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Cognitive Development in Early Childhood

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Presentation on theme: "Cognitive Development in Early Childhood"— Presentation transcript:

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 child’s own increased mobility

3 Three Theoretical Perspectives
Piaget Vygotsky Information Processing

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

5 Piaget’s 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



8 Piaget’s 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 Piaget’s Perspectives
Egocentrism Failure to take others’ perspectives Sees others as having one’s own perspective Animistic thought Attributes animate qualities to inanimate objects Artificialism Attributes natural phenomena (sunsets, tides) to direct human action

10 Piaget’s 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 Piaget’s 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 Vygotsky’s Perspective
Theoretical orientation reflected a Marxist dialectical view Social speech—interaction with others—precedes private speech monologue by the child Private speech precedes the internalization of the concept to a mental representation

13 Vygotsky’s 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 Vygotsky’s 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
Encoding—initial input of information from environment (sense organs; perception; attention) Transformation—processes operating on that information (strategies—depth of processing) Storage—retention of the information (network models—schema structures)

16 Information Processing Theory
Retrieval—recall or recognition of the information from memory (strategies—search of memory) Executive function—management, monitoring, and control of cognitive domain (metacognition; cognitive monitoring; selection and use of strategies;

17 Developmental Considerations
Capacity increases—amount 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 increases—amount 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 tasks—multitasking) 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 Attention—ability 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 knowledge—unclear 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 Appearance—reality 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 one’s own feelings and others’ is key to understanding mental states differ Maturation, experience with language, opportunities to communicate specifically but one’s mental states seem to be linked to development of ToM.

25 Language Development across Early Childhood
Vocabulary Development occurs through: Exposure and reinforcement Repetition Child’s 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 Development—rules 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
Child Care Nature of Program Structured Curriculum Play and Free Activities Entry Criteria Readiness Assessment Open Access Placement w/in Program Placement Tests Some Age Leveling Movement across levels Advancement based on achievement Social Skills

32 Early Childhood Education: National Programs
Head Start/ Abecedarian/High-Scope Ages of service range from birth—five years depending on the program Typically comprehensive—health, 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 Motor—jumping, catching; Fine Motor—block 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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