Human Development and Learning Chapter 4 Book Notes
Human Development and Learning Chapter 4 Book Notes EDU 215
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Date Created: 10/05/16
Chapter 4: The Preschool Years I. The Growing Body A. Changes in Body Shape and Structure 1. By the time a child is 2 they should weigh between 2530 pounds and be about 36 inches tall. 2. By six they should weigh 46 pounds and be 46 inches tall. 3. Economics can have an effect on both weight and height. Developed countries normally have better health and nutrition available. 4. Children thin out during this stage. The limbs grow, the headtobody ratio evens out, muscles increase, bones grow, and the sense organs continue to develop. 5. The eusta chain tube in the ear will move so drastically that children normally experience earaches at this stage. B. Nutrition: Eating the Right Foods 1. Attempting to get children to eat more than they want could lead to obesity, which is the body weight more than 20% higher than the average weight for a person of a given age and height. 2. Children should get a lowfat, high in nutrient diet. Foods with a high iron intake are super important. a. Irondeficiency anemia, is one of the most defined problems of nutrition in developed countries. C. Health and Illness 1. Children average 710 colds and other respiratory illnesses each ear between 35 years of age. 2. Accidents poste the greatest risk for children and are twice as likely to die from injury before 10 years old. 3. Danger from injuries comes from high levels of physical activity. 4. If raised in poverty children may live in areas with more hazards. 5. Lead poisoning is a significant danger. a. Causes lower intelligence, verbal and auditory problems, hyper activity and easily distracted children. It also causes high levels of antisocial behavior, aggression, and delinquency. II. The Growing Brain A. Brain Lateralization 1. At the end of this stage, the corpus callosum, which is a bundle of nerve fibers that connects the two hemispheres of the brain, is thicker and can have up to 8oo million fibers to aid brain function for the hemispheres. 2. Lateralization is the process in which certain functions are located more in one hemisphere than the other. a. The left hemisphere is generally used for speaking, reading, thinking, and reasoning. b. The right hemisphere is generally used for spatial relationships, recognizing patterns, music, and emotions. 3. In the first and continuous years of the preschool stage boys have better lateralization with lower body reflexes, auditory information, and language in the left hemisphere. 4. Girls have a more divided space between hemispheres. B. The Links Between Brain Growth and Cognitive Development 1. There are periods during childhood when the brain shows unusual growth spurts, and these periods are linked to advances in cognitive abilities. 2. Happen between 1 ½ to 2 years of age when abilities are increasing rapidly. 3. Myelination of the reticular formation, an area of the brain associated with attention and concentration, is completed by the time children are about 5 years old. 4. The improvement in memory that occurs during the preschool years may also be associated with myelination. 5. In addition, there is significant growth in the nerves connecting the cerebellum, a part of the brain that controls balance and movement, to the cerebral cortex, the structure responsible for sophisticated information processing. III Motor Development A. Gross Motor Skills 1. By the time children are 3 they have mastered a number of skills including jumping, hopping on one foot, skipping and running. 2. By the time they are 4 and 5 their abilities become more refined because they are gaining control over their muscles. 3. These milestones could be related to the development and myelination of the neurons that are related to balance and coordination. 4. They spend a great deal of time practicing their abilities, their activity levels during this period tend to be excessively high. B. The Potty Question: When—and How—Should Children Be Toilet Trained? 1. There is no one time to start. It should only be done when the child is ready. 2. Signs of readiness include staying dry at least 2 hours at a time or waking up dry, regular and predictable bowl movements, an indication that urination or a bowl movement is about to happen, the ability to follow easy directions, discomfort with soiled diapers, asking to use the toilet or training chair, and the desire to wear underwear. 3. They have to be ready emotionally. 4. It may be reasonable to delay this if there is some sort of major change in the home. C. Fine Motor Skills 1. The skills used for fine motor movements need practice. They start to show in clear developmental patterns. 2. Handedness a. Beginning early in infancy, many children show signs of a preference for the use of one hand over the other—the development of handedness. IV . Piaget’s Approach to Cognitive Development A. Piaget’s Stage of Preoperational Thinking 1. During the preoperational stage, children’s use of symbolic thinking grows, mental reasoning emerges, and the use of concepts increases. 2. They are still not capable of operations: organized, formal, logical, mental processes. 3. One important part of preoperational thought is symbolic function, the ability to use mental symbol, a word, or an object, to stand for or represent something that is not physically present. 4. The Relation Between Language and Thought a. Symbolic function is at the center of the advances during the preoperational period. b. Advances in language reflect improvement over thinking. c. Language allows children to go beyond the present to the future in their thinking. 5. Centration: What You See is What You Think a. To Piaget, the root of this belief is centration, a key element, and limitation, of thinking in the preoperational period. b. Centration is the process of concentrating on one limited aspect of a stimulus and ignoring others. c. Preschoolers’ focus on the way someone or something looks could be related to another part of the preoperational thought which is the lack of conservation. 6. Conservation: Learning That Appearances Are Deceiving a. Conservation is the knowledge that quantity is unrelated to the arrangement and physical appearance of objects. 7. Incomplete Understanding of Transformation a. As Piaget used the term, transformation is the process in which one state is changed into another. 8. Egocentrism: The Inability to Take Others’ Perspectives a. Egocentric thought is thinking that does not take into account the viewpoints of others. b. It has two forms i. Lack of awareness that others see things differently than you do ii. Failure to realize that others have different thoughts, feelings, and points of view from you. c. It lies behind a child’s lack of concern for others. d. It explains why preschool children talk to themselves. e. Egocentric nature of preoperational children’s thinking: the lack of awareness that their behavior acts as a trigger to others’ reactions and responses. 9. The Emergence of Intuitive Thought a. Intuitive thought refers to preschoolers’ use of primitive reasoning and their avid acquisition of world knowledge. b. Towards the end of the preoperational period, their thinking prepares them for a more developed type of reasoning. c. At the end of the period they should be able to grasp functionality, the idea that actions, events, and outcomes are related to one another in fixed patterns. d. They’re also aware of identity, the understanding that certain things stay the dame, regardless of changes in shape, size, and appearance. 10. Evaluating Piaget’s Approach to Cognitive Development a. Recent work states that children as young as three could tell the difference between two different rows of animals, it didn’t matter how they were spaced. b. Gelmen says that children have the ability to count, just like they have the ability to use language. c. Developmentalists who favor that information processing approach state that a child’s cognitive skills are developing in a continuous state unlike what Piaget says. V . Information Processing and Vygotsky’s Approach to Cognitive Development A. Focus on changes in the way children approach a problem. B. Represent the dominant, most comprehensive and accurate explanation of cognitive development in children. C. Preschoolers’ Understanding of Numbers 1. The information processing approach shows increased evidence that children have a numerical understanding. 2. Rochel Gelmen stated that they follow a specific principle when they count. 3. Even if a child gets the name of a number wrong, they will continue to use that wrong name in all of their counting. a. If they say that 3 is 8, then 3 is 8 for everything. D. Memory: Recalling the Past 1. Autobiographical memory is memory of particular events from one’s own life, achieves little accuracy until then and increased gradually throughout the preschool years. 2. Not all of them will last to adulthood. 3. Preschoolers’ memories are usually put into scripts, which are broad representations in memory of events and the order in which they occur. 4. With age the scripts become more elaborate. E. Children’s Eyewitness Testimony: Memory on Trial 1. Forensic developmental psychology focuses on the reliability of children’s autobiographical memories in the context of the legal system, when they may be witnesses or victims. 2. A child’s memory is prone to suggestions when adults are asking questions. 3. Information Processing in Perspective a. Cognitive development has a gradual improvement in how people perceive, understand, and remember information. b. It provides a comprehensive and logical set of concepts. F. Vygotsky’s View of Cognitive Development: Taking Culture into Account 1. The Chilcotin view of how children learn is in contrast with the way Western society thinks, which assumes a child has to master the individual parts of a problem in order to understand it. 2. Vygotsky stated cognitive development was a product of social interaction. 3. He saw children as small apprentices. 4. They gradually grew intellectually and could function on their own because they had assistance from adults and peers. 5. He also stated that the culture and society promoted development by giving opportunities to grow. 6. His approach was vastly different from Piaget a. Piaget saw junior scientists who worked alone to develop independent understandings. Vygotsky saw apprentices who needed to learn from their teachers. 7. The Zone of Proximal Development and Scaffolding: Foundations of Cognitive Development a. Vygotsky suggested that children’s cognitive abilities would grow if they were exposed to information that could intrigue them, but, it couldn’t be difficult. b. He called this the zone of proximal development (ZPD), which is the level at which a child can almost, but not completely, perform a task independently, but can do it with help from someone more adept. c. This concept believes that if two children cannot perform a task separately, that one may do it with help from an adult. d. Scaffolding (termed after the scaffolds that aid in construction) is the support for learning and problem solving that encourage independence and growth. e. It not only helps but aids in development. f. An important aspect of help that children receive comes from cultural tools. g. Cultural tools are actual, physical items, as well as an intellectual and conceptual framework for solving problems. h. They give a structure to help define and solve problems, and an intellectual point of view that aids cognitive development. i. The tools available depends on which culture the child is being raised in. 8. Evaluating Vygotsky’s Contributions a. His influence grew because there is a growing research of social interaction that he helps explain. b. It’s also consistent with multicultural and crosscultural development. c. His melding of the cognitive and social worlds helps our understating. VI . The Growth of Language and Learning A. Language Development 1. During the ages of 23 years old sentence length will increase as will the ways children combine words and phrases to form sentences—known as syntax—doubly each month. 2. They manage this though a process known as fast mapping, in which new words are associated with their meaning after only a brief encounter. 3. Their skills encompass formation of words, like the plural form of words, even if they’ve never heard them before. 4. Grammar is the system of rules that determine how our thoughts can be expressed. 5. Private Speech and Social Speech a. Some developmentalists suggest that private speech, speech by children that is spoken and directed to themselves, performs an important function. b. Vygotsky said it was a guide for behavior and thought. c. When they communicate with themselves they can use themselves as a sounding board for ideas. d. Private speech is the precursor to children having internal conversations with themselves like when we are reasoning with ourselves. e. It may also be a way to practice the skills that are used in conversations. f. Pragmatics is the aspect of language relating to communicating effectively and appropriately with others. g. It permits children to have basic conversations and know what should be said regarding society’s standards. h. Social speech is speech directed towards another persona and meant to be understood by that person. i. When others cannot understand them preschool children become frustrated. B. Learning from the Media: Television and the Internet 1. Television is a powerful stimulus and the average preschool aged child watches more than 21 hours of television in a week. 2. In 1/3 of homes with children 27 years old the television is on most of the time and one study showed that children under the age of 2 in 1/5 of households had a television in their bedrooms. 3. They only spend ¾ of an hour reading. 4. 70% of preschoolers between 4 and 6 have used a computer and ¼ of them use one every day. 5. Television: Controlling Exposures a. In a recent study many children’s programs are not of a good quality and they are not appropriate for preschool aged children. b. The AAP suggested that until a child is 2 years old they shouldn’t watch television at all. After that it should be limited to 12 hours of quality programing a day. C. Early Childhood Education: Taking the “Pre” Out of the Preschool Period 1. The term preschool period is something of an inaccuracy: almost ¾ of children in the U.S. get enrolled into some kind of care outside of the home that it geared towards some form of education. 2. Most fathers and 60% of mothers work outside of the home. 3. There is evidence that children benefit from some form of education before actually being enrolled in school (around the ages of 5 or 6 in the U.S.). 4. The Varieties of Early Education a. Childcare centers typically provide care for children outside the home, while their parents are at work. b. Some child care if provided in family childcare centers, small operations run in private homes. c. Preschools are explicitly designed to provide intellectual and social experiences for children. d. School child care is provided by some local school systems. 5. The Effectiveness of Child Care a. Children enrolled in some form of childcare centers will have intellectual development that is the same as the children at home and often times it’s better. b. It can be helpful for children in lowincome homes or those who could be at risk. c. They tend to be more selfconfident, independent, and knowledgeable about their social world. d. However some are found to be less polite, less compassionate, less respectful, and more competitive and aggressive. 6. The Quality of Child Care a. The major characteristics are: i. The care providers are well trained. ii. It has an appropriate size and child to care provider ratio. iii. The curriculum is carefully planned and coordinated iv. The language environment is rich with lots of conversation v. Caregivers are sensitive to emotional and social needs of children. vi. Materials and activities are age appropriate vii.Basic health and safety regulations are met. VII Forming A Sense of Self A. Psychosocial Development: Resolving the Conflicts 1. Psychosocial development encompasses changes in individuals understating of themselves and of others’ behaviors. 2. Erikson said that society and culture give challenges that shift as a person ages. He stated there were 8 stages that a person goes through, each of which has its own challenge to resolve. 3. Early on children are ending the autonomyversusshameanddoubt stage and moving into what Erikson calls the initiativeversusguild stage which lasts from ages 36. 4. During this time conflict arises between the desire to act independently and guilt if they cannot do so. 5. If a parent reacts positively they help the child resolve opposing feelings. However, parents to react negatively contribute to the guilt that could last throughout life. B. SelfConcept in the Preschool Years: Thinking About the Self 1. Selfconcept is a person’s identity, or set of beliefs about what one is like as an individual. 2. Children don’t always have an accurate selfconcept. It’s typically overestimated in skills and knowledge. 3. Selfconcept reflects culture. Asian societies tend to have a collectivistic orientation, in which individuals tend to regard themselves as parts of a larger social network in which they are all interconnected with and responsible to others. 4. However, children in the western cultures are more likely to develop an individualistic orientation that emphasizes personal identity and the uniqueness of the individual, seeing themselves as selfcontained and autonomous in competition with other for scarce resources. C. Gender Identity: Developing Femaleness and Maleness 1. Gender, the sense of being male or female, is already well known by the time a child is in the preschool period. 2. Boys usually spend more time than girls in roughandtumble play while girls will spend more time with organized role playing games. 3. Girls also tend to want samesex playmates before boys do. 4. Gender stereotypes increase until around age 5. By age 7 they’re less strict. 5. Children expect the males to be more competent, independent, forceful, and competitive. 6. They expect females to be warm, expressive, nurturing, and submissive. 7. Biological Perspectives a. Girls exposed to unusually high levels of androgens (male hormones) prenatally usually will show more typical malelike traits than other girls. b. They like to have boys as playmates and will play with toys associated with male children. c. Boys who were exposed to usually high levels of female hormones prenatally will have more female like behaviors than other boys. d. Some theorists see males that have stereotypical male traits will attract woman more than other males, and females with stereotypical female traits will attract men more than other females. 8. Social Learning Approaches a. Children learn gender behaviors by watching others. 9. Cognitive Approaches a. In the view of some theorists, one aspect of forming a clear sense of identity is the desire to establish a gender identity, a perception of oneself as male or female. b. To do this, children develop a gender schema, a cognitive framework that organizes information relevant to gender. c. The schemas are developed early in life and encompass the rules for appropriate male and female behavior. d. By the age of 4 or 5 children have a developed understanding of gender constancy, the awareness that people are permanently males or females, depending on fixed, unchangeable biological factors. e. If parents demonstrate roles that are typical of both sexes they may be able to avoid gender schemas and teach their children to be genderless. VIII . Friends and Family: Preschoolers’ Social Lives A. The Development of Friendships 1. Playing by the Rules: The Work of Play a . Categorizing Play i. At the beginning of the preschool years children engage in functional play, which is simple, repetitive activities typical of 3yearolds, like pushing cars or skipping. ii. By age 4 they are involved in constructive play where children manipulate objects to produce or build something. iii. This give them a change to practice physical, cognitive, and fine muscle skills. b . The Social Aspects of Play i. Mildred Parten suggested that children engage in parallel play, where they play with similar toys in a similar manner, but do not interact with each other. ii. In onlooker play, children simply watch others at play, but do not actually play themselves. iii. In associative play two or more children will interact with each other, sharing and borrowing toys and materials even though they do not do the same thing. iv. In cooperative play children genuinely play with one another, taking turns, playing games, or devising contests. B. Preschoolers’ Theory of Mind: Understanding What Others Are Thinking 1. Preschoolers are capable of seeing the world through another’s perspective. 2. They can pretend something happen and react as though it really did happen. 3. They are more insightful regarding motives and reasons behind behavior. 4. This increase helps them with social skills. 5. Children with autism spectrum disorder, which is the psychological disorder that produces significant language and emotional difficulties, find it hard to understand what others are thinking. 6. Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by a lack of connection to other people, even parents, and an avoidance of interpersonal situations. C. Preschoolers’ Family Lives 1. Children form genuine friendships. 2. A strong relationship between parents and children helps children develop strong friendships. D. Effective Parenting: Teaching Desired Behavior. 1. Authoritarian parents are controlling, punitive, rigid, and cold; their world is law and they value strict, unquestioning obedience; they do not tolerate expressions of disagreement. a. Children tend to be withdrawn, show little sociability, unfriendly, behave uneasily around other children. Girls are especially dependent on parents while boys are overly hostile. 2. Permissive parents provide lax and inconsistent feedback; they require little of their children and don’t see themselves as holding much responsibility for how a child turns out; they place little or no limits or control on their children’s behavior. a. Children tend to be dependent and moody, low in social skills and selfcontrol, have many of the same traits as children of authoritarian parents. 3. Authoritative parents are firm, setting clear and consistence limits; relatively strict, loving and emotionally supportive; they try to reason with children and explain why they should be acting a certain way; they communicate the rational for the punishments they impose; they encourage independence. a. Children are independent, friendly, selfassertive, cooperative, have strong motivation to achieve, typically successful, likable, can regulate their own behavior, they fare better than other children. 4. Uninvolved parents show virtually no interest I their children, displaying indifferent, rejecting behavior; they are detached emotionally and see their role as no more than feeding, clothing, and providing shelter; in its most extreme form uninvolved parenting results in neglect, a form of child abuse. a. The worst off, disruptive emotional development, feel unloved, emotionally detached, physical and cognitive development may be delayed. 5. Cultural Differences in Childrearing Practices a. Childrearing reflects the culture where children are being raised. E. Child Abuse and Psychological Mistreatment: The Grim Side of Family Life 1. Physical Abuse a. Most prevalent in families living in stressful situations. b. More likely to happen with a history of violence. c. Abused children are fussy, resistant to control, and do not adapt well to new situations. d. They have more head and stomach aches, more bedwetting, are more anxious, and show developmental delays. e. 34 and 1517 year olds are more likely to be abused than other ages. 2. Reasons for Physical Abuse a. Parents to not usually intend to abuse children. b. If they do they’re often bewildered and regret their actions. c. The line between spanking and beating is fuzzy. If done in anger it could lead to abuse. 3. The Cycle of Violence Hypothesis a. According to the cycle of violence hypotheses, the abuse and neglect that children suffer predispose them as adults to abuse and neglect their own children. b. Victims learn from experience that violence is an okay form of discipline because they have failed to learn the necessary skills. 4. Psychological Maltreatment a. Psychological maltreatment occurs when parents or other caregivers harm children’s behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or physical functioning. b. Parents frighten or belittle children causing them to feel like a disappointment or a failure. c. Is has been linked to low selfesteem, lying, misbehavior, under achievement, criminal behavior, aggression, and murder. d. Brains of victims undergo permanent changes because of abuse. F. Resilience: Overcoming the Odds 1. Resilience is the ability to overcome highrisk circumstances, that place a child at high risk for psychological or physical damage, such as extremes of poverty, parental stress, or violence in the home. Figure 410 (page 185) IX . Moral Development and Aggression A. Developing Morality: Following Society’s Rights and Wrongs 1. Moral development refers to changes in people’s sense of justice and of what is right and wrong, and in their behavior related to moral issues. 2. Piaget’s View of Moral Development a. He suggested there are three stages that moral development proceeds in. b. He called the earliest stage heteronomous morality, in which rules are seen as invariant and unchangeable. c. Lasts from ages 47 and is replaced with two other stages later. During this stage games only have one way they can be played. d. Stage two is the incipient cooperation stage which lasts from ages 710 and games become more social. e. The last stage is the autonomous cooperation stage which beings at age 10 and children now understand that games can be modified. 3. Social Learning Approaches to Morality a. Social learning approaches focus on how the environment in which preschoolers operate produces prosocial behavior, helping behavior that benefits others. b. Some prosocial behaviors come from positive reinforcement. c. Children also learn from observing others, called models. d. Can have a negative effect if they mimic a models bad behavior. e. Modeling paves the way for the development of more general rules and principles in a process called abstract modeling. 4. Genetic Approaches to Morality a. According to new and controversial date, children have a genetic predisposition to having generously or selfishly. b. It is unlikely that they gene mutation fully accounts for the child’s lack of generosity. 5. Empathy and Moral Behavior a. Empathy—the understanding of what another individual feels—is the heart of some moral behaviors. B. Aggression and Violence in Preschoolers: Sources and Consequences 1. Aggression is intentional injury or harm to another person. 2. Some aggression is addressed at obtaining a desired goal. 3. Extreme and sustained aggression is cause for concern. 4. A child’s personality and social development contributes to declines in aggression. 5. Emotional selfregulation is the capability to adjust emotions to a desired state and level of intensity. 6. Instrumental aggression is aggression motivated by the desire to obtain a concrete goal. 7. Girls are more likely to practice relational aggression, which is nonphysical aggression that is intended to hurt another person’s feelings. 8. The Roots of Aggression a. Some theorists suggest that it is an instinct and part of the human condition. b. Similar arguments are made by evolutionists and sociobiologists, scientists who consider the biological roots of social behavior. c. Aggression leads to increased opportunities to mate. 9. Social Learning Approaches to Aggression a. Emphasize social and environmental conditions teach aggression. b. Exposure to aggressive models will lead to aggression especially if observer is already angered, insulted, or frustrated. 10. Viewing Violence on TV: Does it Matter? a. The majority of preschool age children are exposed to aggression from the TV. b. Children programs contain 69% violence compared to the 57% in other programs. c. Watching violence or aggressive television leads to violent or aggressive behavior. d. Watching media violence leads to bullying, a readiness to act on aggression, and insensitivity to someone being subjected to violence. 11. Cognitive Approaches to Aggression: The Thoughts Behind Violence a. To understand what a preschooler’s moral development is like we have to examine the interrelations of other’s behavior and the context from the environment on that behavior.
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