder is characterized by delays in the development of multiple basic functions such as communication and socialization. Pervasive because these disorders significantly affect the individuals’ development throughout their life span. This disorder begins during infancy, but it is typically not identified until the child is around age 3. PDD is classified into:
  17. 17. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 17 A. Autistic Disorder or Autism. A condition in which children seem to lack the ability to interact in emotionally meaningful ways with others, their language development is delayed, and their behavior is often compulsive and ritualistic (Owens, 2006). B. Asperger’s Syndrome. It is an autism spectrum disorder named after Hans Asperger, characterized by impaired social relationships but without language retardation, together with repetitive patterns of behavior and interest. Individuals with this condition show little cognitive impairment and they have IQ within average range. C. Rett’s Disorder. A neurodevelopmental disorder of the grey matter of the brain that primarily affects girls. It is characterized by repetitive stereotyped hand movements such as hand-wringing, typically have no verbal skills, impaired motor skills, growth problem, and gastrointestinal disorders. D. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD). It is also known as Heller’s syndrome named after Theodore Heller or disintegrative psychosis. It is a very rare condition characterized by developmental delays in language, social function and motor skills that begins after a 2 to 3 period of normal development. Works Cited Acero, V. E., Javier, E. S. & Castro, H. O., 2008. Child and Adolescent Development. Manila: Rex Bookstore. Anon., n.d. [Online] Available at: http://glencoe.mcgraw- pdf [Accessed 31 August 2013]. Gallagher , C., 1999. Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 22 August 2013]. Gines, A. C. et al., 1998. Developmental Psychology: A Textbook for College Students in Pschology and Teacher Education. Manila: Rex Bookstore, Inc.. Limpingco, D. A. & Tria, G. E., 1999. Personality. 2nd ed. Quezon City: Ken Inc.. Mastin, L., 2010. The Human Memory. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 25 August 2013]. McLeod, S., 2012. Zone of Proximal Development. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 22 August 2013].
  18. 18. MEM 505: CHILD AND ADOLESCENT DEVELOPMENT 18 Meece, J. L., 2002. Child and Adolescent Development for Educators. 2nd ed. New York : McGraw-Hill. Owens, K. B., 2006. Child and Adolescent Development: An Integrated Approach. Singapore: Thomson - Wadsworth. Stenberg, R. J., 1985. Beyond IQ: A Triarchic Theory of Intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wikipedia, 2013. Information Processing Theory. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 22 August 2013]. Zulueta, F. M. & Malaya, E. M., 2012. Historical, Anthropological, Philosophical, Legal, Psychological, Sociological Foundations of Education. Mandaluyong City: National Bookstore.