In-Class Discussion I
We have discussed physical/motor (Chapter 4), cognitive (Chapter 5), and socio-
emotional (Chapter 6) development in infancy and toddlerhood. Are there connections between
children’s development in of these domains or areas?
To answer this question, examine pages 290-291 of the Berk textbook. You will see a list
of developmental achievements in the physical, cognitive, linguistic, and socio-emotional
domains for each of four 6th-month periods between birth and 24 months. Examine the change in
each domain from one 6-month period (e.g., birth-6 months) to the next (e.g., 7-12
months). Become familiar with the changes going on in one of the three transitional periods
(Transition 1: 1st -2nd six month period, Transition 2: 2nd - 3rd six month period, Transition
3: 3rd - 4th six month period).
Then ask yourself, "do the changes in the transition period reflect one underlying process,
or is development in each domain independent of the others?"
On the one hand, stage theorists (Piaget, Freud, Erikson) would say that there is an
underlying connection between developments in different domains. They suppose that
development is a general process, which occurs across different domains at the same time.
On the other hand, Behaviorists (Skinner) and Ethologists/Nativists (Bowlby, Spelke,
Chomsky), and some Information Processing Psychologists would suggest that development in
different domains is relatively independently controlled. Although some domains may be
connected in limited ways, separate factors or processes are generally thought to underlie
development in different domains during infancy.
Still others would claim that systematic interactions between limited aspects of multiple
domains are possible. Dynamic Systems, some Information Processing, and Ecological
(Bronfenbrenner and Vygotsky) Psychologists would identify possible interactions between
some aspects of socio-emotional and cognitive development, socio-emotional and physical
development, and cognitive and socio-emotional development.
Where do you fall? Do you think that there is the kind of organization and coherence to
development in infancy such that all the developmental changes are interrelated, do you think
that autonomy and independence rules the day, or are you somewhere in the middle?
Come to class ready to discuss a transition period and your thoughts about it. Students
who examined the same transition period will share their thoughts about the nature and process
of that transition with each other and briefly present their discussions to the rest of the
class. Besides being a great way to study for the exam, involving yourself in this will be
rewarded with participation and attendance credit.