Child development Essay

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Child development Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1921

  • Pages: 8

Child development

1. Understand the development and learning of babies and young children.

1.1 Explain the pattren of developments in the first three years of life and the skills typically acquired at each stage.

Babies and toddlers show amazing progress in all aspects of their development from birth to three years, considering they are born with simple reflexes and are quite helpless and dependent. It is essential to have a good understanding of the development stages in this group in order to support their development. The changes that occur in a child’s development in the first few years of life are truly remarkable. Practitoners note children’s development as they begin to smile, laugh, sit, crawl, babble and talk. Children begin to socialize and play cooperatively with other children. They acquire important skills to get along with others such as turn-taking, sharing and following instructions, as well as skills that will help them academically such as drawing, counting, reading, and writing.(REF:http://www.beststart.org/OnTrack_English/3-childrensdevelopment.html) Early child development usually follows a sequence, as the child needs to master one skill before he/she can acquire the next, but all children develop at their own rate. At times, a child may take a long time to master a new skill; at other times, he/she may seem to skip a skill in the expected sequence in his/hers speed of development. Through careful observation, assessment and communication with the child’s key worker, they can draw a clear picture of the child within their setting.

1.2 Explain:
How development and learning are interconnected
How and why variations occur in rate and sequence of development of learning That learning may take place in different ways
The importance of play

Development and learning are closely tied. Children need to develop certian skills in order for them to learn, but also the desire to learn something or achieve a goal can motivate a child to develop the necessary skills. A good example of this is walking, for a baby to begin to walk, a level of coordination and growth is required, but the baby must also have the desire to walk. during the process of learning to walk, the child will develop balance, strength in the legs, and improved coordination. Once the child can walk, a whole new world can be discovered as the child can now reach things and see things from an different level. Therefore, Learning to walk has improved both the child’s physical development, and his or her cognition. It is not fully understood why some children appear to learn faster than others, but it is thought that there both genetic and environmental factorsat play. Some children have learning difficulties that prevent them from learning in the same way – or at the same rate – as other children. The causes of learning difficulties vary and include chromosomal conditions, medical conditions and others that are not yeat understood, however, although the term ‘ learning difficulties’ is used, it does not mean that such children will have difficulties in learning in every area of their lives. So some children will learn some skills, for example the ability to draw or socialise, at the same rate as others. Some children are seen as ‘bright’ very early on. Adults may notice how quicky the remember things and how fast they are to learn new skills. For these children, it would seem that they are able to process information more quickly and effectively than other children of the same age.

This is thought to be linked to the presence of a stimulating environment combined with a strong genetic component. Children can learn in a variety of ways. They can copy adults and other children, they can also learn from thier own experiences as they will repeat activities that fascinate them or are enjoyable. Interestingly, most of what babies and toddlers will learn comes from ‘doing’ rather than being ‘taught’ by adults. As children can learn in variety of ways, it is important for us to provide them with a range of different opportunities and experiences. Play is essential for children’s development. through play, children can delelop a variety of skills that support every area of development. Good play opportunities allow children not only to have fun and to explore, but also to learn about materials, concepts and how to socialise. Play begins very early on in babies’ lives as long as they have an adult who can engage with them. As children grown an develop, they are able to choose and create their own play;

Physical – A range of physical skills, including fine and gross motor skills, are developed as children make movements, balance or sit in order to play with toys or engage in games with adluts. Cognitive – Children learn concepts and about the world around them by playing with materials, resources and learning by trial and error what things can do. Language – Play gives children a reason for taking and communicating. At first this is with adluts, but as children can play together, they talk to each other. Emotional – Play is fun. It makes children feel happy and also helps them to feel powerful and learn about feelings; when they engage in role play they also learn about different perspectives. Social – From playing with adults, babies learn social skills such as talkingturns and co-operating. They so learn to ‘read’ faces. With age and language skills. children also learn to play with other children.

1.3 Explain the potential effects on development, of pre-conceptual, pre-birth and birth experiences.

All babies and children show different rates of development,but some do so because of difficulties linked to experiences during conception, pregnancy and birth. We know that even before a baby is conceived, the lifestyle of the parents can have an effect on thier potential development. this is because men’s sperm and woman’s ova can be easily damaged. Parents are advised to think about stopping smoking, about taking folic acid supplements, cuttting down on alcohol and avoiding recreational drugs. They are also advised not to leave starting a family too late because not only does it become harder for a woman to conceive as they get older, but also the quality of a woman’s eggs can deteriorate over time.

Conception

At the moment of conception, when a sperm and egg fuse, a transfer of genetic information takes place. the fertilised eggs will have 23 chromosomes from the father and 23 chromosomes from the mother, which are used to determine its development. This is mixing of genetic information is often described as nature’s lottery, as some medical conditions and disabilities are the result ofthis genetic combination.

Pregnancy

Between conception and birth, babies can be affected by the health of their mother as well as her lifestyle choices. Stress, deit and alcohol are examples of factors that can affect development. It is now recognised that the first twelev weeks of pregnancy is when the foetus is at it’s most vulnerable. During this time the foetus becomes recognisably human and all the organs are formed.

Smoking

Smoking restricts the amount of oxygen the unborn baby is getting and affects the groth and development. Bbaies born to mothers who smoke are therefore more likely to be lighter at birth and also premature. Ther seems to be other long-lasting effects on health as well. These include a higher incidence of cot death and a greater predisposition to asthma. Substance abuse

the use of recreational and prescribed drugs can affect the developing foetus. Drugs enter the mother’s blood stream and the cross via the placenta into the baby. the effect of drugs can be devastating – especially in the first twelve weeks when the foetus is developing. Pregnant woman are therefore advised not to take any drugs during their pregnacy unless told to do so by a doctor.

Alcohol

Alcohol can enter the foetus’s blood stream in the same way that drugs can. Again this can have a serious impact, especially in the first few weeks of a pregnancy when sometimes mothers may not even know their pregnant but the baby is at a critical point of development. During the rest of the prgnancy alcohol can effect the development of the bay an so doctors advised mothers not to drink threw out their pregnancy. A specific condition known as Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, which is cuased by alcohol during pregnancy, has now been identifed. This condition negatively affects aspects of the children’s cognitive development including their concentration.

Infections

Some infections that a mother may pick up during pregnancy can affect the development of the foetus. The common cold is harmless, but food poisoning, rubella or sexually transmitted disease such as genital herpes can put the unborn baby at risk. Babies who have been exposed to rebella often have sight and hearing problems.

Maternal Health

Most women should have healthy pregnancies, but some woman can develop complications, including diabetes and pre-eclampsia (which can even be fatal). If left undereated, these conditions can affect the health of both mother and baby. This is why pregnant women are offered refu;ar antental check ups.

Maternal Diet

Diet is particularly important in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy when lack of a mineral called folic acid, found in green leafy vegetables, can cause spina bifida. Women who are consirdering a pregnancy are therfore urged to take supplements of 400mcg of folic acid daily untilthe twelfth week of their pregnancy. Pregnant woman can also become deficient in iron and so are encouraged to eat high in iron such as red meat, green vegetables, dried apircots and fortified breakfeast cereals.

The process of birth can present various dangers to both mother and child, which is why mothers are monitored before and during birth. Most women give birth vaginally but sometimes a Caesarean Section is given. This is when an incision of approximately 20cm is made across the lower abdomen and the baby is delivered through this opening; the mother is given an anaesthetic beforehand. A Caesarean may be planned in advance, for example when a woman is carrying triplets, or may have to be carried out at short notice if there are difficulties when giving birth. The main danger for babies during the birthing process is a lack of oxygen. During labour, the oxygen supply to the baby might be interrupted for several reasons, including the umbilical cord becoming entangled or the baby being slow to breathe at birth. In extreme cases anoxia can be fatal or leave the baby with permanent brian damage. It is important to emphasise. However, that this is relatively rare and most abies are born safely.

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Child development Essay

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Child development Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 674

  • Pages: 3

Child development

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED?

Body Changes
1. The study of human development is a science because it depends on theories, data, analysis, critical thinking, and sound methodology just like every other science. 2. The five steps of the scientific method are:

1) begin with curiosity
2) develop a hypothesis
3) test the hypothesis
4) draw conclusions
5) report the results.
3. The research on SIDS illustrates the replication and application of the science of child development by repeating the study and using different participants from other cultures. 4. Known:
– birth order did not matter
– other factors can increase the risk
-sleeping position mattered
-back sleeping reduced SIDS
Unknown:
– if its genetics.
– why it still occurs
5. Nature refers to the influence of the genes that people inherit. Nurture refers to environmental influences, beginning with the health and diet of the embryo’s mother and continuing lifelong, including family, school, culture, and society.

Brain Development
6.
7. Exaggeration of human sex differences is distortions that develop
mentalists seek to avoid. People tend to notice differences and jump to conclusion that something important is lacking. 8.
9.
10. People from several groups can share a culture because it is a system of shared beliefs, conventions, norms, behaviors, expectations and symbolic representations that persist over time; it is a powerful social construction. 11. The term race has been used to categorize people on the basis of physical differences, particularly outward appearance. The term ethnic groups are people whose ancestors were born in the same region and who often share a language, culture, and religion. 12. SES reflects family income, but not income alone. The education and occupation of the head of the household, or of both parents, and sometimes the average education or income of the other residents of the neighborhood, also used to determine SES.

Improved Motor Skills
13.
14.
15. The implied view of human development is an ongoing, ever changing interaction between the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial influence. The crucial understanding is that development is never static but is always affected by, and affects, many systems of development.

Injuries and Abuse

16. It is more accurate to consider the system of development rather than each part in isolation because just like the way the natural world changes over time, the human growth follows diverse patterns and paces.

17. Bronfenbrenner emphasize in his ecological systems approach that develop mentalists must consider all the systems that surround each person, just as a naturalist examines the ecology of each organism, considering the interrelationships between it and its environment. 18. All persons born within a few years of one another are said to be the same cohort. Members of each cohort are affected by the values, events, technologies, and culture of their era.

19. The biosocial development includes all the growth and change that occur in a person’s body and the genetic, nutritional, and health factors that affect that growth and change. The cognitive development includes all the mental processes that a person uses to obtain knowledge or to think about the environment. The psychosocial development includes development of emotions, temperament, and social skills.

20. Scientific observation requires researchers to record behavior systematically and objectively, using behavioral definitions and timed data. The experiment is the research method that scientists use to establish cause.

21. Experimenters use a control group as well as an experimental group to find out whether an independent variable affects the dependent variable.

22. Using independent and dependent variables make it easier to learn what causes what because the researcher can conclude how the independent variable caused whatever changes occurred in the dependent variable. 23.

24.
25.

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Child development Essay

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Child development Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 4237

  • Pages: 17

Child development

The following essay will examine factors that affect a child’s learning and development. All children are distinctive individuals and differ in pattern and timing of maturation, as well as individual personality, learning style, cultural and family background. Each child has its own varying strengths, weaknesses, specific needs and skills. The age of a child is an effective indicator to the sequence of stages of development; however, it is only an estimation of maturation, as the mentioned independent factors will differ from child to child.

The stages of development in children aged one to five years include the prenatal period, infancy, toddler stage, and early childhood and cover a plethora of progress in all areas of development. Expected changes in growth take place in all areas of development, particularly in the early years, and these include physical, intellectual, language, emotional, and social development. The first five years of life are crucial for expanding the foundations for learning and development. Research has shown that the developing child is learning to discover, communicate, and extend ideas about how things work.

The successful progress of these abilities and skills depend largely on a child’s early environment. Parents, teachers, and care providers promote development and learning when they provide experiences that build on and extend the child’s capabilities. However, it is clear from evidence on both sides of the argument that development and learning result from a contribution of both biological factors and environmental factors. Empiricists believe environmental influences shape learning and development, while nativists emphasise inborn, genetic characteristics influence development (Bee, 2006b).

Development could be described as an interactive relationship between the inherited qualities of an individual and the external environment. A child’s emotional and social development is shaped by internal influences, for example, a child may be inherently shy or outgoing, however the environment will also influence the child’s social and emotional development, such as successful first relationships, cultural values and how family and peers interact with the child, i. e. the child’s immediate social environment. Cognitive development could be influenced by internal factors.

Research has shown that teratogens (legal or illegal drugs), smoking, alcohol consumption can have adverse affects on cognitive development (Bee, 2006 a). A study by Monuteaux, (2006) shows the negative effects of smoking on the development of a child, and there is speculative study that maternal diet and smoking could be causal factors of ADHD (Bakker, 2003). Scarr (1983) summarises the internal and external influences on children’s development, “Both genes and environments are constituents in the developmental system, but they have different roles.

Genes direct the course of human experience, but experiential opportunities are also necessary for development to occur” (Scarr, 1983, pp. 433). It is interesting to consider cognitive development in children and the subsequent affect on learning and behaviour. Piaget was an influential Swiss psychologist who researched cognitive development. Piaget believes cognitive development transpires through a combination of direct experience from one’s environment and an instinctive structure of biological maturation.

Piaget suggested individuals are born with intellect to serve as a basic function that assists adaptation to their environment (Shaffer, 1989). His theory proposes that development proceeds through a set of four stages from infancy to adulthood. Piaget believed that the first stage of cognitive development is the sensorimotor stage; this occurs in the first two years of a child’s life and involves infants using motor skills and all the senses, sight, smell, touch etc to explore and gain an understanding of the environment.

Preoperational stage progresses from the sensorimotor stage and includes the use of language to understand the environment, images and symbols are also used to represent the environment; this is from two to seven years of age. Piaget believed language is egocentric at this stage. The next stage is termed concrete operations and children begin to use logical thought processes to further their understanding and occurs from ages seven to eleven. Formal Operation is the last stage Piaget believes takes place in cognitive development and it involves the ability to use abstract thought processes.

This is from eleven onwards (Shaffer, 1989). The central idea of Piaget’s cognitive theory is the attainment of schemas, and further assimilation and accommodation of these schemas constantly return the child to a state of equilibrium. A schema is any thought or object that one may have experienced and is then organised to aid coherence. Assimilation is the process of adding new information to enhance the understanding of an existing schema, and thus producing a new schema.

Accommodation is the adjustment of an existing schema in order to include new information. Equilibration is the term Piaget uses to describe the balance a child reaches when it satisfied with a schema, new information places the child in a state of disequilibrium or imbalance, until, assimilation and accommodation allow equilibration to take place. As with all theories, Piaget was criticised for placing too much emphasis on environment and not considering social interaction as an impacting force (Cohen, 1993).

It has also been suggested that children appear to have existing understanding of basic principles, e. g. a study by Gibson and Walk, used a ‘visual cliff’ where a checkerboard pattern continued several feet below a glass table. The test showed that infants as young as 5 months were able to perceive depth, and would not proceed when they reached the end of the ‘cliff’ (Bee, 2006b). This shows that many foundations of cognitive ability are already present and further learning will increase cognitive development.

Vygotsky is another central figure in the domain of constructivist theory; however, he differs from Piaget in that Vygotsky places more emphasis on social learning and its effect on cognitive development. His theory focuses on a term he called ‘zone of proximal development’ and defined it as “the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers” (Vygotsky, 1978, p.

86). Vygotsky believed that learning takes place in this zone. The idea of ZPD suggests that cognitive development is established by social learning with capable peers or adults and cooperative analytical skills. In contrast to Piaget, Vygotsky stated that development was an intricate lifelong process that could not be defined into stages, but instead is to be examined as a means of development rather than an end. Vygotsky’s theory reflects correlation between learning and development.

Newborn children are constantly learning from their experiences and they form understanding from theses experiences, Vygotsky, believes this learning is directly linked to sociocultural perspective. As they grow older, infants readily learn from observation and cooperative learning with peers and adults (Moyles, Miller) The psychodynamic approach addresses children’s learning by focusing on internal mechanisms, such as instincts, conflicts and unconscious forces. A familiar idea of this theory is that unconscious as well as conscious forces regulate behaviour.

Freud suggested three intuitive drives for survival, the sexual drive to reproduce the human race, hunger and pain trigger the instinct to preserve one’s life and aggressive drives are the third force. Freud’s theory is criticised on many accounts, mostly that he suggests the main underlying cause of problems are sexually related, and secondly it is scientifically difficult to measure the hidden unconscious of a being. Freud’s theory implies that children learn behaviour through the progress of three stages.

The newborn and infant are driven by what he termed the id; this is an inborn instinct, which demands instant gratification. As the child grows older, it learns that it cannot achieve instant gratification all the time, and the ego develops as an intermediary pacifier, which takes social contexts into consideration and delays gratification. The superego is the higher form of moral reasoning and is often considered as a parental restrictor, this last stage develops much later in development (Bee, 2006b).

It can be seen how Freud’s theory affects social and emotional development and behaviour in the first five years, as most children at this age are controlled by the id and the developing ego. Erikson’s theory is often viewed as an extension of Freud’s psychosexual theory of Development. Erikson suggests that development progresses over a lifespan and he portrays this in his theory of the eight stages of psychosocial development. His theory proposes that each stage has a conflict within it that must be resolved before proceeding to the next stage; each stage presents the opportunity for success or failure.

The first three stages are relevant in the first five years of a child’s life and include emotional, social and cognitive development on behaviour acquisition. The first stage is trust versus mistrust and takes place in the period of the first two years of infancy; this stage propounds an emotional crisis in which the child must successfully develop trust and security and emotional well-being. If the care provider does not reciprocate emotional care positively the child becomes mistrustful.

Once the child has learned trust, it advances to the next stage of autonomy versus shame, and approximately takes place in early childhood. This stage concentrates on the child’s ability to develop confidence and a sense of independence. Children at this age (approximately two to four years) begin to manage small parts of their lives, and Erikson suggests toilet training is a huge feat in establishing independence in a child. It also consists of decision-making and choice over things like food, clothes etc, if a child is unsuccessful in this stage then it leads to shame and a feeling of inadequacy.

The third stage occurs from about three to five years of age, and incorporates the child’s ability to play and develop social skills of leadership or subordination, power and a sense of self. If the child cannot overcome the crisis then inhibition, fear and a prolonged development are the result. The successful child proceeds to the next stage and so forth (Brain 2005) The humanistic perspective argues that behaviour is subjective as individuals determine and control their own thoughts and actions.

Maslow hypothesised a hierarchy of need, in which each level of the hierarchy had to be satisfied before the human need moved on to the next level. For example, according to Maslow’s hierarchy it is not perceived that an individual would desire the comfort of a spouse or children, if basic physiological needs such as food and water were not satisfied (Bee 2006a). Children develop and learn most productively in the environment of a community where they are safe and valued, and their emotional and physiological needs fulfilled.

If physical nourishment is transpiring then Maslow’s theory depicts emotional well-being as an important factor, certainly all aspects of development are influenced by successfully accomplishing positive first relationships. This provides the constructive foundation for effective social and emotional development, which will inadvertently affect cognitive development as well. Skinner constructed a theory he termed operant conditioning, and based it on the notion that learning is a means of behaviour modification.

His experiments show how he conditioned rats to pull a lever to release food, the incentive for the rats was the food and the required behaviour was pulling the lever. The theory illustrates that changes in behaviour are the consequences of an individual’s reaction to incentives that occur in any given environment; subsequently the reaction will produce an outcome. When a specific response is reinforced, behaviour is conditioned, and the individual will respond to a stimulus to achieve its incentive; the result will be consistent each time.

The crucial aspect of Skinner’s model is reinforcement, a particular behaviour can be acquired through reward, and certain behaviours prevented through punishment (Brain, 2005). Skinner’s theory belongs to the Behaviourist approach and is effective in explaining some of the causes and modifications of behaviour; it is often used in schools to elicit particular behaviours from children (usually in the form of sweets or stickers). Social learning theory clarifies behaviour in terms of consistent equal correlation between cognitive, behavioural, and environmental influences.

Social learning theory has four main components, attention, retention, motor reproduction and motivation, which cover physical, cognitive and behavioural development. Attention requires concentration so that the events are observed accurately. Retention includes the intellectual organization of information in order to store it effectively in the memory and remember the correct processes of events. Motor reproduction includes the physical ability to imitate the behaviour, for example, a human is not physically able to fly like superman.

Motivation involves the child to be willing and motivated to imitate the behaviour. The observed consequences of a particular behaviour (whether punished or rewarded) may influence a child’s decision to imitate or not, Bandura called this modeling (Brain 205) One of the famous experiments conducted by Albert Bandura, known as the ‘Bobo doll’ experiment revealed that children imitated aggressive physical and verbal behaviour towards the dolls, exactly as they had observed, whereas the children who observed non-aggressive behaviour displayed practically no aggressive behaviour (Shaffer, 1989).

Bandura suggests that social behaviour is learned primarily by observing and imitating the actions of others. Children are often observed imitating adults in role-play. Punishment and reward are also influences on behavioural development as mentioned in Skinner’s theory, for example, a child may observe a peer being rewarded with a sticker for tidying up and then learn that to obtain a sticker s/he must also tidy up.

This theory facilitates an understanding of how behaviour is acquired and how it may be modified. John Bowlby developed attachment theory and he suggested that first relationships are the basis for young children’s development, predominantly their social and emotional development. Bowlby (1979: 129) states “… attachment behaviour is held to characterize human beings from the cradle to the grave”; much of Bowlby’s work was on the maternal bond that develops with a child.

He believed that the connection between mother and child, or caregiver and child has a basic gentle and evolutionary basis, in order for the child to receive appropriate care, protection and nourishment; it has a tendency to maintain nearness to the main caregiver. Bowlby maintained that a child displays attachment behaviour when separated from the main care provider, first as protest, then despair and finally as detachment. First relationships can be summarised as “a deeply rooted motivational system that ensures close contact between babies and adult caregivers who can protect, nurture, and guide their development” (Shonkoff, 2000, p 230).

Bowlby expanded and utilised various research to support his theory, one of his early works included research on delinquent adolescents and discovered maternal deprivation to be a recurring matter. Michael Rutter (1981) criticized Bowlby’s theory, and suggested that early experiences cannot be held as direct underlying causes for later emotional distress, Rutter believed it is more significant how children are looked after in the period of severance not the actual severance itself (Cowie, 2002).

Bowlby introduced three stages of attachment, during the first pre-attachment phase (0-2 months) babies do not develop a particular attachment, and are content to be cared for by anyone. In the second phase (2-7 months) babies show a firm attachment to the main caregiver and cling to this figure when in the presence of a stranger, Bowlby termed this ‘stranger fear’. The last phase is around two years of age and is labelled separation anxiety, the infant is confident to move away from the main caregiver provided they

remain physically present for the child to return to Brain (2005). Bowlby suggested that constant loving care and nurturing was essential during the crucial phase between approximately 6 months and 3 years of age, maternal deprivation or separation from the primary caregiver would result in considerable detrimental effects on social and emotional development of the child (Cowie, 2002). Harlow and Harlow’s famous experiment on Rhesus monkeys provided support to Bowlby’s theory (Bowlby, 1973).

In these experiments, young monkeys were separated from their mother shortly after birth. Two wire monkeys were substituted as artificial surrogate mothers. The first monkey was made of wire mesh and provided food; however, the second monkey was covered with foam and cloth and only provided comfort. The young monkeys nursed at the wire monkey but sought contact with the cloth monkey. The experiment showed that infants need a mother’s love and comfort, and it proved that infants prefer proximity and comfort from a mother, rather than just using the mother for nourishment.

The young monkeys clutched to the soft cloth doll and explored more when in the presence of the soft cloth doll, and the doll seemed to provide them with a sense of security. Infants reared without normal social interaction with other monkeys, displayed either fearful or aggressive behaviour and the effects were apparent from two years of age, well into adulthood (Brain 2005). The experiment portrayed the importance of warmth, love and comfort that a nurturing mother or primary carer provides is essential for intellectual, social and emotional development.

Mary Ainsworth’s research was based on an experiment to observe attachment behaviour between a child and the primary caregiver (usually the mother) the experiment is known as the strange situation. The procedure involves a child playing in a room, meanwhile the caregiver and stranger alternately enter and leave the room, the child’s play behaviour and responses to caregiver and stranger are observed. The experiment placed children in four categories of attachment, secure, insecure-avoidant, insecure-resistant and disorganized.

Attachment theorists are realizing that children differ from birth, but individual personalities and development are influenced by social experience, environment, and the attachment relationship is affected by the characteristics of both child and caregiver (Parkes, 1993) Cultural differences in child-rearing practices have various implications and meanings across cultures. Culture defines a set of beliefs and patterns of behaviour; this can be in a social, religious, societal or ethnic context.

Culture clearly has an influence on the development of children, Edwards and Gandini (1989) point out that culture organises and translates children’s behaviour and development (Hinde, 1993). “To understand development we must come to terms with the ways in which individuals, in developing their own self-concepts and participating in social relationships, both shape and are shaped by their social and cultural environment” (Hinde, 1993). In a research paper Reebye, (2006) found various studies on cultural differences in child rearing and the impact this had on child development.

Chen et al. (1998) studied reticent behaviour in Chinese and Canadian children and the child-rearing attitudes of the relative mothers. The results showed that Chinese babies were significantly more withdrawn and shy than their Canadian counterparts, and the underlying cause of this behaviour difference lay in parental styles and attitudes. Taciturn behaviour was positively associated with the Chinese mother’s approval, whereas the Canadian mothers negatively received it, which implies a variation of the connotation of behaviour inhibition across both cultures (Reebye, 2006).

Another example Reebye (2006) presents is a study conducted by Marcovitchet al (1997) which assessed the development, attachment and behavioural problems in adopted Romanian orphans between three to five years of age. The study revealed that children who had spent less time I institutional car displayed better development outcomes and more securely attached compared to the group of children who had spent more than six months in institutional care. The latter group were insecurely attached and scored less on development outcomes.

The disadvantage of cross-cultural studies is the limitations of the range of studies in measuring attitudes, beliefs, cultural practices etc. Reebye (2006) continues to describe the importance of relationship development and its effects on affective, cognitive, social development and moral and ethical attitudes. Child-rearing practices and attachment directly influence these developmental factors, and it is important to remember that parenting practices are in turn influenced by social and cultural traditions.

”The factors such as parental intuition, parental attitudes, attributions and beliefs, learned parenting skills, accepted cultural and societal parenting norms, family factors, and environmental factors such as extended family support, poverty or unemployment – are the most influential ones. Each of these or all collectively, can be considered from a cross-cultural perspective. ” (Reebye 2006). In today’s modern and often changing world, many cultures also change and adapt, from generation to generation.

Changes in societal norms, immigration and such alike affect child-rearing practice considerably, such single parenting is a common family structure, yet in the Victorian times was extremely rare and frowned upon, other changes include inter-racial adoptions, parenting by same sex couples, use of surrogate mothers etc. It can be suggested that children’s social, emotional and cognitive development is indisputably influenced by environmental factors, genetic compositions, attachment and first relationship, cultural traditions and this is reflected in their unique personalities and behaviour.

“In general, there is a need to understand multiple outcomes of child development (cognitive, physical, social, and emotional) within the context of multiple factors (social, economic, cultural, and community-level)” (The National Institute of Health, 2006). The first five years are important to understand the influences and causal links of child development in the early years. This may facilitate children’s well-being and ensure that government policies regarding children are reflective of child development needs, in particular families living in poverty or deprived areas.

For example, quality of schools and education will affect cognitive development, and racial, gender, and religious integration will have positive effects on social development. It can be inferred that positive emotional development underpins all other areas of development, and if emotional development is defective then it will be replicated across other areas of development. In essence, all areas of development are interwoven and interdependent. The first five years are crucial for positive development, basic needs such as

food, sleep and safety ensures good physical development, providing love, comfort and positive first relationships and attachments is essential to assist emotional development, which will also helps social development, and the correct stimulation and interaction ensures healthy cognitive development. REFERENCES Bakker, S. C. Van Der Meulen, E. M. Buitelaar, J. K. Sandkuijl, L. A. Pauls, D. L. Monsuur, A. J. Vant Slot, R. Minderaa. R. B. Gunning, W. B. Pearson, P. L. Sinke, R. J.

(2003) “A Whole-Genome Scan in 164 Dutch Sib Pairs with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Suggestive Evidence for Linkage on Chromosomes 7p and 15q” American Journal of Human Genetics, Vol. 72, pp. 1251-1260 Bee, H. (2006a) Lifespan Development, Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc Bee, H. (2006b) The Developing Child, Boston, MA: Parson Education, Inc Bowlby, J. (1973) Separation: Anxiety & Anger. Vol. 2 of Attachment and loss London: Hogarth Press; New York: Basic Books; Harmondsworth: Penguin Brain, C and Mukherjee, P.

(2005) Understanding Child Psychology, Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes Ltd Cohen, D. (1993) The Development of Play, 2nd edition. London: Routledge Cowie, H. (2002) ‘Child Care and Attachment’ in Barnes, P (Ed), Personal, Social and Emotional Development of Children Milton Keynes: Blackwell Publishers Ltd Hinde, R and Hinde, J. (1993) ‘Perspectives on Attachment’ in Parkes, C. M. (Editor), Attachment Across the Life Cycle, Florence, KY, USA: Routledge http://site. ebrary. com/lib/uclan Monuteaux, M. C. Blacker, D. Biederman, J. Fitzmaurice, G and Buka, S. L.

(2006) “Maternal smoking during pregnancy and offspring overt and covert conduct problems: a longitudinal study” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Vol. 47, No. 9, pp. 883–890 National Institute of Health. (2006) The science and Ecology Of Early Development (SEED), http://grants. nih. gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-04-113. html Reebye, P. N, Ross. S. E and Jamieson. K (2006) A Literature review of the child-Parent/ Caregiver attachment theory and Cross-Cultural Practices influencing attachment, www. attachmentacrosscultures. org/research/#1: accessed on 19/12/2006 Scarr, S.

, & K. McCartney. (1983) ‘How people make their own environments: A theory of genotype-environment effects’, Child Development, Vol. 54, pp 425-35. Shaffer, D. R. (1989) Developmental Psychology, Childhood and Adolescence, 2nd Edition, California: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company. Shonkoff, J. P. (2000) From Neurons to Neighbourhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development. Washington, DC, USA: National Academy Press, http://site. ebrary. com/lib/uclan/ Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind and society: The development of higher mental processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 775

  • Pages: 3

Child development

Life Course: Growing Up in Hard Times tions about the nature of human beings—questions that would become central to the study of child development. Are the qualities, behavior, and ideas that define what it means to be human inborn or acquired, or both? How important is social contact during the formative years? Can its lack be overcome? A study of a child who had grown up in isolation might provide evidence of the relative impact of “nature” (inborn characteristics) and “nurture” (upbringing, schooling, and other societal influences).

After initial observation, the boy, who came to be called Victor, was sent to a school for deaf-mutes in Paris. There, he was turned over to Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard, an ambitious 26-year-old practitioner of the emerging science of “mental medicine,” or psychiatry. Itard believed that Victor’s development had been limited by isolation and that he simply needed to be taught the skills that children in civilized society normally acquire. Itard took Victor into his home and, during the next five years, gradually “tamed” him.

Itard first awakened his pupil’s ability to discriminate sensory experience through hot *Sources of information about the wild boy of Aveyron were Frith (1989) and Lane (1976). baths and dry rubs. He then moved on to painstaking, step-by-step training of emotional responses and instruction in moral and social behavior, language, and thought. The methods Itard used—based on principles of imitation, conditioning, and behavioral modification, all of which we discuss in Chapter 2—were far ahead of their time, and he invented many teaching devices used today.

But the education of Victor (which was dramatized in Francois Truffaut’s film The Wild Child ) was not an unqualified success. The boy did make remarkable progress: he learned the names of many objects and could read and write simple sentences; he could express desires, obey commands, and exchange ideas. He showed affection, especially for Itard’s housekeeper, Madame Guerin, as well as such emotions as pride, shame, remorse, and the desire to please. However, aside from uttering some vowel and consonant sounds, he never learned to speak.

Furthermore, he remained totally focused on his own wants and needs and never seemed to lose his yearning “for the freedom of the open country and his indifference to most of the pleasures of social life” (Lane, 1976, p. 160). When the study ended, Victor—no longer able to fend for himself, as he had done in the wild—went to live with Madame Guerin until his death in his early forties in 1828. I I I I I Why did Victor fail to fulfill Itard’s hopes for him?

The boy may have been a victim of brain damage, autism (a brain disorder involving lack of social responsiveness), or severe early maltreatment. Itard’s instructional methods, advanced as they were, may have been inadequate. Itard himself came to believe that the effects of long isolation could not be fully overcome, and that Victor may have been too old, especially for language learning. Although Victor’s story does not yield definitive answers to the questions Itard set out to explore, it is important because it was one of the first systematic attempts to study child development.

Since Victor’s time we have learned much about how children develop, but developmental scientists are still investigating such fundamental questions as the relative importance of nature and nurture and how they work together. Victor’s story dramatizes the challenges and complexities of the scientific study of child development—the study on which you are about to embark. In this chapter, we describe how the field of child development has itself developed as scientists have learned more about infants, children, and adolescents. We present the goals and basic concepts of the field today.

We identify aspects of development and show how they interrelate. We summarize major developments during each period of a child’s life. We look at influences on development and the contexts in which it occurs. After you have read and studied this chapter, you should be able to answer each of the Guidepost questions on page 7. Look for them again in the margins, where they point to important concepts throughout the chapter. To check your understanding of these Guideposts, review the end-of-chapter summary. Checkpoints located at periodic spots throughout the chapter will help you verify your understanding of what you have read.

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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1234

  • Pages: 5

Child Development

The Montessori method of education is one of the very unusual approaches of educating young children that has been based on the experiences and research of educator and physician Maria Montessori (1870–1952). The method basically arose from what Dr. Montessori’s discovered and named it the “the child’s normal nature” back in 1907 (Montessori, 1972). This happened during one of her experimental observations with young children who had been given the freedom they need d in an environment that was fully prepared with all the materials and was specifically designed to support their self-directed learning experiences (Montessori, 1977).

Factor generating an amazing child

Law of Will

A child’s development of will has been regarded as one of the laws of development as per Montessori’s observations. She herself has clearly indicated how she observed this development of a child’s will. When a child does any action just by himself, without having any form of assistance, this clearly signifies the fact the child is consciously making decisions. In this regard therefore, the will should be treated as a form of strength that mainly comes to the light of consciousness (Montessori, 1972). Will however is not a strength that is possessed by the child at birth; it is rather in potential. It is one of the slow processes of development that is brought into effect through continuous interactions within the surrounding environment. Since it is the nature that brings into consciousness this kind of force, the development of a child’s will helps him to greatly develop the power that he has been given by nature (Montessori, 1988).

Law of Intelligence

According to Montessori, this happens to be the key that opens the necessary mechanisms involved in true education. This law states that intelligence just helps a child to better understand life; it thus prepares a child for future education (Montessori, 1977). The Montessori thus argued that if the environment was well prepared, this would greatly help the child to interact effectively with his environment and to construct his mind. Intellectual development is important as it helps a child to know as well as explore the environment. Through the developing senses, a child is endowed with the necessary mechanism of interacting with the environment (Montessori, 1972).

Montessori Philosophy of education

Maria Montessori early on in the 20th century had the intuition that even before a child is of age 3, various functions in that child are constantly being created in a psychic process and only after 3 that they develop. Montessori thus strongly believed that it is the natural laws that govern the development of any child. She thus assumed that as a child hits three years old, all of the unconscious preparation needed for future activity and development has already been established. One of the child’s unconscious goals is the development of mental functions. It should however be noted that these kind of natural laws which basically govern the psychic growth of the child are revealed through his developmental process (Montessori, 1972).

Maria Montessori was able to discover just by observing children the phenomenon of what she called sensitive periods of an absorbent mind as well as natural laws that governs the physic development of children.

She thus named these kind of natural laws: 1 natural law of independence, 2) natural law of work, 3) natural law of will, 5) natural law of attention, 4) natural law of intelligence, 6) natural law of creativity and imagination, 7) the 4 planes of growth and 8 natural law of spiritual and emotional life) (Montessori, 1988).

With this kind of realization, Montessori was determined to see that the education system gained a new goal: and this is to make sure that the child was assisted by the teachers and directors to turn out into a human being that he or she was created to be (Montessori, 1972). She argued that, the only way to be bale to help a child is if we know the Nature of the child, since then we are in a good position to help him to fully develop all of his inner powers so that he can grow from being a helpless creature into a responsible mature citizen. This approach by Montessori thus values the believe that a child’s main goal since birth is to just but develop all of his potentials according to a certain physic pattern that he does possess even before his birth (Montessori, 1977).

In real practice, Montessori method has only been applied with some kind of varying degrees of strict adherence to the main philosophies, though it is generally agreed that they all somehow subscribe to some of her writings (Polk and Montessori, 1988). The result has been that there are some people who strictly adhere to either one of these philosophies, while there have been another group that have seen it wise to develop a unique concepts all based on interpretation of her philosophies and writings. There are thus several concepts that are now widely accepted by several practitioners and which are said to be consistent with the teachings of Montessori method. These concepts have been developed from different laws (Montessori, 1972).

Montessori fundamentals and intuitions

The application of this method requires that the teacher views the child as a being having a kind of inner natural inherent guidance for her or his own self-directed development which in reality is the only perfect method according to Montessori (Montessori, 1988). The major role of the director, teacher, directress, or guide is basically therefore to watch over the child’s environment and make sure that it has no obstacles that might interfere with the natural and perfect development of the child (Montessori, 1977). Part of the role of the teacher might also include experimental interactions with the children under his or her care, and this is what Montessori referrers to as “lessons,” with the aim of resolving wrong behavior or maybe to demonstrate to the children how they are supposed to make use of the self-teaching materials (Montessori, 1972).

Due to the child’s unique sensitivity and instincts to various conditions in the environment, this method has only been recommended to be applied to young children (2-6). Though this be the case, the method has in some instances also been applied to elementary age (6–12) school going children and at other times with toddlers and infants. Though with less frequency, the method is also applicable to high and middle school level students (Montessori, 1977).

Conclusion

To be able to develop themselves fully, children need a special inner tutor which Montessori referred to as absorbent mind and sensitive period. The natural laws that govern the child normal psychic developments are revealed during his development. This philosophy by Montessori Method has however remained confused and obscure since many claim that her 1907 discovery was purely accidental. The result of the criticism and questioning of her method has resulted to Montessori philosophies and organizations expanding considerably with three main philosophies thus developing.

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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 490

  • Pages: 2

Child Development

When I come to the class room, the first thing I do is organize the materials that are needed for my classroom and place them into two groups that will be made up of learning arrangements and the organizing arrangements. This before the children arrives every morning. As for the organizing part I will make sure all the toys are in the right places and that there is nothing broken. The second thing I do is set up the signing they right places and that there is nothing broken.

The second thing I do is set up the signing sheet so therefore when the children come in to the classroom every morning they can sign in. I provide the children with all the things needed for the small and large group materials. I will label them with colors, names, shapes, and numbers. The third thing I prepare the learning expectations for them as well. Within preparing the learning expectations I will do the lesson plan and print out the daily schedule and the children’s names. Lastly I check to see that all the classrooms are organized well and clean, so that children have a clean environment to progress.

Frequently I post simple classroom rules for the children to follow the routine. Alongside that I add pictures to guide them; such as inside voices, walking feet, and to clean up after themselves, to teach them independent skills. Me and the teacher work together to create a lesson plan, finish any paperwork, and to do the child assessment. In addition to that every morning we do the meal count, health check, prepare activities, arrange and maintain the classroom environment and by the end of the week we hand in the meal counts and health checks.

To ensure a well-run purposeful program I make it a personal goal to develop a wonderful relationship with co-workers, bus drivers, teachers, visiting advocates, and everyone that visits the classroom. I believe this is a great way to guarantee a successful learning environment for everyone. To get to know the parents more and involve the needs they have for their children so I ride the bus with children sometimes. I also make sure that the children get home safe.

To achieve a well-run environment everyone has to have one goal in mind, which is to keep children’s best interests in mind. My responsibility as a teacher to establish an open, trusting relationship with the parents of the children in my care, so that the parents can freely communicate their thoughts, concerns or suggestions about their child or the program. I have commonly been labeled as approachable and kind. In our program helps the parents to support the economic and cultural background of the family involved.

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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 605

  • Pages: 2

Child Development

Purpose of the course:

The course meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:45 to 10:00 in Mayborn 105. My office hours are Wednesdays from 10-12 and nearly anytime by appointment in Hobbs 217a. The course is about experimental methods of research on child development. It is designed for students concentrating in child development, cognitive studies, or psychology. The prerequisites include at least one course about child development and at least one course about statistics. The course is built around empirical articles about child development (many of the articles are “classics” that you may have read about in your other courses) and around readings about statistics & research methods.

The main purpose of the course is to bring to life the basic elements of experimental approaches to psychological science in the context of child development research. To accomplish this we will read chapters about statistics and research methods. These concepts will be anchored to child development by applying them to classic (and recent) research reports, by applying them to hands-on experiences of designing and implementing data collection protocols, and by applying them to the entire research process by writing a research proposal.

Requirements:

1. Come to class and participate. This will count 5% of your final course grade. I hope everyone receives the entire amount of credit. I’ll distribute an attendance list at the start of each class. It is fine to miss two classes. If you need to miss, please email me the day before. As for participating in class – it is a good thing for students to ask & answer questions in class. Sometimes I’ll ask people to hold on to their questions and ask me after class, so I can continue with the lecture. 2. Midterm exam. This is the only test in the course and will count 40% of your final course grade. It is a “concept mastery” test. You will be expected to define, explain, and apply the statistical concepts and the research design concepts to the empirical papers that we have read up to that point.

It involves teaming-up with classmates in order to identify a classic research study, to design dependent variables and independent variables based on that study, create an observation sheet, and observe a few children. Then students should, individually, summarize what you observed in a table, and report your observations within a scientific style format. It will count 15% of the your final course grade. 3. Term paper in lieu of a final exam. This is to be a 12-20 page paper roughly following the format of an NIH research proposal. It will count 40% of your final course grade. 4. Letter grades: Excellent or outstanding work will receive a grade of “A” or “A-“.

Good or very good work will receive a grade of “B+” or “B”. or “B-“. Work that minimally fulfills the assignments will receive a grade of “C”, and work that does not fulfill the assignment will receive a grade of “D” or “F”. The Vanderbilt Honor Code: I strongly encourage students to brainstorm together, to study together, and to team up to prepare for tests together. However, all written work should be your own. Tests are to be taken on the scheduled day and assignments are due on the scheduled day. I will make exceptions for documented medical emergencies, family emergencies, and participation in official Vanderbilt events.

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  • University/College:
    University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 2587

  • Pages: 10

Child Development

Montessori believed in a necessary relationship between children and their environment. Children must find a properly prepared environment if they are to fully develop their unique human potentials. In addition to determining children’s eventual height, hair color, and other physical characteristics, there is another cognitive plan which determines the unique emotional and intellectual qualities of each child. These qualities develop through what Montessori referred to as “the sensitive periods.”Each sensitive period is a specific kind of compulsion, motivating young children to seek objects and relationships in their environment with which to fulfill their special and unique inner potentials..Montessori believed that children will develop to their full human potential when everything in the environment is “just right.” Everything Food, furniture, learning activities, social relations, clothing, routines, and rituals must all be “just right” in order for them to develop their fullest potential as human beings.

Young children are neither consciously aware of nor capable of directly communicating their interests and developmental needs. In Montessori Early Childhood programs, teachers are charged with providing learning environments in which everything is “just right.” For almost one hundred years, Montessori educators have observed a set of motivations shared by young children around the world. What Dr. Maria Montessori discovered in the St. Lorenz Quarter in 1907 was that children are self-motivated to learn from their environment. Borrowing a term from biology, she called these stages the sensitive periods, after similar developmental stages in animals. The idea seemed revolutionary at the time, and took many years, following Piaget’s extensions of Montessori’s initial explanation, to become generally accepted in child psychology. Today, whether we use Montessori’s terminology or not, the description of child development she first presented at the turn of the century rings true.

Each sensitive period is:

A period of special sensibility and psychological attitudes.

An overpowering force, interest, or impetus directing children to particular qualities and elements in the environment.

A period of time during which children center their attention on specific aspects of the environment, to the exclusion of all else.

A passion and a commitment.

Derived from the unconscious and leads children to conscious and creative activities.

Intense and prolonged activity which does not lead to fatigue or boredom, but instead leads to persistent energy and interest.

A transitory state once realized, the sensitive period disappears. Sensitive periods are never regained, once they have passed.

Dr. Montessori identified eleven different sensitive periods occurring from birth through age six. Each refers to a predisposition compelling children to acquire specific characteristics as described below. When Montessori teachers speak about children being “inner directed,” they are referring to an inner compulsion or sensitive period. A Montessori teacher would say, for example, “This child is in her sensitive period for order.” These phrases point to each child’s predisposition to follow her own daily classroom routine in which she chooses the same materials and in the same sequence. Ages of the onset and conclusion of each sensitive period are approximate and are indicated after the general description.

Movement Random movements become coordinated and controlled: grasping, touching, turning, balancing, crawling, walking. (Birth — one)

Language Use of words to communicate: a progression from babble to words to phrases to sentences, with a continuously expanding vocabulary and comprehension. (birth — six)

Small Objects A fixation on small objects and tiny details. (one — four)

Order Characterized by a desire for consistency and repetition and a passionate love for established routines. Children can become deeply disturbed by disorder. The environment must be carefully ordered with a place for everything and with carefully established ground rules. (two — four)

Music Spontaneous interest in and the development of pitch, rhythm, and melody. (two — six)

Grace & Courtesy Imitation of polite and considerate behavior leading to an internalization of these qualities into the personality. (two — six)

Refinement of the Senses Fascination with sensorial experiences (taste, sound, touch, weight, smell) resulting with children learning to observe and with making increasingly refined sensorial discriminations. (two — six)

Writing Fascination with the attempt to reproduce letters and numbers with pencil or pen and paper. Montessori discovered that writing precedes reading. (three — four)

Reading Spontaneous interest in the symbolic representations of the sounds of each letter and in the formation of words. (three — five)

Spatial Relationships Forming cognitive impressions about relationships in space, including the layout of familiar places. Children become more able to find their way around their neighborhoods, and they are increasingly able to work complex puzzles. (four — six)

Mathematics Formation of the concepts of quantity and operations from the uses of concrete material aids. (four — six)

Note: This list does not include the sensitive periods found in the development of older children and adolescents. However, it does suggest to the early childhood educator some of the things that young children absorb, or will if they are given exposure and opportunity.

Keep in mind that the child’s learning during these early stages is not complete, nor has it reached the internalized abstraction stage that will develop as she grows older. It is, however, the foundation upon which much that follows will be built. Wherever this solid foundation is lacking, children will experience difficulty in learning and operating later on.

Sensitive periods is

Sensitive period is a term coined by the Dutch geneticist Hugo de Vries and adopted by the Italian educator Maria Montessori to refer to important periods of childhood development.

Language

This period runs from birth through approximately age 6. During this period the child is extremely sensitive to vocal sounds and to movements of the vocal apparatus. Out of all the sounds in an infant’s environment, the infant will be attracted to that of human sounds. Deprivation of language stimuli during this period can lead to severe language defects. Without stimulation, the synapses of Broca’s area and related language-processing areas of the brain will literally waste away. Child imitates/mimics the sounds that he or she hears in their process to learning language. At 6 months, child is able to form syllables. At one year of age, a child is able to say at least one clear word. At one year and nine months, the child may be able to annunciate a few key phrases. At two years of age, the child has basically developed the language at hand.

Order

The sensitive period for order operates most actively between roughly the ages of one and three years. In this period, the child is organizing a mental schema for the world. In order for firm conclusions to be drawn about the world, the child must be able to impose an order on it in a way that makes sense to the child and is consistent with the observed world of the child. If this need is not met, the child’s ability to reason and learn will be precarious, since she may not be able to consider her conclusions reliable. Order is divided into four subgroups: spatial order, social order, sensory order, and temporal order.[4]

Sensory refinement

This period lasts from birth to age 4. A child takes in information about the world through his senses. As the brain develops, it becomes able to discriminate between relevant and irrelevant sensory stimuli. The most efficient way to accomplish this is for the brain to pay attention to all sensory stimuli. The most repetitive (and therefore most important) of these will strengthen neural pathways, while the less common, although initially detected, will not provide enough brain activity to develop sensitivity to them. By age 4 or so, the brain has finished its “decision-making” about which stimuli are relevant, and worth attending to. Other stimuli will be ignored. This period, then, is important for helping the child attend to differences in sensory stimuli, which in turn can lead to a greater ability to impose a mental order on his environment.

Refinement of motor skills

This period encompasses the time between roughly 18 months and 4 years of age. By the beginning of this period, the child’s gross motor skills are generally rather well developed. At this point, the continuing development of the cerebellum and motor cortex allow the child to increase her fine motor skills. Activity on the part of the child which focuses on fine muscle control (writing with a pencil, picking up and setting down small objects, and so on) will allow the child’s muscular skills to develop to a quite advanced level. After this period, neural control of the muscles is relatively fixed, and improvement in fine motor skills comes only with considerable effort.

Sensitivity To small objects

This period, between roughly 18 and 30 months, might be viewed as a consequence of the overlapping of the previous two. As a consequence of the child’s attention to sensory stimuli, combined with an interest in activities requiring fine motor coordination, the child takes an interest in observing and manipulating very small objects, which present a greater challenge to the senses and coordination than large ones.

Social behavior

From about 2.5 through 6 years, the child, having become relatively stable in his physical and emotional environment, begins to attend to the social environment. During this time, in an attempt to order this aspect of her surroundings, the child attends closely to the observed and expected behavior of individuals in a group. This attention and ordering will allow her to move through the social environment in a safe and acceptable way. Children who are, for whatever reason, largely or entirely deprived of social interaction during this period will be less socially confident and perhaps more uncomfortable around others, a feeling which may take substantial effort to overcome.

“A child’s different inner sensibilities enable him to choose from his complex environment what is suitable and necessary for his growth. They make the child sensitive to some things, but leave him indifferent to others. When a particular sensitiveness is aroused in a child, it is like a light that shines on some objects but not others, making of them his whole world.”

The Secret of Childhood p. 42, Chap 7

A sensitive period refers to a transient state that children go through that is focused upon one particular area. Montessori had read about these periods of sensitivity in the development of animals, but soon realized that she was seeing similar qualities in the interests of the children. “A child learns to adjust himself and make acquisitions in his sensitive periods. These are like a beam that lights interiorly or a battery that furnishes energy.” (The Secret of Childhood p40) She saw that during these periods the child could learn at a particularly intense rate and that such learning appeared to come very easily.

“At such a time everything is easy; all is life and enthusiasm. Every effort marks an increase in power.” (Ibid p40). The sensitive periods that she noted were not linear, i.e., they did not follow one after the other; some overlapped and some were continuous. They included a sensitive period for order, refinement of the senses, language acquisition, walking and movement, small objects and involvement in social life. Montessori teachers were therefore alerted to the existence of these periods of sensitivity and encouraged to observe them in the activities of the children. Quotations

“A sensitive period refers to a special sensibility which a creature acquires in its infantile state, while it is still in a process of evolution. It is a transient disposition and limited to the acquisition of a particular trait. Once this trait, or characteristic, has been acquired, the special sensibility disappears.” The Secret of Childhood p 38, Chap 7

STAGES OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT

Stage — 1: Absorbent Mind

a. Unconscious Absorbent Mind (0-3 years). The child can not be dictated in this period nor can be directly influenced by the adults. The child learns unconsciously from his environment by using his senses of seeing and hearing. No formal schooling is suggested in this period however provision of a suitable environment greatly helps a child in making good early impressions of the world around him. b. Conscious Absorbent Mind (3-6 years). Child becomes receptive to adult influence. The child starts building personality basing on the impressions stored during first three years of his life. The sense of touch gets coordinated with the mind. Hands become a prime tool of learning. This is also a time of social development. The child wants to have company of other children and can be separated from mother for short periods of time. 2. Stage — 2: Later Childhood (6-12 years)

a. Growth becomes stable and child is calm and happy.
b. The child becomes self-conscious.
c. Reasoning faculty starts to develop. His reasoning is still fragile and therefore should not be put in complicated situations. d. Child becomes aware of right and wrong from moral point of view. e. Sense of smell and taste develops. The child starts using all his five senses to learn. 3. Stage — 3: Transformation (12-18 years)

a. Puberty (12-15 years). The advent of puberty indicates the end of childhood. Marked physical changes take place and the child becomes very sensitive of his self. All the confidence and joyfulness of the childhood is suddenly lost. At this stage, the child needs full emotional support of parents and teachers. b. Adolescence (15-18 years). This period is marked with an attitude of rebellion, discouragement, hesitation, and doubts. There is an unexpected decrease in intellectual capacity as compared to an extrovert of 6-12 years. The creativeness takes charge. The child now transforming into adulthood wants to explore the world. Sensitive to criticism and hates to be ridiculed. Parents and teachers need to accommodate mistakes and encourage new ideas.

Montessori’s view on the ” Four Planes of Development:”The child’s development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behavior towards him.”

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  • University/College:
    University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 1490

  • Pages: 6

Child Development

1.2

Research holistic development and write an account about your understanding of this, giving examples of how different aspects of development can affect one another. Holistic development means that each area is dependent on the other to make sure the child develops to their full potential. Development is split into different areas, Physical, social, emotional, language and intellectual. Still each area must connect in order for the child to develop. For example a child may be intellectual but not be able to tie his shoe laces.

This is not because the child is incapable of tying his shoes lace but that he has not had to practice the physical skill. Another example is a child needs to wear glasses for school (physical) and other children tease him for wearing glasses which in turn could lower his self-esteem (emotional). This may lead to him being isolated from friends as he cannot deal with the teasing (social), he then may stop wearing his glasses to become accepted by his peers. As a result of this he will be unable to see clearly which could affect his school work (intellectual).

2.1 Research the influences that can affect children’s development.

Background:

There are different things that can affect child’s development in their background. A family break up can be really stressful for a child and can influence development as they can get very upset. The child could react in different ways by either lashing out, going very quiet or could even stop eating and talking as they feel they could feel responsible for their parents break up.

As well as a break up effecting a child’s development, a child’s parent getting a new partner can be also as effective. They may not like the new partner and again can lead to them being aggressive going quiet or not eating. A massive influence in a child’s development would be if there was bereavement in the family as the child does not fully understand why that person is no longer in their life and can again cause all of the above reactions.

Health

Proper nutrition can have a direct impact on a child’s development both physically and psychologically. Appropriate nutrition is related to functional outcomes for children as they get older. In other words, unhealthy eating can lead to weight gain and other negative effects if the child does not learn how to eat healthy early in life. It is stressed that it is the increased duration and intensity of the exposures to healthy eating habits, through both hands-on learning and leading by example, that really make a positive impact on a child’s development.

Environment

Children who are surrounded, both at home and at school/daycare facilities, by a strong learning environment that is both informative and supportive may improve their development. A child’s environment – for example, his family or school – plays a huge part in his development. Simply stated, a nurtured child will do better than a deprived child. That may seem like common sense, but you may not realize the little things that make a difference. Some assume that a rich privileged child will automatically thrive more than a child living in poverty. That is not always the case.

2.2 Write an account about the importance of recognizing and responding to concerns in children’s development. Give examples of cases you are aware of. The following things would cause concern about a child or young person’s development. If the problem was left untreated then things could get worse, and a delay in treatment could mean that the outcome is not as good as it would have been if treatment was started earlier.

If a child or young person does not talk to anyone or even only speaks a few words compared to others, this may cause concern. This would socially affect the child or young person’s because they would find it hard to make friends, work in groups or even interact with adults. It would also affect their communicational development because they would find it hard to speak to people and also may find it hard to listen to instructions. Early intervention would be the best way to respond to this concern, the first step would be to have the child or young person’s hearing checked because if they have poor hearing they will find it hard to hear people so will not want to communicate with others in case they get something wrong.

Poor reading and writing is also another thing to look for. If a child or young person has difficulties with their reading and writing it may cause concern, but this may not be noticeable until the child is around the age of 6 or 7 because by this age they should have learnt how letters are formed and begin to string words together. These are the main skills a child needs to help them develop in all areas.

Due to poor reading and writing the child or young person will start to fall behind his peers of the same age. They may find it difficult to interact or make friends with others who are more advanced than them, in case they are bullied etc. They would struggle with their intellectual development not only with the reading and writing, but they would struggle with their memory and even their concentration.

3.2 Research and identify other transitions that only some children may experience through life, for example bereavement. Most children may experience transitions; transitions can be long term or short term. Some transitions that most children may experience are likely to be, starting school or changing from one school to another. Some families may move house several times throughout their lives this can affect a child in that they have to try and make new friends and get use to the area in which they will be living.

Children and young people have to make very many of their transitions without prior personal experience, and it can sometimes appear to them as a daunting list of ‘firsts’: first day at school; first exam. Most of these changes are dealt with well by most children and young people, as and when they are ready. The experience they gain and the skills they learn in the process equip them to deal with the challenges of life ahead.

The diverse range of transitions faced by children and young people includes:
• starting or moving school
• puberty
• bereavement
• parents splitting up
• illness (their own or a parent’s or sibling’s)
• changing friendship groups
• entry to, or leaving, a pupil referral unit
• moving through child health services into adult services
• coming out as gay or lesbian
• leaving home.

Young people and children will need help and support from peers and adults to successfully make the transition to the next stage in their life. The nature and timing and giver of the support will vary depending on the individual’s needs and circumstances. Bereavement-the death of a close friend or relative may be very traumatic for a child, when it comes to times of change and transitions you should give children every opportunity to talk about what is going to happen and how they feel.

3.3 Describe with examples how transitions may affect children and young people’s behavior and development. Children and young people naturally pass through a number of stages as they grow and develop. Often, they will also be expected to cope with changes such as movement from primary to secondary school and, for children with disabilities or chronic ill health, from children’s to adults’ services. Such changes are commonly referred to as transitions. Some children may have to face very particular and personal transitions not necessarily shared or understood by all their peers.

These include: family illness or the death of a close relative; divorce and family break-up; issues related to sexuality; adoption; the process of asylum; disability; parental mental health; and the consequences of crime. It is important to understand a child or young person in the context of their life, to recognise and understand the impact of any transitions they may be going through.

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Child Development Essay

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Child Development Essay
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  • University/College:
    University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Words: 710

  • Pages: 3

Child Development

Ever since Chomsky insinuated that the structure of language, with its elaborate, and yet universal grammatical rules, have significant biological and genetic bases, we should hope that in the near future, these genes can be identified and the discovery of FOXP2 is already a big leap to that end. Aside from looking for biological and hereditary causes to answer our question on the diversity of human languages, equally relevant and noteworthy to examine is the issue of environmental influence.

This includes societal and cultural factors we either consciously or unconsciously adapt to when learning or using a language. Twins may have identical genetic make-up for instance, but they will never be identical in most respects as they mature – not even in language use. Kumar (1997) made a good point when he said “even assuming that the state of being genetically identical could occur, experiencing identical environmental factors has no chance of occurrence.

” There is no denying that genetics determine the structural mechanisms of our brain, however as Kumar puts it “a large part of it is passed down societally, or is determined due to direct environmental influence. It would be very hard, then, that language is entirely determined by genetic factors, with no societal sway. ” A more integral approach to understanding the diversity of language would be to look at the interplay of both genetics and the environment. Kumar (1997) made a very good and convincing illustration on this:

“Studies have shown that infants are born with a large “bank” of sounds which is pruned down as they are exposed to the sounds of the specific culture they are brought up in. Soon as they grow, they are no longer able to recognize distinctions between certain sounds that they may have recognized if brought up in a separate culture… However all babies initially recognize this sound as they are brought up, they lose recognition because, perhaps, the neural circuitry for this recognition is not supported and strengthened through usage, and thus, the synapses weaken and eventually dissipate.

” This leads us to the discussion why adults, while not excluding their capacity to learn or acquire a second language (or even several languages, if they have the time, energy and right motivation! ), would not learn a language as swiftly or as easily as children could. Early on, certain “wiring” mechanisms in the brain structure could have been lost due to non-inducement. Lastly, setting aside biology or genetics, and even our culture or ethnicity, we often forget that we as individuals, have different backgrounds (family, education, profession, etc.

), experiences, preferences and idiosyncrasies. The interplay of these entire factors give rise to the so-called individual language. We are all unique individuals with distinct thought patterns, perceptions, etc. Through the years, since we acquired our first language, we have been able to come up with our own modes of pronunciation, inflections, and language styles – both written and oral. Such that even if we have the same language, and reside in the same community, or even if we have the same parents, disparity in language will still occur, and miscommunication will still happen.

Human language, then, is far more complex than we can assume. It has been a part of our society for ages now, but it continues to evolve and transform. The subject matter never ceases to mystify any curious mind. No doubt, understanding language would need the brilliant minds from the fields of genetics, neurobiology, philosophy, socio-anthropology and psychology, if we were to have an integral standpoint and give justice to the amazing, and a bit puzzling phenomenon called the universal gift of tongues. Fortunately, we have language to talk it over.

References

Biehler, R. (1976). Child Development: An Introduction. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. , 1976, p. 314. Chomsky, N. (1975). Reflections on Language. New York: Pantheon Books, p. 4. Chomsky, N. (1968). Language and Mind. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Comrie, M. and Polinsky M. , Eds. (1996). Atlas of Languages: The Origin and Development of Languages Throughout the World. New York: Facts on File, p. 7. Dunbar, R (1996). Grooming Gossip and the Evolution of Language. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, p. 3.

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