Lecture 4 D ▯ evelopment: The Early Years
The study of how our humanity develops from children to adults, and adults until our elderly years.
No other animal is born so helpless and dependent on parents as humans are.
Physical development occurs prior to birth and continues long after.
Physical dependency sets the stage for social development, development that occurs
throughout our lifespan.
Humans have very few children and care for the deeply, turtles for example have many offspring
and do not raise them (most end of dying because of this).
The more children you have the fewer will survive.
▯ Methods and Terminology
1) Prenatal ▯ 38 weeks of pregnancy
Zygote (first 2 weeks)
Embryonic (28 weeks)
Fetal stage (last 7 months)
2) Infant/Toddle (birth – 2)
3) Adolescence (hard to define) When one an adult differs by culture.
4) Adulthood and Old Age
▯ Prenatal Development
Zygote Stage, single cell begins dividing and differentiating eventually forming 200 different
kinds of cells (blood, nerve, bone cells etc.) all with the same DNA.
Embryonic Stage, when the hearts starts to beat. Sexual differentiation also occurs. Critical
stage for avoidance of teratogens (cocaine, alcohol).
Fetal Stage, when bones start to form, and the baby really starts to grow.
Begin life as female’s, importance of testosterone and androgens in embryonic stage.
▯ Infancy – Motor Development
Hardwired behaviors not learned after birth, thumb sucking.
Child born knowing mothers voice.
Some children walk by a year old, some take about a year and a half. 2
Depends on environment, lots of things happening around children helps to develop
▯ Perceptual Development
Startled at sounds
Starts to laugh and smile
Starts to learn words
Can say own name, but doesn’t know who they are.
Lecture 5 ▯ Development: Cognitive Development
How we change cognitively.
Babies born with some knowledge and memories.
▯ The Development of Thought
Still working in progress, will be a different person years from know.
Do things we wouldn’t normally do now.
Baby learns early on that we live in a responsive world, if baby cries mother will respond.
▯ Jean Piaget
The notion of maturation and the stage like sequence of cognitive maturation (prerequisites).
Interested in education
It’s or job to teach ourselves, teachers don’t do anything.
The mind develops in stages, can’t move to the next stage until you have masters the previous
one needed to move on.
▯ Piaget’s Stages of Development
1) Sensorimotor Period – Cognition at this stage is closely tied to external stimulation and
understanding characteristics of objects.
Child thinks the world is only what they see/hear.
Child has to l