Childhood Introduction

Uploaded by aoberg799 on 04.07.2012

Week 3 Introduction Hi everyone!
Week 3 is a jammed pack week. We have three Chapters this week, all of which
are focused on early and middle childhood. Early childhood is our preschool years, and
middle childhood is elementary school years We will first learn about the physical development
that takes place in childhood and you will distinguish between fine versus gross motor
skills. We have talked about malnutrition in previous
chapters; here we will dive into the obesity epidemic and what contributes to the obesogenic
environment here in the U.S. Then, we will explore the brain development
and learn more about the value of our frontal lobes and cerebral cortex.
Brain development is always directly related to cognitive functioning. You will continue
to learn about the next stages of Piaget’s theory.
Piaget described early childhood as being a period of Preoperational thinking, which
is limited by egocentricism. Then children move into concrete operations,
which is more logical and adult-like, but still limited due to its rigidity or concrete
type nature. Another cognitive theory you will learn about
is Information Processing Theory, which likens the mind to computer processing. This theory
describes three stages of memory including Sensory, Short Term and Long Term.
Your book focuses on Short term memory also called working memory.
This theory suggests that cognitive development is continuous, or gradual, versus the qualitative
differences outlined in Piaget’s theory. It also highlights Executive functions, selective
attention, and inhibition. Children with ADHD struggle with these skills,
and the book makes some great recommendations on what we can do to increase their chances
of success in the classroom. Another aspect of cognitive psychology is
the continued language development that truly explodes in the preschool years.
You will learn some new vocabulary including phonemes, morphemes, mean length of utterance,
syntax, semantics, overextension, and underextensions. You may want to make up some note cards and
develop some mneumonics to help you remember this information.
You will also learn about autobiographical memories and strategies you can use to help
your child build their own personal memories. Then we will move on into children’s socioemotional
development. We will learn about how self-esteem develops.
Keep in mind that children enter into concrete operations so they can now make comparisons
of things across a number of dimensions. This carries over into how they compare themselves
to others and impacts their self-esteem. Specifically, self-esteem is impacted by their
assessment of their academic skills, physical skills, physical appearance, conduct, and
peer likeability. We will also visit internalizing and externalizing
behavior and how that is related to self-esteem, with children with internalizing personalities
being vulnerable to learned helplessness, and those with externalizing personalities
being vulnerable to inflated self-esteem. Then we will explore prosocial behavior, or
one’s willingness to help others. Interestingly, it is largely influenced by
genetics, but we can do things to promote this behavior such as using the induction
method of discipline. We will also learn about the role of sympathy
and empathy in our ability to help others. On the flip side, we will explore different
types of aggression including relationship, reactive, and instrumental. No surprise, there
are gender differences here. Then, we will explore different types of play
and the value of collaborative pretend play, which is one of my favorite aspects of Vygotsky’s
theory. We will explore some of the gender differences
in play. Finally, we will wrap up socioemotional development
by learning about friendships; why we choose friends, how we keep them, the benefits of
friendships, and the role they play in protecting us from bullying.
Chapter 7 will take us into some of the settings in which kids develop.
You can take a peek into the classroom and see what contributes to their academic success.
We will also learn about what type of parenting styles are best, and how different factors
influence what type of parenting style people use.
We will explore the effects of spanking and who may be more likely to use this approach.
Belsky offers some great guidelines to when and how it may be appropriate to use spanking
as a method of discipline. We will also look at the different types of
abuse children may face, and how they are impacted by divorce.
Finally, we will wrap up this week looking at different theories and measurements of
intelligence. It is a full week. I want you to think back
to your childhood to see how it relates to you.
I hope you enjoy this week, and as always let me know if you have questions.