Class Notes (810,913)
Canada (494,374)
Psychology (2,022)
PSYC 302 (57)
Weikum (10)

Why Study Child Development.docx

7 Pages
Unlock Document

University of British Columbia
PSYC 302

1. Why Study Child Development? A. Raising Children • Knowledge of child development can help parents meet the challenges of raising children • Back to sleep campaign • Dramatic decrease SIDS deaths • AmAssociation of Pediatrics recommends o Sleeping on back o Firm Surface o No pillows, bedclothes, etc. that baby could get tangled in B. Choosing Social Policies • Knowledge of child development permits informed decisions about social- policy questions that affect children. • Period of Purple Crying C. Understanding Human Nature • Child-development research provides important insights into some of the most intriguing questions regarding human nature. • Recent investigations of development among children adopted from inadequate orphanages in Romania supports the principle that the timing of experiences often influence 2. Historical Foundations of the Study of Child Development A. Early Philosophers’Views of Children’s Development • Provided enduring insights about critical issues in childrearing, even though their methods were unscientific • Both Plato andAristotle believed that the long-term welfare of society depended on children being raised properly, but they differed in their approaches. Plato • Emphasized self-control and discipline • Believed that children are born with innate knowledge Aristotle • Was concerned with fitting child rearing to the needs of the individual child • Believed that knowledge comes from experience Late Philosophers • John Locke, likeAristotle, saw the child as a tabula rasa • Jean-Jacques Rousseau argued that parents and society should give the child maximum freedom from the beginning. B. Social Reform Movements • In the nineteenth century, research was conducted for the benefit of children and provided some oft the earliest descriptions of the adverse effects that harsh environments can have on child development C. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution • Later in the nineteenth century, Charles Darwin’s work on evolution inspired research in child development in order to gain insights into the nature of the human species D. The Emergence of Child Development as a Discipline • Child development emerged as a formal field of inquiry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. • Sigmund Freud and John Watson formulated influential theories of development during this period. Freud and Watson • Freud concluded that biological drives exerted a crucial influence on development. • Watson argued that children’s behavior arises largely from the rewards and punishments that follow particular behaviors. • Although the research methods on which these theories were based were limited, the theories were better grounded in research and inspired more sophisticated thinking than their predecessors 1. Can tell apart vowel sounds (prenatally) 2. Stepping Reflex (Birth) 3. Rolls over (3-4m) 4. Sits upright on their own (6m) 5. Walk (12m) 6. Says two word utterance (18m) 3. Enduring Themes in Child Development Nature and Nurture • The single most basic question about child development is how nature and nurture interact to shape the developmental process. • Nature refers to our biological endowment, especially the genes we receive from our parents • Nurture refers to the wide range of environments both physical and social that influence our development • Developmentalists now recognize that every characteristic we possess is created through the joint workings of nature and nurture. • They ask how nature and nurture work together to shape development. TheActive Child • Children contribute to their own development form early in life and their contributions increase as they grow older • Children make important contributions during their first years of life • Three of the most important contributions during children’s first years are their o Attentional patterns o Use of language o Play Continuity/Discontinuity • Continuous development: • Discontinuous development:Age related changes include occasional large shifts so that children of different ages seem qualitatively different • Stage theories propose that development occurs in a progression of age related, qualitative shifts • Examining a boy’s height at yearly intervals from birth to 18 years makes the growth look gradual and continuous • Examining changes in the same boy’s height form one year to the next makes growth seems discontinuous • Depending on how it is viewed, changes in height can be viewed as either continuous or discontinuous. Mechanisms of Developmental Change • In general, the interaction of genes and environment determines both what changes occur and when those changes occur. • For example, one mechanism involves the role of brain activity, genes and learning experiences in the development of effortful attention • What role do genes and learning experiences play in influencing this mechanism of effortful attention? o Genes influence the production of neurotransmitters and variations in these genes are associated with performance on tasks of effortful attention o Children’s experiences also can change the wiring of the brain system that produces effortful attention The Sociocultural Context • Refers to the physical, social, cultural, economic, and historical circumstances that make up any child’s environment • Contexts of development differ within and between cultures • In many countries mothers and children sleep together for the first several years of the child’s life, but in the U.S. infants usually sleep separately from their parents soon after birth • The US culture values independence and self reliance whereas the Mayan culture values interdependence • Development is affected by ethnicity, race and socioeconomic status • The socioeconomic context exerts a particularly large influence on children’s lives Individual Differences • Individual differences among children arise very quickly in development. • Children’s genes, their treatment by other people, their subjective reactions to other people’s treatment of them, and their choice of environments all contribute to differences among children, even those within the same family. Research and Children’s Welfare • Child-development research yields practical benefits in diagnosing children’s problems and in helping children to overcome them. • Aresearch method known as preferential looking has enabled the diagnosis of the effects of cataracts in infants as young as 2 months of age Theories of Cognitive Development Why not just one theory? • Because child development is a complex and varied process, no single theory accounts for all of it. • Theories of cognitive and social development for example, focus on different capabilities Evaluating Theories • Does it have an internally consistent set of assumptions? • Is it specified enough to be falsifiable? • Does it adequately describe the behaviors that are observed? • Does it provide
More Less

Related notes for PSYC 302

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.