Physical and Cognitive Dev in Early Childhood by jennyyingdi


									               Lifespan overheads, chapter 7: physical and cognitive development in early childhood   1

 Chapter 7: Physical & Cognitive Development in Early
                Childhood (ages 2 - 6)

Physical Development
Body growth: 2-3 inches and 5 lbs a year.
skeletal growth: 45 new epiphyses (growth centers where
cartilage hardens into bone) emerge in various parts of the
   By tend of preschool years, start to lose baby teeth.
      Girls start sooner than boys.

Brain development
brain increases from 70 to 90% of its adult weight.
Myelinization and pruning continue
   LH has a growth spurt between 3 and 6 years of age;
     RH develops slowly

  Lateralization and handedness: by age 2, hand preference
  is stable
      right handed people have language in the LH.
      For the 10% who are left handed, language may be
        in the RH, but is typically shared between the 2

   is handedness genetic? Apparently not! The way most
    fetuses lie - turned toward the left - may promote
    greater postural control by the right side of the body

   left or mixed-handedness is more frequent among
    severely retarded and mentally ill people

   most left handers are normal in every respect and are
    more likely to develop outstanding verbal and
    mathematical talents by adolescence.
             Lifespan overheads, chapter 7: physical and cognitive development in early childhood   2

The rest of the brain:

 the cerebellum, aiding in balance and body movement
  control, finishes myelinization by age 4, leading to big
  gains in motor control

 the reticular formation, aids in alertness and
  consciousness, myeliates throughout early childhood
  and into adolescence. This leads to improved ability for
  sustained, controlled attention

 the corpus callosum begins to myelinate at about 1 year
  old, and by age 4-5, it is well-myelinated, contributing to
  a more efficient brain

Influences on Physical Growth and Health

Heredity & Hormones:
 growth hormone (GH): necessary for physical
  development from birth on
 Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH): stimulates the
  thyroid gland to release thyroxine, necessary for normal
  development of the nerve cells of the brain and for GH
  to have its full impact on body size

Emotional well-being:
 stressful home lives  more respiratory and intestinal
  illnesses and unintentional injuries.

 deprivation dwarfism: very short stature, light weight
  relative to height, immature skeletal age, decreased GH
               Lifespan overheads, chapter 7: physical and cognitive development in early childhood   3

   Wariness of new foods is probably adaptive
   Repeated exposure to new food increases kids’
    acceptance of it.
   The tofu study: there is no need to sweeten or add salt
    to food to make kids eat it

  Infectious disease
   infectious disease and malnutrition: Poor diet
     suppresses the immune system, making kids more
     susceptible to disease.
     Disease, in turn, causes malnutrition ad hinders growth.

   Immunization:
      o Immunization rates in the US lag behind other
        industrialized nations
      o due to a lack of affordable health care plus
        misconceptions about the safety of immunization.

Childhood Injuries
the leading cause of death in children (40-50% of deaths in
early and middle childhood; 75% of deaths in adolescence).
    boys are more likely to be injured than girls
    temperament
    poverty and low parental education
    the US ranks among the highest in industrialized
      nations in childhood injury mortality
                Lifespan overheads, chapter 7: physical and cognitive development in early childhood   4

  Motor Development

  Gross motor development: as bodies get less top heavy
  and more streamlined, the center of gravity shifts
  downward, improving balance.
   by 2, walking is smooth and rhythmic, secure enough
    that they soon are able to run, hop, jump, skip, gallop
   arms and torsos get freed up, so they start learning new
    skills like throwing, catching, swinging on bars
   by 5-6, can steer & pedal a tricycle at the same time

  Fine motor development
   self-help skills: By 2-3, can use zippers, and put on and
    take off simple clothing. By 3-4, begin to fasten and
    unfasten large buttons, serve themselves food on their
    own. By 6, master tying their shoes

   Drawing and writing:
      o From scribbles to pictures: at first,
           around 18 months, art is gestural
           By 3, the scribbles become pictures.
           use lines to represent the boundaries of
           draw their first person around age 3 or 4,
             which typically looks like a tadpole

       o Early printing: young children of 3 or 4 copy
         printing, often beginning with their own name.

Individual differences in motor skills
   Taller, stronger kids move faster, acquire skills sooner.
   African American children tend to have superior
     performance running and jumping, due to longer limbs.
             Lifespan overheads, chapter 7: physical and cognitive development in early childhood   5

 Boys are slightly ahead of girls in skills that emphasize
  force and power
 Girls tend to be better in fine motor skills and gross
  motor skills that require good balance and foot
  movement, like hopping and skipping

Cognitive Development

Piaget’s preoperational stage: ↑ in symbolic activity.

 Language: Piaget believed that sensorimotor activity
  provides the foundation for language

 Make-believe play: Piaget believed that through
  pretending, young children practice and strengthen
  newly acquired representational schemes.

     o play becomes increasingly detached from the real-
       life conditions associated with it.

     o The way the child participates in play changes with
       age (from self-directed to acting on objects to
       objects as active agents)

     o gradually includes more complex scheme

     o By 2 ½, kids begin to combine schemes in
       sociodramatic play, make-believe with others.

     o Piaget saw make-believe as mere practice of
       representational schemes.

               Lifespan overheads, chapter 7: physical and cognitive development in early childhood   6

   Preschoolers who spend more time at sociodramatic
    play are advanced in general intellectual development
    and seen as more socially competent by their teachers.

   Make-believe play strengthens memory, logical
    reasoning, language, imagination, creativity, and the
    ability to take on another’s perspective.

Limitations of preoperational thought

   egocentrism: e.g. the three-mountain problem

   animistic thinking

   failure to conserve: due to several features of
    preoperational thinking:
       o centration
       o thinking is perception-bound
       o they focus on states rather than transformations
       o irreversibility

   lack of hierarchical classification: trouble with
    organizing objects into classes and subclasses
              Lifespan overheads, chapter 7: physical and cognitive development in early childhood   7

Recent research on preoperational thought

   egocentric, animistic, & magical thinking:

      o when researchers change the nature of the 3
        mountains problem, 4-year-olds show clear
        awareness of others’ vantage points.

      o Preschooler’s conversations show that they adapt
        their speech to listeners, and adjust their
        descriptions of objects to fit the context

      o Piaget overestimated children’s animistic beliefs

   illogical thought
       o When given a conversion of number task with only
          3 items instead of 6 or 7, preschoolers respond
       o can also reason by analogy

   categorization: as early as 1 ½ years old, kids have
    begun to form a variety of global categories

   Appearance versus reality: in certain situations,
    preschoolers are easily tricked by the outward
    appearance of things.
      o Flavell (1993; 1987)
               Lifespan overheads, chapter 7: physical and cognitive development in early childhood   8

Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory: stresses the social
context of cognitive development

   private speech: Piaget called this “egocentric speech”,
    and saw it as evidence that young children are unable
    to take the perspective of others.

   Vygotsky: kids talk to themselves for self-guidance and

   Vygotsky saw language as the foundation for all higher
    cognitive processes.

   As kids get older their self-directed speech gets
    internalized as silent inner speech

       o Private speech does go underground with age
       o kids who use private speech are more attentive
         and involved and do better

   social origins of early childhood cognition:
  In early childhood, verbal dialogues are important as
  adults and more skilled peers help children master
  challenging activities.
       o They do especially well in mastering tasks when
          the person helping them is either an “expert” peer
          or an adult

   education: a Vygotskian classroom promotes assisted
       o Make-believe play is the ideal social context for
         fostering cognitive development in early childhood
               Lifespan overheads, chapter 7: physical and cognitive development in early childhood   9

Information Processing: focuses on mental strategies that
children use to transform stimuli flowing into their mental

   attention: Sustained attention improves and becomes
    more planful throughout the preschool years.

   memory:
     o recognition and recall: preschoolers’ recognition
       memory is very good but recall is poor because
       they are not good at using memory strategies like
       rehearsal or organization.

       o memory for everyday experiences involves
         scripts: general descriptions of what occurs and
         when it occurs in a particular situation. As kids get
         older, scripts get more elaborate. Once a child has
         a script, it can be used to predict what will happen
         in similar situations in the future.

   young kids’ theory of mind (metacognition).
      o Awareness of an inner mental life: “think”,
        “remember”, and “pretend” are among the first
        verbs in kids’ vocabularies.
            2-3 year-olds think that people always
             behave in ways consistent with their desires.
            Between 3 and 4, they figure out that beliefs
             and desires determine behaviour
            by age 4 they get that people can hold false
             Lifespan overheads, chapter 7: physical and cognitive development in early childhood   10

     o Limitations to their theory of mind:
          believe that all events must be directly
            observed to be known
          unaware that people continue to think when
            they are not doing something

 Early childhood literacy:
    o believe that a single letter stands for a whole word
    o eventually figure out that letters are parts of words
       and are linked to sounds in systematic ways
    o storybook reading with caregivers is related to
       preschoolers’ language and reading readiness

 Young kids’ math reasoning:
    o in the 2nd year, kids develop a beginning grasp of
      ordinality: order relationships between quantities.
    o Soon they attach verbal labels to different
    o Between 2-3, they begin to count
    o by 3-4, they have established an accurate one-to-
      one correspondence between number words and
      the items they represent.
    o Between 4-5 they grasp cardinality: the last
      number in a counting sequence indicates the
      quantity of items in a set.
    o By late preschool years, they can count on and
      count down
               Lifespan overheads, chapter 7: physical and cognitive development in early childhood   11

Individual differences in mental development
Kids who develop well intellectually have:
   homes rich in toys and books;
   parents who are warm and affectionate,
   parents who stimulate language and academic
   parents who arrange outings to interesting places,
   parents who make reasonable demands for socially
     mature behaviour,
   parents who use reason to resolve conflicts instead of
     physical force and punishment

   preschool and child care
      o types of preschools:
            child-centered
            academic teacher-directed

       o 3-6 yr-olds in child-centered classes perceived
         their abilities to be higher, preferred challenging
         problems, were less likely to seek adult approval
         or worry about school.
       o 4 year olds in child-centered schools scored better
         on assessments of academic, language, motor,
         and social skills than kids in academic preschools

   Early intervention for at-risk preschoolers:
      o Project Head Start, begun in 1965
             score higher in IQ and school achievement in
              the 1st 2 years of school than controls.
             real-life school adjustment continued to be
              superior well into adolescence.
             less likely to be in special education or fail a
              grade; more graduated high school.
             better attitudes and motivation about school.
             Lifespan overheads, chapter 7: physical and cognitive development in early childhood   12

 childcare: What makes for high quality child care?
    o Group size, caregiver-to-child ratio, the caregiver’s
       educational preparation, the caregiver’s personal
       commitment to learning about and caring for

     o Spacious, well-equipped environments and
       activities that meet the needs and interests of
       preschool age kids

 educational TV: the average 2-6 year old watches 1 ½
  to 3 hours of TV a day.
           The more kids watch Sesame Street, the
            higher they score on tests; one study
            reported gains in academic achievement
            lasting into high school!

Language development

 vocabulary: learn about 5 new words a day, using fast
  mapping: connecting a new word with an underlying
  concept after only a brief encounter

     o Ellen Markman (1992): principle of mutual

     o rely on social cues to help understand words

     o start using words creatively to fill in for ones they
       haven’t yet learned.
            Lifespan overheads, chapter 7: physical and cognitive development in early childhood   13

 Grammar:

    o Between 2-3, simple sentences that follow a
      subject-verb-object order, even if asking a

    o additions (s for plural), prepositions (in or on),
      various tenses.

    o Overregularization by 3 or so

 conversation: must learn to engage in effective and
  appropriate communication with others - the
  pragmatics of language.

    o In early childhood kids already take turns

    o number of turns over which child can sustain a
      topic increases with age

    o By 4, kids know a lot about culturally accepted
      ways of adjusting their speech to fit the age, sex,
      and social status of their listeners

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