Lecture 8 – Mar. 12 th2012
Bronfenbrenner & Ceci
Bioecological Model (Systems of Relationships that form a child’s environment)
• A child’s own biology is the primary environment fueling their own development.
The interactions between factors in the child’s maturing biology ( family, friends,
community, societal landscape fuels and steers their own development). The
need to examine the child’s immediate environment and larger environment.
Proximal Process (Experiment that activates genes), must happen regularly, to
activate gene activity. The environment sets up and increases the probability to
regulate and signal proximal processes of the gene to be activated/ affected. To do so
you need a complex set of condition to increase experience regularly & regularity.
Interesting: this complements Bjorkland & dynamical systems, mind-mind
The Biological: Bjorkland, Proximal Process, Vygotsky
Bronfenbrenner, defines “layers” of environment, that has effect on the child’s
development. Microsystems, mesosystems, exosystems, macrosystems etc...
Piaget’s Specific Claim
Piaget focused on the development of logical competence, so that you can do logical
scientific reasoning. This is inherently biased, because it is a self-referential view, as
he sees the reason for development is to be able to reasoning like science, to reason
objectively. He claims development requires training in biological thinking.
He theorized that development occurs in stages, that happens in an invariant order,
that occurs through a maturational process; biological development.
His theory consist of 4 stages
1. Sensorimotor (0- 2 years old)
2. Pre-operational ( 2-6 years old)
3. Concrete Operational ( 6-12 years old )
4. Formal Operational ( 12 –Adult)
*Each Stage is broken up into substages
Sensorimotor Stage (6 sub-stages) Ivy Quach
1. Exercising Reflex (Birth - 2 Months)
Claim: Babies start with very little (simple association) and develop gradually.
• Piaget claims that babies move from Sensorimotor Development (Accidental )
Cognitive Development (Intentional). Babies learn to manipulate the world
then mind. He claims that sensorimotor needs XY
Babies don’t start off as a blank slate they start with biological reflexes (Startle,
Idea Here: Babies tries to extend/ apply reflexes more generally to deal with the world
(Piagetian Assimilation). This triggers more distortion and combining that babies are
Problem: Underestimates what kids start with and cognitive development requires
simultaneous interaction. He therefore pre-supposes the hierarchal model of the brain
a. Babies have innate ability for language, and this can’t be explained
through reflexes. Babies learn to say “No” before and are not taught this,
they do so through associations and language which is much earlier than
what Piaget predicted. Babies have more complex abilities than expected.
Piaget underestimates what evolution has given humans.
Babies start way better off than Piaget thinks/assumes. Piaget therefore
underestimates what kids start with and this translates into his whole theory.
Babies use skills to manipulate and make sense of the world.
b. Cognitive development Sensorimotor (Both need to occur
simultaneously to produce development of PLANNING)
Piaget’s complexification involves intermodal and cross –sensory ,
information from different sense modal that are higher integrated.
Therefore the brain is wired more differently than Piaget assumed.
Criticism: Knowing what’s really out there, the intermodal world is independently exist.
This helps babies see there is an independent world out there, which is needed for
The brain is much more intersensory
Legestree –Provided evidence that babies at 3 months of age use intentional
behaviours. Parent would be unresponsive towards the babies facial expression and
provide a neutral expression to thebaby. The babies would increase smiles and sound
to invokes a smile (Babies are untrained). This unconditioned stimulus (US) lead to
increasing interactiveness by smiling with mom ( intentional). This also demonstrates Ivy Quach
that babies demonstrate the early cognitive capacity to intentionally pro