Presentation on theme: "Infants and Toddlers: Critical Years of Life"— Presentation transcript:
1Infants and Toddlers: Critical Years of Life Chapter 7Infants and Toddlers: Critical Years of Life
2Infants and ToddlersHigh quality care of infants and toddlers has become increasingly important, along with the increase in dual income families (i.e., families where both mothers and fathers work). The periods of infancy and toddlerhood are critical for learning, and we now understand that children at these ages are quite capable. This chapter focuses on the characteristics of infants and toddlers and the type of environments that support their learning and development. Upon completion of this chapter, you will be able to discuss the importance of developmentally appropriate practices and learning environments for the infant and toddler.
3Infancy and Toddlerhood The first year of life—filled with “firsts” (first smile, first words, first thoughts, first steps)ToddlerhoodThe period between age one and three. The two most important developments during this age are language acquisition and walking.
4Infant and Toddler Development Language and mobility leads to toddler independence and desire for autonomy.Teachers and caregivers must respond to infant and toddler developmental changes in ways that support their growth and development.Normal growth and development have been established, based on the mythical average child. Children will grow and develop at different rates.Teachers and caregivers should take into consideration children’s culture and family background when determining what is normal for the individual child.
5Nature and Nurture versus plus Nature Nurture Child’s Development Discussions of whether nature (genetics) or nuture (environment) have more influence on development have shifted so that these two influences are no longer pitted against each other.Current thinking is that both are necessary to understand children's development and that the interaction between nature and nurture contributes to the individuality of children.versusplusNatureNurtureChild’s Development
6Brain DevelopmentDecisions about early childhood programs and the organization of environments to promote child development rely on information gleaned from brain research.Brain research points to:the importance of early experiences;benefits of early intervention.Brain research provides information about stimulation, and development of specific areas of the brain.
7More on the BrainThe child’s brain is anatomically like the adults brain, except that the adult’s brain weighs 3 pounds while the child’s brain is as follows:At birth – 14 ouncesSix months– 1.31 poundsThree years – 2.4 poundsTen years – 3 pounds
8More on the BrainNeurons are nerve cells which form synapses or connections through a process called synaptogenesis. Synaptogenesis continues until age 10.Brain connections are made when caretakers interact or play with, and respond and talk to young children.Connections that are used repeatedly become permanent. Neural shearing takes place when brain connections wither away due to lack of use.
9Influences on Development and Learning High quality experiencesHigh quality experiences contribute to neural connections.Critical periodsExperiences must occur at the right timesSensitive periodsSome things are learned easier during certain periods.
10Psychosocial Development Children from birth to age two develop trust in others and themselvesRaised in environments of love, warmth, and supportEnvironment with limited conflict between infant and parent or caregiverCaregivers are trustworthy and are sensitive to the child’s needs.Infants and toddlers fall within the trust vs. mistrust stage of Erickson’s theory of psychosocial development.
11Social BehaviorsInfants use social behaviors to begin and maintain relationships.Infants interact socially with others byCryingImitating and mimicking observedbehaviors
12Bonding and Attachments Social and emotional relationships are influenced by bonding and attachmentsBondingAttachmentenduring emotional tie between infant and parentchildren engage attachment behaviors (e.g., crying, sucking, babbling, etc.) to get and maintain proximityadults also engage in attachment behaviors (e.g., kissing, touching, embracing, etc.) to establish attachmentstakes place between infant and parentbegins at birthserves as the basis for mutual attachment
13AttachmentsYoung children are capable of developing multiple attachments at the same time—although they may show a preference for the primary caregivers.High quality childcare programs seek out ways to ensure that mothers maintain primary attachments with their infants.The quality of parent-child attachments can me measured by the Strange Situation. This observational tool assesses whether or not an infant is securely attached to a caregiver.
14Temperament and Personality A child’s temperament is represented by his/her collective behavioral characteristics. A child’s temperament helps to determine their personality.Three Types of ChildrenEasy childSlow-to-warm upchildDifficultSee Figure 7.3 for details about each type.
15Principles of Motor Development Motor development is sequential. Growth precedes from:Gross (large) behaviorsFine(small)behaviorsCephalocaudalDevelopmentHead(cephalo)Foot(caudal)ProximodistalDevelopmentProximal(center of body)Distal(extremities)
16Cognitive Development Infants are toddler fit within Piaget’s sensorimotor stage, which is the first stage of cognitive development. Highlights of this stage include:initial learning through reflexive motor action;development of object permanence where the infant understands that objects they cannot see still exist;toddlers’ experimentation with objects to solve problems;thinking using mental images and memory;symbolic play where an unrelated object is used to represent another object (e.g., a stick is used to represent an airplane).
17Theories of Language Development Maturationist TheoryLanguage acquisition is innate. All children learn language regardless of culture.Speech production develops according to innate biological schedules.Environmental TheoryThe content of language is acquired in the environment through modeling. Social interactions are necessary for language development. .Theories of Language Development
18Language Development Vocabulary development ( 50 words by age 2) First wordsHolophrastic speech (single word sentences)Symbolic representation(a word can stand for a mental image)Vocabulary development( 50 words by age 2)Telegraphicspeech (two word sentences)See pgs for ways to promote language development in infants and toddlers.
19Language DevelopmentAdditional important points about language development. . .Motherese – the way mothers and caregivers adapt their speech when talking to young children.Language patterns – children develop and master most language pattern by the end of preschool. The early years represent the sensitive period for learning language.Baby signing – infants as young as five months can learn signals that stand for something else. A growing movement suggests children should be taught to communicate using signs before they are able to talk.
20Developmentally Appropriate Programs Dimensions of Developmentally Appropriate ProgramsDevelopmentally appropriate programs consider:what is known about child development and learning;what is known about the strengths, interest, and needs of the individual child so that the program can adapt and be responsive to those interests and needs;the social and cultural context in which the child lives so that learning experiences can be meaningful, relevant, and respectful to children and their families.
21Developmentally Appropriate Programs Infants and toddlers are different and will require different programming and activitiesInfantToddlerCare must also be taken when matching teachers and child care providers with children of different ages. Certain teachers/child care providers will be more emotionally and professionally suited for certain ages of children.
22Environments to Support Infant and Toddler Development Environments that support healthier, happy and achievement oriented children are:InvitingComfortableHealthySafeSupportiveChallengingRespectful
23Environments to Support Infant and Toddler Development Teachers and childcare providers can organize environments that provide for:Heath and safetySupport development of basic trust and autonomySpace and materials that encourage active involvement
24Infant and Toddler Curriculum The curriculum should provide for the child’s physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and linguistic development.The curriculum should be based on responsive relationships which means that it will respond to the needs and interests of the infant or toddler.The curriculum shouldinclude a daily routineencourage language developmentpromote social development and interactionsinclude engaging and challenging activities
25Infant and Toddler Mental Health Infant mental health refers to the overall health and well-being of young children in their family, community, and school relationships. Threats to children such as abuse, neglect, poverty, malnutrition, and the lack of loving relationships result in poor mental health.Poor mental health leads to negative outcomes such as:impaired mental functioningpoor school achievementpoor physical healthsubstance abusedelinquencyloss of human potential
26Infant and Toddler Mental Health Relations are important to mental health. Listed below are relational guidelines.individualize attention to the needs of both infants/toddlers and their parents.emphasis on the strengths of infants and toddlers.provide continuous and stable caregiving.be accessible to infants/toddlers and their parents.be culturally responsive by recognizing the values, beliefs, and practices of diverse cultures
27Diverse Learners Children today come from diverse family backgrounds. All families should be welcomed.Children today come from diverse family backgrounds.Collaborate with diverse familiesFamilies differ in terms of race, socioeconomic status, religion, and culture.All families should feel valued.Culture influences beliefs about child rearing practices and family responsibilities.See pg. 199 for tips on working with diverse families.
28What’s nextAfter reviewing this presentation and reading Chapter 7, Infants and Toddler: Critical Years for Learning, check your understanding of the terms and concepts listed below. You will then be ready to complete the Chapter 7 quiz.Cognitive developmentTheories of language developmentStages of language developmentMothereseDevelopment of language patternsUsing sign languageDimensions of developmentally appropriated programsEnvironments supportive of developmentInfant/toddler curriculumInfant/toddler mental healthThreats to mental health/outcomesRelational guidelines to support mental healthWorking with diversityInfant/toddler age rangeNature vs. nurtureBrain research and developmentBrain size-infant/toddlerNeurons and synapsessynaptogenesisneural shearingCritical periodsSensitive periodsExperiences that support development of trustSocial behaviorBonding and attachmentStrange SituationTypes of child temperamentsSequential motor development and growth