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. Chapter 5 The Early Years of Childhood Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-1.

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Presentation on theme: ". Chapter 5 The Early Years of Childhood Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-1."— Presentation transcript:

1 . Chapter 5 The Early Years of Childhood Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-1

2 . What is 'childhood'? A period of the lifespan based as much on social norms as biological time In Pacific cultures, status depends on the situation, not just age Also common in European cultures: a person may be a "child" to their parents, even when they are at midlife Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-2

3 . Cultures differ in dividing the lifespan into phases NZ government: –Tamariki (0-14 years) –Rangatahi (15-24 years) Many cultures distinguish between –Infants dependent on the caregiver (first 18 months or so) –Early childhood (18 months to school age) –Transition to school Countries differ greatly in ages at which children start school Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-3

4 . Big issues about childhood Period of life often seen as special and protected in various cultures In earlier centuries in Europe children were not seen as special or vulnerable (Aries, 1962) Today many children globally suffer abuse, neglect and genocide (United Nations web pages) Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-4

5 . Childhood as a cultural construction Some sociologists argue that cultures' views of childhood depend on: –Wealth of a society & views of child labour –Life expectancy –Boys' and girls' access to schooling (James, Jenks & Prout, 1998) Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-5

6 . Diversity in children's lives There is no "typical child" Affluent Euro-Western children differ greatly from children in much of the world Access to enough food and healthcare differs Low birthweight and early birth babies survive less often in poorer countries Children without resources may not reach their full potential (Melchior et al., 2007) Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-6

7 . Discourses about childhood 1. Childhood is a distinctive stage 2. Childhood is about progress 3. Childhood is about independence 4. Children as the future Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-7

8 . 1. Childhood is a distinctive stage The theories of Piaget and Freud have stages to describe childhood This is linked with views of biologists about immature forms of organisms (e.g. tadpoles turning into frogs) Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-8

9 . 2. Childhood is about progress The child is often contrasted with the adult –As though the child is half-formed –Progressing towards maturity –Deficient but constantly improving Children do, however, have their own competencies and are unique, valuable people in their own right Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-9

10 . 3. Childhood is about independence Key concept used in describing children's changes across age Cultures differ in definitions and views of independence –Affluent US mothers less likely than Mayan to let toddlers get their own way (Rogoff, 2003) –NZ children playing outdoors unsupervised may be unusual Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-10

11 . 4. Children as the future Many cultures value childhood as representing the next generation Special recognition given to hopes for the future E tipu e rea mo nga ra o tou ao (In our children lies our future) Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-11

12 . Nature and nurture Recap: –Genome is a person's unique genetic description ("nature") –Often contrasted with the environment around the person ("nurture") –But the two are always intertwined Very hard to predict what a child will be like later in life Famous quote from John B. Watson (1930) against fixed nature: Give me a dozen healthy infants … and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist … and, yes, even beggar-man and thief Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-12

13 . Are some children doomed from the start? Research has NOT found risk factors that inevitably give a child a poor outcome in life (see Masten & Gewirtz, 2006) Influences are multi-directional –Not just poverty that affects the child's nutrition but –Children respond differently to different types of food and nurturing –In a two-way causal process Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-13

14 . Temperament in early childhood Is the temperament (emotional constitution) of a child set early on? Parents' observations of their own children in the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health & Development Study (2009) noted stability from age 3 to 9 –Some children consistently more 'approachable' –Others more 'sluggish' or 'restless' But cultures differ greatly in interpreting children's moods & behaviour Children do change over time Cultures differ in what temperaments they value or avoid, e.g. talkativeness! Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-14

15 . Predictions about development Piaget's theory suggests that children's development could determine their readiness to understand many concepts Recent research shows children understand many things earlier than previously thought Cultural diversity means that there is NO single universal path in child development Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-15

16 . Children with disabilities May not fit expected norms in development, but norms (e.g. expected ages for answering the phone or looking after siblings) differ by culture One in five New Zealanders will be disabled at some time in life www.odi.govt.nz Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-16

17 . Language development Acquiring a language –Phonology: sounds –Lexicon: vocabulary –Syntax: rules of grouping –Grammar: phonology + syntax –Pragmatics: everyday uses of language Narratives bring cultural knowledge to conversation Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-17

18 . When families have more than one language Many children acquire more than one language –Language in home may differ from majority in the country –Bilingualism: some fluency in two languages –Many different types of bi- and multi-lingualism –No clear disadvantage in development –Can enhance child's cultural understanding Strengthening te reo Māori in Aotearoa –Te Kōhanga Reo –'Language nests' support young children & families who speak many minority languages in NZ Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-18

19 . Figuring out the basics: Jean Piaget Pre-operational thinking –Poor on understanding of conservation (i.e. understanding that physical properties remain the same despite appearances to the contrary) Ages for success on Piaget's tasks are lower in 'child friendly' testing situations Piaget's theory still useful but has evolved into new directions Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-19

20 . Understanding how others see the world Egocentrism: centering on your own point of view Importance of play: trying out new actions & understandings through assimilation Learning about others through interest in and responding to others (Dunn, 1988, 1991) Learning about emotions through hearing people talk about them Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-20

21 . Theory of Mind At some point children learn that everyone has a unique mind or mental life This helps us to understand others by anticipating what they might think or why they did something Pretend play can show evidence of Theory of Mind (Kavanaugh, 2006) Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-21

22 . Cultural setting for development: Lev Vygotsky Language is a much bigger part of development in this theory compared to Piaget Zone of Proximal Development: –Space between what the child can do alone in comparison to accomplishment with others' help Caregivers and older peers may 'scaffold' (provide supporting structure) for the child on a task Example: tuakana (older child) / teina (younger child) relationships Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-22

23 . Knowing oneself helps social understanding Moral development : Kohlberg's theory –Preconventional stage: Punishment defines what is bad! Emotional self-regulation improves, as does capacity of empathy for others Improving language skills help in social relationships Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-23

24 . Early Childhood Education (ECE) 94% of NZ children attended some kind of early childhood service in 2006 Cultures differ in the developmental changes considered most important in early childhood In Aotearoa there is a national ECE curriculum: –Te Whāriki ECE can be an important support for the childs development Copyright 2010 McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd PPTs to accompany Claiborne & Drewery, Human Development 5-24


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