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Cognitive Development in Early Childhood

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Title: Cognitive Development in Early Childhood


1
Cognitive Development in Early Childhood
  • Chapter 8

2
Cognitive Development based on Multiple Factors
  • Parallels the growth of the brain
  • Increased levels of myelinization
  • Continued pruning
  • Elaboration based on experience
  • Enhanced by the broader range of experience
  • Expanding peer networks
  • Greater diversity in interactions with adults
  • The childs own increased mobility

3
Three Theoretical Perspectives
  • Piaget
  • Vygotsky
  • Information Processing

4
Piagets Perspectives
  • Transition from Sensorimotor into Preoperational
    Thought
  • Capable of using symbolic thought to perform
    mental tasks
  • According to Piagets work, lacks the ability to
    operate on those mental tasks
  • Mental operations may not be available for
    reflective consideration

5
Piagets Perspectives
  • Progression of mental capabilities
  • Use of language to represent symbols
  • Recognizes when stories are told out of order
  • Explanations are more complex
  • Use of art to represent symbols
  • Drawings tend to be more realistic as the child
    progresses across the early childhood years
  • Use of play to model roles and objects
  • Can use one object to represent other objects

6
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7
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8
Piagets Perspectives Preoperational Thought
  • Intuitive thought
  • Based on personal experiences
  • Logic based on unanalyzed personal experiences
    (e.g. flag theory of wind and air conditioner
    theory of summer)

9
Piagets Perspectives
  • Egocentrism
  • Failure to take others perspectives
  • Sees others as having ones own perspective
  • Animistic thought
  • Attributes animate qualities to inanimate objects
  • Artificialism
  • Attributes natural phenomena (sunsets, tides) to
    direct human action

10
Piagets Perspectives
  • Conservation
  • Ability to recognize the constancy of invariants
    (e.g. number, mass) in spite of transformations
    of variable attributes
  • Discontinuous fluids
  • Continuous fluids
  • Number
  • Mass

11
Piagets Perspectives
  • Centration
  • Tendency to isolate one attribute as a focus of
    attention and ignore other relevant aspects (e.g.
    height and diameter of a cylinder in the liquid
    conservation task)
  • Reversibility
  • Failure to mentally reverse the operations that
    led to the change in attribute or end point.
  • Static endpoints
  • Tendency to focus on beginning and end states
    regardless of the nature of the transformation

12
Vygotskys Perspective
  • Theoretical orientation reflected a Marxist
    dialectical view
  • Social speechinteraction with othersprecedes
    private speech monologue by the child
  • Private speech precedes the internalization of
    the concept to a mental representation

13
Vygotskys Perspective
  • Development (for Vygotsky)
  • occurred in a social or intermental plane first
    and then on an internal or intramental plane
  • required the presence of a more competent other
  • required the more competent other to mediate the
    process of learning and development

14
Vygotskys Perspective
  • Concepts for Application
  • Zone of Proximal Development more competent
    other assists the child in moving from what the
    child can do independently to that which the
    child can do only with support
  • Scaffolding the process of supporting the child
    across the zone of proximal development
  • Impacts on educational practices
  • Teacher as a coach or facilitator
  • Emphasis on cooperative learning with mixed
    ability groups

15
Information Processing Theory
  • Encodinginitial input of information from
    environment (sense organs perception attention)
  • Transformationprocesses operating on that
    information (strategiesdepth of processing)
  • Storageretention of the information (network
    modelsschema structures)

16
Information Processing Theory
  • Retrievalrecall or recognition of the
    information from memory (strategiessearch of
    memory)
  • Executive functionmanagement, monitoring, and
    control of cognitive domain (metacognition
    cognitive monitoring selection and use of
    strategies

17
Developmental Considerations
  • Capacity increasesamount of information one can
    process
  • Maturation of the CNS (central nervous system)
  • Increased practice at particular tasks (e.g.
    naming, answering questions)
  • Rehearsal strategies (e.g. rote vs. meaningful)

18
Developmental Considerations
  • Efficiency increasesamount and /or complexity of
    processing by unit time
  • Maturation of the CNS
  • Acquisition of more efficient strategies
  • Transition from controlled to automatic
    processing

19
Developmental Considerations
  • Controlled Processes
  • Conscious (child is aware of the steps)
  • Each step is monitored (child knows outcomes)
  • Requires additional processing resources (limited
    capability for parallel tasksmultitasking)
  • Examples
  • Early reading behavior
  • Early mathematics computation
  • Learning to drive a manual transmission

20
Developmental Considerations
  • Automatic Processes
  • Steps largely outside of awareness (Child is not
    aware of discrete processes)
  • Overall progress is monitored (outcomes of each
    step likely not monitored but overall task
    success is monitored)
  • Requires fewer conscious processing resources
    (multi-tasking is possible)
  • Examples
  • Reading familiar texts
  • Simple arithmetic computations
  • Driving a manual transmission car after practice

21
Developmental Considerations
  • Transition from automatic to controlled processes
    occurs through
  • Practice
  • Acquisition of knowledge base
  • Acquisition of more efficient strategies

22
Developmental Considerations
  • Controlled Attentionability to sustain focus of
    mental resources
  • Early on, young children typically require an
    adult or more competent individual to help
    sustain attention (ala Vygotsky)
  • As CNS matures and more effective strategies are
    acquired, child is able to manage own focus
    (pruning, mylination, elaboration)

23
Developmental Considerations
  • Metacognition
  • Executive function
  • Monitors ongoing mental processing
  • Controls strategic thinking
  • Can manage attention
  • Becomes able to assess performance on relatively
    simple mental tasks
  • Tends to develop rapidly across early childhood
  • Tend to overestimate their knowledgeunclear
    whether the overestimation is a true
    overestimation or a desire to please an adult
    questioner

24
Developmental Considerations
  • Theory of Mind (ToM)Attributing mental states to
    oneself and other
  • Appearancereality distinction (Maynard the cat
    who wore a dog mask)
  • Younger children were sure Maynard became a dog
  • Older children did not succumb to the prank
  • Recognizing the difference between ones own
    feelings and others is key to understanding
    mental states differ
  • Maturation, experience with language,
    opportunities to communicate specifically but
    ones mental states seem to be linked to
    development of ToM.

25
Language Development across Early Childhood
  • Vocabulary Development occurs through
  • Exposure and reinforcement
  • Repetition
  • Childs own analysis and construction of rules
    and structures

26
Language Development across Early Childhood
  • Syntactic Development
  • Syntactic structure learned through exposure
    attempts
  • Telegraphic speech is an early syntactic form
  • Noun (agent) verb (predicate) object implied
  • Verb (predicate) noun (object) agent implied
  • Noun (agent) noun (object) predicate implied

27
Language Development across Early Childhood
  • Syntactic Development
  • Rules can be overregularized
  • Child recognizes a rule should be applied
  • Application of a rule is syntactically
    appropriate but incorrect (e.g. run?runned
    instead of ran)
  • Indicates the child is constructing rules and
    structures
  • Errors typically reflect syntactic rather than
    semantic errors (errors in structure, not
    meaning)

28
Language Development across Early Childhood
  • Pragmatic Developmentrules of usage
  • What cognitive resource or capability might be
    required?
  • Perspective taking
  • Recognizing non-verbal cues and emotional
    expression
  • Domains of Pragmatic Development
  • Turn taking
  • Context dependent vs. context independent
    language
  • Answer obvious questions (Do you have to make
    that much noise?)
  • Deference to authority

29
Language Development across Early Childhood
  • Bilingual Children
  • Three models
  • Simultaneous
  • Both languages learned simultaneously
  • Most effective if each parent consistently uses
    one language
  • Tend to be more fluent in both
  • Additive
  • One language is learned first
  • Second language is learned following some fluency
    in first language
  • Most common in the USA culture

30
Language Development across Early Childhood
  • Bilingual Children
  • Three models
  • Subtractive
  • First language is learned to some fluency
  • Second language is learned as a preferential
    language or as a replacement for the first
    language
  • Cultural norms and bilingualism
  • Cultures that value bi or multilingualism tend to
    have either simultaneous or additive bilingualism
  • Cultures that devalue one of the two languages
    tend to have subtractive bilingualism
  • True bilingualism (simultaneous or additive)
    tends to be related to more astute language users

31
Early Childhood Education
32
Early Childhood Education National Programs
  • Head Start/ Abecedarian/High-Scope
  • Ages of service range from birthfive years
    depending on the program
  • Typically comprehensivehealth, parental
    involvement, educational
  • Typically includes home visits for parental
    education

33
Early Childhood Education
  • Factors impacting success rate
  • Population served
  • Teacher training (VPK vs. Certified Teachers)
  • Staff turnover
  • Comprehensive nature of the program
  • Staff development
  • Parent training
  • Follow-up beyond exit from program (Project
    Follow Through)

34
Early Childhood Education
  • Kindergarten Readiness
  • DAIL-3
  • Motor
  • Gross Motorjumping, catching
  • Fine Motorblock building, copying
  • Language
  • Answering personal questions (name, age, sex)
  • Articulation (for referral to speech assessment)
  • Concepts
  • Naming body parts
  • Counting
  • Naming parts of a house

35
Early Childhood Education
  • Kindergarten Readiness
  • DAIL-3
  • Self-Help
  • Skills at feeding, grooming, hygiene
  • Dressing oneself
  • Social
  • Play with other children
  • Compliance with adult-given instructions
  • Following rules

36
Early Childhood Education
  • Educational issues around Readiness Levels
  • Many of those who test as not ready for
    kindergarten can be accommodated in regular
    kindergarten classes
  • Old-for-grade tends to be more predictive of
    problems than movement into kindergarten with
    some additional support
  • Schools might be reconstrued as being ready for
    children vs. children as being ready for schools
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