VYGOTSKY’S THEORY OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT

Some information Adapted from Ormrod’s Educational Psychology: Developing Learners, 2011

LEV VYGOTSKY �(1896-1934)

  • Russian psychologist/developmentalist
  • Born in what was the Russian Empire
  • Severe anti-Semitism at the time
  • Quota system for Jews at universities; had to enter a lottery
  • Vygotsky was lucky and allowed to go to university, but banned from formally studying philosophy
  • Graduated from Moscow University with a law �degree in 1917, but also studied history and philosophy
  • Began seriously studying psychology at the Institute of Psychology in Moscow in 1924; became researcher there

VYGOTSKY & THE �REVOLUTION

  • Pre-revolutionary Russia:
  • Largely feudalistic; widespread poverty, frequent food �shortages, poor working conditions
  • Russian revolution in 1917 – Tsar Nicholas II �overthrown; Lenin and Bolsheviks take power
  • Year Vygotsky graduated from law school
  • Vygotsky strongly supported revolution
  • Believed socialism would be a positive change resulting �in a classless society
  • Worked to recreate psychology along Marxist Socialism lines
  • No clear separation between individual or social development
  • Applied psychology to confront problems in education in the new Soviet state

VYGOTSKY & STALIN

  • Stalin came into power in 1924 upon �death of Lenin
  • In the 30’s, Stalin “purged” elite in his own party as well as most intellectuals, not trusting those with a higher education
  • Depleted Soviet Union’s brainpower; left Stalin the sole intellectual and “expert” on everything
  • Vygotsky died of tuberculosis just before political climate changed, but still was a victim of Stalin:
  • For 20 years after Vygotsky’s death, it was forbidden to discuss, disseminate, or reprint any of his writings
  • Works could only be read in one Moscow library by special permission of the secret police
  • Only after Stalin’s death were Vygotsky’s writings rediscovered

VYGOTSKY’S WORK

  • Worked the same time as Piaget (20’s - 30’s)
  • Worked to research and reform education
  • Instituted special education in Soviet schools
  • Developed theories of cognitive �development
  • Prolific writer, wrote 6 books in 10 years
  • Focused on child development and education; also language development
  • Writings were eventually translated and brought to U.S. in 1960’s; not much attention paid until late 70’s
  • Theories very popular today; large influence on schools

BIG IDEAS FROM VYGOTSKY’S THEORY

  • All learning is social
  • Knowledge is always socially constructed
  • Culture shapes our learning & cognitive development
  • Culture ensures each new generation learns from the previous
  • Provides lens through which we see and make sense of world
  • What is valued in one culture may not be in another
  • Learning is tied to the culture and situation where it was learned
  • Challenge is important to learning
  • Learning happens best within our ZPD
  • A more knowledgeable other knows what will challenge us
  • Learning leads development
  • Learning pushes us towards more advanced cognitive development

VYGOTSKY’S THEORY

  • Known by any one of the following names or variations of these names:
  • Sociocultural - learning is a social process tied to and driven by our specific culture
  • Sociohistoric - learning is a social process tied to and driven by our our specific history (culture)
  • Situative – learning is tied to the context or situation (culture) where it was learned

VYGOTSKY’S BASIC ASSUMPTIONS

  • Adults convey to children (formally & informally) the ways their culture sees the world
  • Adults share meanings they attach to objects, events (culture)
  • Adults should describe discoveries of previous generations, help connect children to their history
  • We don’t have to “discover” what those before us have learned
  • Culture “shapes” our learning and development
  • Learning is both social and culturally based and tied to the situation where it was learned
  • Every culture passes down physical and cognitive tools
  • Physical Tools (pencil, scissors, computer, etc.) or cognitive (language, math, symbols, etc.)
  • These should be passed on to children to make learning and development easier
  • Again, see the social, cultural, and historic connection
  • Learning is connected with these tools -
  • Thought & language become increasingly interdependent in first few years of life
  • For adults and older children, thought & language are closely connected
  • Separate functions for babies/toddlers; language a means to communicate not thoughts
  • Thought and language intertwine around 2 (think in words) and self-talk emerges to guide child through a task
  • Self-talk turns into inner Speech – mentally guiding oneself
  • A culture’s language is a tool passed on to new generation (cultural and historical connection)
  • Complex mental processes begin as social activities, gradually evolve into independent, internal mental activities
  • As children discuss events/objects with a “more knowledgeable other”, begin to incorporate this talk into their own thinking
  • Internalization – process through which social activities evolve into internal mental activities (ex: self-talk to inner speech)
  • Peers and older children can also be “more knowledgeable others”
  • Discussions, debates, arguments teach children that there are multiple ways to see same situation; process becomes internalized
  • Children can perform more challenging tasks when helped by “more knowledgeable other”
  • Child’s actual development level – upper limits of tasks that learner can successfully perform alone
  • Child’s level of potential development – upper limits of tasks that learner can successfully perform with help from more knowledgeable other
  • Learning is a social process
  • Challenging tasks promote maximum cognitive growth
  • Child’s zone of proximal development (ZPD) – range of tasks a learner can perform with help, but not alone
  • Children learn little by performing tasks they can already do alone
  • Develop by trying tasks they can do only with help – within their ZPD
  • In teaching: some tasks should require more knowledgeable other, some should be worked on together by students of equal ability
  • Each child has unique ZPD
  • Play allows children to cognitively “stretch” themselves
  • “In play a child always behaves beyond his average age, above his daily behavior” (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 102)
  • Play is valuable training for adult world and culture
  • Play is often social in nature and each culture determines what is acceptable play

CONTEMPORARY APPLICATIONS OF VYGOTSKY’S THEORY: �SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION

  • Social Construction of Meaning – adults help children attach meaning to object/events
  • Mediated Learning Experience – discussion between adult/child where adult helps child make sense of event they both experienced; helps child learn more than would alone, ex. P. 212
  • Child can accomplish more with help from others
  • Also happens with peers, but may serve different functions
  • “Two heads are better than one”

CONTEMPORARY APPLICATIONS OF VYGOTSKY’S THEORY: SCAFFOLDING

  • Scaffolding – guidance or structure the more knowledgeable other provides to help the learner perform tasks in his/her ZPD
  • Scaffolds should be used until leaner has internalized behavior than fade away
  • Examples of scaffolding in school:
  • Outlines, guidelines, checklist
  • Hints, guiding questions, reminders
  • Strategies, plans
  • Modeling, demonstrating
  • Tools: calculator, technology
  • Attempts to focus attention and�motivate

CONTEMPORARY APPLICATIONS OF VYGOTSKY’S THEORY: GUIDED PARTICIPATION

  • When a child, through support and guidance, participates in adult activities
  • Gradual entry into adult world: begins with child on fringe of activity until eventually child plays more central role
  • Think of young child helping adult cook: allowed to stir and measure at first; as child gets older he is gradually allowed to do more
  • Participation is mediated, scaffolded, modeled, and supervised by adult
  • Guided Participation in classroom:
  • Scientific experiments
  • Writing letters to local paper, government, etc.
  • Search the internet
  • Any activity which is beyond the child’s world

EXAMPLE OF GUIDED PARTICIPATION

  • A mother sitting with her toddler singing, “ Baa, baa black sheep have you any wool, yes sir, yes sir …. ” at this point the mother pauses and the child sings loudly, “ THREE BAGS FULL! ” .
  • How is this Guided Participation?
  • Mother guided the child through song, aware of the child’s ZPD
  • Mother knew the child can’t sing the song by himself, so she provided a scaffold by starting the song for him
  • Mother modeled how the song should be sung
  • Eventually, the child will internalize the process and be able to sign whole song alone
  • A 5-year old lost her security blanket & asks her father for help. The father asks her where she last saw the blanket; the child says , “I can’t remember.” The father then asks a series of questions – “Did you have it in your room? Outside?” To each question the child answers “No”. When he asks, “In the car?”, she says “I think so” and finds the blanket in the car.
  • How is this guided participation?
  • Father guided child through process, aware of her ZPD
  • Father modeled the thinking process of an adult
  • Each question the father asked was a scaffold
  • Eventually the child will internalize this behavior, at first through self-talk, and then inner speech

CONTEMPORARY APPLICATIONS OF VYGOTSKY’S THEORY: APPRENTICESHIPS

  • Apprenticeship : Intensive form of guided participation, novice works with an expert to learn a task in a particular domain;
  • Much structure & guidance to slowly introduce novice to work
  • Gradual fading to give novice independence and responsibility
  • Trades : plumber, electrician; Professional : internship, student teaching, law clerk, medical intern
  • Cognitive Apprenticeship : Mentor provides guidance to novice about how to think about a task
  • Teacher talks with student about task/problem, analyze problem, decide on best approach
  • Teacher models effective ways of thinking about situation, coaches student through task, provides scaffolds

CONTEMPORARY APPLICATIONS: DYNAMIC ASSESSMENT

  • Rather than assess what students can do alone, assessing what they can do with scaffolding – Assess students’ ability
  • Dynamic Assessment provides info about the child’s thinking process and ability to learn, allowing teacher to better guide future instruction
  • Not to be used all the time, but can be helpful

SOCIOCULTURAL THEORY’S VIEW ON MOTIVATION

  • We’re motivated by a particular situation (situated motivation)
  • We’re motivated to become part of a group that we see as desirable (soccer team, honor society, skateboarders, etc.)
  • We become part of the group by participating in the group’s activities, culture, language, behavior
  • Our identity is tied to the groups we participate in (soccer player, smart kid, skateboarder, etc.)

We often join the group through peripheral participation (start on the fringe/edge of group)

  • Observe group & its culture: language, activities, dress, behavior, etc.
  • Practice aspects of the culture (may be apprenticeship learning)
  • Work to become integrated into the group; full community participation; group passes on knowledge to the novice

VYGOTSKY’S WORDS…

  • “It is through others that we become ourselves”
  • “What a child can do in �co-operation today he can do �alone tomorrow”

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Child Development Theories and Theorists

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Child Development Theories and Theorists

Eric Erickson Sigmund Freud ( ):

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7 Main Developmental Theories

Child Development Theories of Freud, Erickson, and More

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

powerpoint presentation on child development theories

Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.

powerpoint presentation on child development theories

Verywell / JR Bee 

  • Top Theories

Child development theories focus on explaining how children change and grow over the course of childhood. These developmental theories center on various aspects of growth, including social, emotional, and cognitive development.

The study of human development is a rich and varied subject. We all have personal experience with development, but it is sometimes difficult to understand how and why people grow, learn, and act as they do.

Why do children behave in certain ways? Is their behavior related to their age, family relationships, or individual temperaments? Developmental psychologists strive to answer such questions as well as to understand, explain, and predict behaviors that occur throughout the lifespan.

In order to understand human development, a number of different theories of child development have arisen to explain various aspects of human growth.

History of Developmental Theories

Child development that occurs from birth to adulthood was largely ignored throughout much of human history. Children were often viewed simply as small versions of adults and little attention was paid to the many advances in cognitive abilities, language usage, and physical growth that occur during childhood and adolescence.

Interest in the field of child development finally began to emerge early in the 20th century, but it tended to focus on abnormal behavior. Eventually, researchers became increasingly interested in other topics including typical child development as well as the influences on development.

More recent theories outline the developmental stages of children and identify the typical ages at which these growth milestones occur.

Why Developmental Theories are Important

Developmental theories provide a framework for thinking about human growth and learning. But why do we study development? What can we learn from psychological theories of development? If you have ever wondered about what motivates human thought and behavior, understanding these theories can provide useful insight into individuals and society.

An understanding of child development is essential because it allows us to fully appreciate the cognitive, emotional, physical, social, and educational growth that children go through from birth and into early adulthood.

Why is it important to study how children grow, learn, and change? An understanding of child development is essential because it allows us to fully appreciate the cognitive, emotional, physical, social, and educational growth that children go through from birth and into early adulthood.

7 Best-Known Developmental Theories

There are many child development theories that have been proposed by theorists and researchers. Some of the major theories of child development are known as grand theories; they attempt to describe every aspect of development, often using a stage approach. Others are known as mini-theories; they instead focus only on a fairly limited aspect of development such as cognitive or social growth.

Freud's Psychosexual Developmental Theory

Psychoanalytic theory originated with the work of  Sigmund Freud . Through his clinical work with patients suffering from mental illness, Freud came to believe that childhood experiences and  unconscious  desires influenced behavior.

According to Freud, conflicts that occur during each of these stages can have a lifelong influence on personality and behavior. Freud proposed one of the best-known grand theories of child development.

According to Freud’s psychosexual theory, child development occurs in a series of stages focused on different pleasure areas of the body. During each stage, the child encounters conflicts that play a significant role in the course of development.

His theory suggested that the energy of the libido was focused on different erogenous zones at specific stages. Failure to progress through a stage can result in fixation at that point in development, which Freud believed could have an influence on adult behavior.

So what happens as children complete each stage? And what might result if a child does poorly during a particular point in development? Successfully completing each stage leads to the development of a healthy adult personality.

Failing to resolve the conflicts of a particular stage can result in fixations that can then have an influence on adult behavior.

While some other child development theories suggest that personality continues to change and grow over the entire lifetime, Freud believed that it was early experiences that played the greatest role in shaping development. According to Freud, personality is largely set in stone by the age of five.

Erikson's Psychosocial Developmental Theory

Psychoanalytic theory was an enormously influential force during the first half of the twentieth century. Those inspired and influenced by Freud went on to expand upon Freud's ideas and develop theories of their own. Of these neo-Freudians, Erik Erikson's ideas have become perhaps the best known.

Erikson's eight-stage theory of psychosocial development describes growth and change throughout life, focusing on social interaction and conflicts that arise during different stages of development.

While Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development  shared some similarities with Freud's, it is dramatically different in many ways. Rather than focusing on sexual interest as a driving force in development, Erikson believed that social interaction and experience played decisive roles.

His eight-stage theory of human development described this process from infancy through death. During each stage, people are faced with a developmental conflict that impacts later functioning and further growth.

Unlike many other developmental theories, Erik Erikson's psychosocial theory focuses on development across the entire lifespan. At each stage, children and adults face a developmental crisis that serves as a major turning point.

Successfully managing the challenges of each stage leads to the emergence of a lifelong psychological virtue.

Behavioral Child Development Theories

During the first half of the twentieth century, a new school of thought known as behaviorism rose to become a dominant force within psychology. Behaviorists believed that psychology needed to focus only on observable and quantifiable behaviors in order to become a more scientific discipline.

According to the behavioral perspective, all human behavior can be described in terms of environmental influences. Some behaviorists, such as  John B. Watson  and  B.F. Skinner , insisted that learning occurs purely through processes of association and reinforcement.

Behavioral theories of child development focus on how environmental interaction influences behavior and is based on the theories of theorists such as John B. Watson, Ivan Pavlov, and B. F. Skinner. These theories deal only with observable behaviors. Development is considered a reaction to rewards, punishments, stimuli, and reinforcement.

This theory differs considerably from other child development theories because it gives no consideration to internal thoughts or feelings. Instead, it focuses purely on how experience shapes who we are.

Two important types of learning that emerged from this approach to development are  classical conditioning  and  operant conditioning . Classical conditioning involves learning by pairing a naturally occurring stimulus with a previously neutral stimulus. Operant conditioning utilizes reinforcement and punishment to modify behaviors.

Piaget's Cognitive Developmental Theory

Cognitive theory is concerned with the development of a person's thought processes. It also looks at how these thought processes influence how we understand and interact with the world. 

Theorist  Jean Piaget  proposed one of the most influential theories of cognitive development.

Piaget proposed an idea that seems obvious now, but helped revolutionize how we think about child development:  Children think differently than adults .  

His cognitive theory seeks to describe and explain the development of thought processes and mental states. It also looks at how these thought processes influence the way we understand and interact with the world.

Piaget then proposed a theory of cognitive development to account for the steps and sequence of children's intellectual development.

  • Sensorimotor Stage:  A period of time between birth and age two during which an infant's knowledge of the world is limited to his or her sensory perceptions and motor activities. Behaviors are limited to simple motor responses caused by sensory stimuli.
  • Pre-Operational Stage:  A period between ages 2 and 6 during which a child learns to use language. During this stage, children do not yet understand concrete logic, cannot mentally manipulate information, and are unable to take the point of view of other people.
  • Concrete Operational Stage:  A period between ages 7 and 11 during which children gain a better understanding of mental operations. Children begin thinking logically about concrete events but have difficulty understanding abstract or hypothetical concepts.
  • Formal Operational Stage:  A period between age 12 to adulthood when people develop the ability to think about abstract concepts. Skills such as logical thought, deductive reasoning, and systematic planning also emerge during this stage.

Bowlby's Attachment Theory

There is a great deal of research on the social development of children.  John Bowbly  proposed one of the earliest theories of social development. Bowlby believed that early relationships with caregivers play a major role in child development and continue to influence social relationships throughout life.

Bowlby's attachment theory suggested that children are born with an innate need to form attachments. Such attachments aid in survival by ensuring that the child receives care and protection. Not only that but these attachments are characterized by clear behavioral and motivational patterns.

In other words, both children and caregivers engage in behaviors designed to ensure proximity. Children strive to stay close and connected to their caregivers who in turn provide a safe haven and a secure base for exploration.

Researchers have also expanded upon Bowlby's original work and have suggested that a number of different attachment styles exist. Children who receive consistent support and care are more likely to develop a secure attachment style, while those who receive less reliable care may develop an ambivalent, avoidant, or disorganized style.

Bandura's Social Learning Theory

Social learning theory is based on the work of psychologist  Albert Bandura . Bandura believed that the conditioning and reinforcement process could not sufficiently explain all of human learning.

For example, how can the conditioning process account for learned behaviors that have not been reinforced through classical conditioning or operant conditioning According to social learning theory, behaviors can also be learned through observation and modeling.

By observing the actions of others, including parents and peers, children develop new skills and acquire new information.

Bandura's child development theory suggests that observation plays a critical role in learning, but this observation does not necessarily need to take the form of watching a live model.  

Instead, people can also learn by listening to verbal instructions about how to perform a behavior as well as through observing either real or fictional characters displaying behaviors in books or films.

Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory

Another psychologist named  Lev Vygotsky  proposed a seminal learning theory that has gone on to become very influential, especially in the field of education. Like Piaget, Vygotsky believed that children learn actively and through hands-on experiences.

His sociocultural theory also suggested that parents, caregivers, peers, and the culture at large were responsible for developing higher-order functions. In Vygotsky's view, learning is an inherently social process. Through interacting with others, learning becomes integrated into an individual's understanding of the world.

This child development theory also introduced the concept of the zone of proximal development, which is the gap between what a person can do with help and what they can do on their own. It is with the help of more knowledgeable others that people are able to progressively learn and increase their skills and scope of understanding.

A Word From Verywell

As you can see, some of psychology's best-known thinkers have developed theories to help explore and explain different aspects of child development. While not all of these theories are fully accepted today, they all had an important influence on our understanding of child development.

Today, contemporary psychologists often draw on a variety of theories and perspectives in order to understand how kids grow, behave, and think. These theories represent just a few of the different ways of thinking about child development.

In reality, fully understanding how children change and grow over the course of childhood requires looking at many different factors that influence physical and psychological growth. Genes, the environment, and the interactions between these two forces determine how kids grow physically as well as mentally.

Bellman M, Byrne O, Sege R. Developmental assessment of children . BMJ. 2013;346:e8687. doi:10.1136/bmj.e8687

Marwaha S, Goswami M, Vashist B. Prevalence of Principles of Piaget's Theory Among 4-7-year-old Children and their Correlation with IQ . J Clin Diagn Res. 2017;11(8):ZC111-ZC115. doi:10.7860/JCDR/2017/28435.10513

Barnes GL, Woolgar M, Beckwith H, Duschinsky R. John Bowlby and contemporary issues of clinical diagnosis . Attachment (Lond). 2018;12(1):35-47.

Fryling MJ, Johnston C, Hayes LJ. Understanding observational learning: an interbehavioral approach . Anal Verbal Behav. 2011;27(1):191-203.

Esteban-guitart M. The biosocial foundation of the early Vygotsky: Educational psychology before the zone of proximal development . Hist Psychol. 2018;21(4):384-401. doi:10.1037/hop0000092

Berk, LE. Child Development. 8th ed. USA: Pearson Education, Inc; 2009.

Shute, RH & Slee, PT. Child Development Theories and Critical Perspectives, Second Edition. New York: Routledge; 2015.

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

Chapter 2: Developmental Theories

Slideshow: developmental theories.

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  • Research has shown that early childhood may be the most important life stage for brain development.
  • A babys brain is about one quarter the size of an adults.
  • Scientists have found that babies brains develop in response to stimulation.
  • Arouses senses such as sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.
  • Babies who are stimulated develop more quickly and have a more secure self-image.
  • What is a theory?
  • A theory should allow us to predict and explain human behavior
  • It should be stated in such a way that it can be shown to be false
  • It must be open to scientific investigation
  • Although researches dont always agree, scientific researchers have agreed upon the five following general rules.
  • Development is similar for each individual
  • Development builds upon earlier learning.
  • Development proceeds at an individual rate.
  • The different areas of development are interrelated.
  • Development is a lifelong process.
  • Psychoanalytic Theories
  • Freuds Psychosexual Theory
  • Personality has 3 parts
  • There are 5 stages of psychosexual development
  • Oedipus complex allows child to identify with same-sex parent
  • Fixation is an unresolved conflict during a stage of development
  • Eriksons Psychosocial Theory
  • There are 8 stages of psychosocial development
  • Each has a unique developmental task
  • Developmental change occurs throughout life span
  • Key points of psychoanalytic theories
  • Early experiences and family relationships are very important to development
  • Unconscious aspects of the mind are considered
  • Personality is best seen as a developmental process
  • Cognitive theories
  • Piagets cognitive developmental theory
  • Stresses conscious mental processes
  • Cognitive processes are influenced by biological maturation
  • Four stages of cognitive development in children
  • Assimilation and accommodation underlie how children understand the world, adapt to it, and organize their experiences
  • Vygotskys sociocultural cognitive theory
  • Children actively construct their knowledge
  • Social interaction and culture guide cognitive development
  • Learning is based upon inventions of society
  • Knowledge is created through interactions with other people and objects in the culture
  • Less skilled persons learn from the more skilled
  • Information-processing theory
  • Compares computers to the human mind
  • Thinking is information processing
  • Urie Bronfenbrenners ecological theory
  • Environmental factors influence development
  • 5 environmental systems affect life-span development
  • Eclectic theoretical orientation
  • Selects features from other theories
  • No one theory has all the answers
  • Each theory can make a contribution to understanding life-span development
  • Blood type, eye color, and hair color
  • Environment
  • Children also learn attitudes and beliefs from their environments

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child development principles and theories

Child Development Principles and Theories

Nov 19, 2014

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Child Development Principles and Theories. Chapter 4. Terms to Know. Development Infant Toddler Preschooler Physical development Gross-motor development Fine-motor development Cognitive development Social-emotional development Cephalocaudal principle. Proximodistal principle

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Child Development Principles and Theories Chapter 4

Terms to Know • Development • Infant • Toddler • Preschooler • Physical development • Gross-motor development • Fine-motor development • Cognitive development • Social-emotional development • Cephalocaudal principle • Proximodistal principle • Maturation • Neurons • Synapses • Windows of opportunity • Theory • Schemata • Sensorimotor stage • Preoperational stage • Concrete operations stage • Multiple intelligences

Child Development • Development – change or growth that occurs in children • Infants – birth through the first year • Toddlers – children from age one up to the third birthday • Preschooler - children ages three to six

Areas of Development • Physical development • Physical body changes that occurs in a relatively stable, predictable sequence • Gross motor development – improvement of skills using the large muscles in the arms and legs. Includes activities such as running, skipping, jumping. • Fine motor development – involves the small muscles of the hands and fingers. Includes grasping, cutting, holding. • Cognitive development • AKA intellectual development • Processes people use to gain knowledge. • Includes language, thought, reasoning and imagination • Social – emotional development • These two are put together because learning to relate to others is social development. Emotional development involves feelings and expressing feelings. • Trust, fear, confidence, pride, friendship and humor are all part of social – emotional development. • All three are linked to the other. Development in one area can greatly influence another. • Example: Writing words requires fine motor skills (physical). It also involves language and thought (cognitive). Language is needed to communicate with others and is also necessary for growing socially and emotionally (social – emotional).

Principles of Development • Cephalocaudal principle • Head downward • Child first gains control of the head, then arms, then legs. • Proximodistal principle • Development proceeds from center of body outward • Spinal cord develops before other parts of the body • Arms develop before hands, hands and feet develop before toes and fingers • Maturation • Sequence of biological changes in children • Depends on changes in the brain and nervous system • These changes assist children to improve their thinking abilities and motor skills

Windows of Opportunity • Specific spans of time for the normal development of certain types of skills • Vision • Birth to 6 months • If a child is kept in a dark room for the first few months of life, vision will not develop properly • Needs little stimulation to develop • Infants need interesting objects to look at

Windows of Opportunity, cont. • Emotional Control • Birth to 3 years • Includes the abilities to identify feelings, manage strong emotions and develop empathy. • Severe stress or early abuse can damage a child’s emotional development • Children need caregivers who can read their cues, respond promptly and meet their needs in a nurturing manner • Vocabulary / Speech • Birth to 3 years • Infants must hear language to learn it • Speak in full sentences • Talk to children often • Tell them what you are doing, what they are doing and what will happen next • Read stories • Play music • Engage in social interactions that require language

Windows of Opportunity, cont. • Math / Logical Development • 1 to 4 years old • Give children chance to work on materials that offer an appropriate level of challenge • Motor Development • Prenatal to 8 years • Stable, long lasting structures can be created • Young children need a variety of gross – and fine – motor activities to support motor development

Genie’s Story • Feral children

Theories of Development • Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory • Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory • Vygotsky’sSociocultural Theory • Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory

Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory • Stage 1: Trust vs. Mistrust • Birth to 18 months • To develop trust, infants need warm, consistent, predictable and attentive care • When distressed, they need to be comforted • Need loving, physical contact, nourishment, cleanliness and warmth • They will devel0p a sense of confidence and trust that the world is safe and dependable • Mistrust occurs if an infant experiences an unpredictable world and is handled harshly

Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory • Stage 2: Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt • 18 months and 3 years • Autonomy = Independence • Objective is to gain self – control without losing self – esteem • Children need to learn to choose and decide for themselves • Children need positive opportunities for self-feeding, toileting, dressing and exploration • Overprotection or lack of activities results in self-doubt, poor achievement and shame

Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory • Stage 3: Initiative vs. Guilt • 3 to 5 years of age • Children need to develop a sense of purpose. This happens when an adult directs the child’s urges toward acceptable social practices. • If children are discouraged by criticism, feelings of incompetence are likely to emerge.

Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory • Stage 4: Industry vs. Inferiority • 6 – 12 years old • Planning and carrying out projects • Helps children to learn society’s rules and expectations • Realistic goals and expectations enrich children’s sense of self • Children can develop a sense of incompetence and insecurity if they are discouraged, criticized or parents demand too much control

Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory • Schemata – mental representations or concepts • Assimilation – process of taking in new information and adding it to what the child already knows • Accommodation – adjusting what is already known to fit the new information.

Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory • Sensorimotor stage • Birth to 2 years old • Infants use all their senses to explore and learn • Object permanence – children learn that objects still exist even if they are out of sight • Preoperational stage • 2 to 7 years old • Children are egocentric • Assume others see the world as they do • Language, symbolic play and drawing is learned • Conservation • Even if the physical appearance changes, the amount does not change • Classify groups of objects

Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory • Concrete Operations stage • 7 to 11 years old • Children develop the capacity to think systematically, but only when they can refer to actual objects and use hands-on activities • Capable of reversing operations (1 + 3 = 3 + 1 ) • Beginning to understand others’ POVs • Formal Operations stage • 11 years to adulthood • Think abstractly • Problem solving • Reasoning

Vygotsky’sSociocultural Theory • Vygotsky believed that children learn through social and cultural experiences • While interacting with others, children learn customs, values, beliefs, and language of their culture • Private speech • Self – talk or “thinking out loud” • Helps guide child activity and develop their thinking • Zone of Proximal development • Presents learning as a scale • One end of the scale are tasks within child’s current development level. • Other end of scale are tasks too difficult for children to accomplish, even with help • Middle of scale are tasks children cannot accomplish alone • When children receive help from a knowledgeable peer or adult it is called scaffolding. This person provides a structure for the child to learn, such as giving clues or demonstrating.

Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences • Emphasizes that there are different kinds of intelligences used by the human brain. • Believes intelligence is the result of complex interactions between children’s heredity and experiences. • Each intelligence functions separately but are linked.

Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences • Bodily – kinesthetic • Ability to control one’s own body • Use body to solve problems, handle objects and express emotions • Children benefit from creative-moment experiences and role playing. • Musical – rhythmic • Recognizes musical patterns • Appreciate and create music • Background music helps stimulate thought • Logical • Ability to use reason and logic to solve problems • Ability to explore categories, patterns and other relationships • Benefit from using blocks and storybooks

Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences • Verbal – linguistic • Ability to use language for expression • Children learn best by talking, listening, reading and writing • Interpersonal • Communication and social skills • These skills are nurtured in your children when caring behaviors are modeled for them • Intrapersonal • Ability to understand the inner self • Children can best learn this when sharing emotions that all children experience such as joy, sadness and disappointment. • Use storybooks that contain emotional examples

Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences • Visual – spatial • Allows people to use their vision to develop mental images • These children need unstructured materials such as building blocks and puzzles • Also use visual aids, charts and labels • Naturalistic • Ability to classify objects in nature such as animals and plants • To build on this, children need to be able to sort and classify items

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