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PSYC 3600 (Community)Chapter 8 Notes (1).docx

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York University
PSYC 3600
Thanh Nguyen

Chapter 8: Schools, Children and the Community THE EARLY CHILDHOOD ENVIORNMENT • Bronfenbrenner formulated the ecological perspective of human Development – lasting in change in the way in which the individual perceives and deals with the environment • Ecological setting – a set of interdependent contexts, or settings, embedded within one another Immediate settings- where the child exists eg home/ classroom Interrelationships- between the childs home and the school Environment for which the child has no direct participation, but that has indirect effect on development eg. availability of daycare and health care • Therefore the ecological perspective takes an interdependent approach and takes into account other contexts like home situation or neighborhood Child (Day)Care • Can be defined as was children are cared for when they are not being cared for by their parents or primary caregivers • Includes licensed and unlicensed centers, family member’s or relatives other than parents, neighbors, informal sitters, and preschools • Some provide just babysitting, others provide health care, nutritious meals, and field trips NECESSITY FOR CHILD CARE • More than 90% of families have at least one parent in the labor force, in two parent families 62% are both employed , more that 56% of mothers work with a child under 1 yr old (states stats) • Child care centers are used more frequently than any other type of care • Some believe daycare is harmful because it separates the child from the parents • The type and quality of care is what makes a difference in children’s lives- good care at a reasonable cost is a huge problem EFFECTS OF CHILD CARE • 70’s is when a lot of middle class mothers entered the workforce- raised question of how much damage is done to infants and young children by working mothers? • Another issue is what effect non-maternal care has on the childs development; social cognitive, language and other abilities. • NICHD Study of Early Child Care: followed the development of 1000 children from nd birth through age 3 at 10 different sites, 2 phase followed development to first grade and 3 phase development till middle childhood • Purpose of study- to examine how variations in non-maternal care are related to childrens social adjustment as well as cognitive and physical development • Researchers made observations in the home and administered various measures of social-emotional as well as linguistic and cognitive development • Critical question to study; what constitutes high quality child care? 1) Appropriate adult to child ration ( for infants, a maximum of six children to one adult) 2) Small group size( a max of 8 children between 1 ½ and 2 yrs old) 3) Appropriate caregiver education (eg. degree in early childhood education or child development is preferred) 4) Accreditation by state and/ or federal agencies • Quality care has been linked to both good cognitive and social development (no matter where provided) • Most child care is rated as fair in states. Only 10% receive very high quality, 10% very poor quality • There are processes that contribute to high-quality care, such as the caregivers: 1) Positive attitudes, positive interactions and warm physical contact 2) Communications to the child, such as asking questions, making comments or providing answers 3) Reading stories, signing songs and other activities that help children learn 4) Encouragement of the child’s development eg. helping infant walk 5) Social behaviors such as smiling and laughing • Findings -only a small percentage of children have access to the positives • Important finding -child care had less impact on social-emotional and cognitive development than did family characteristics – ie family characteristics were better predictors of child development than any other aspects of the child-care situation- so have to take into consideration the children’s experiences in their own families. PLANS FOR THE CHILD CARE DILEMMA • At the immediate ecological level-Parents need to familiarize themselves with information about quality child care- pediatricians, public schools, health departments and other agencies need to help • Parents need to participate in asking appropriate questions about childs care (empowerment) • Low income families and single parents should be given higher tax credits or subsidies • At employer level- general family leave time, flexible working house, telecommunicating and in house child care • Policy changes- increase funding for early childhood care – provide higher salaries and require training in early childhood education • Child-care research needs to continue – more research needs to occur at the informal family/home setting day cares Enrichment Education and Early Intervention • Researchers argue that childcare alone is not enough to help some children flourish developmentally- on average low, children from low socioeconomic level families are relatively less prepared of school and are at more risk for later behavior problems • Achievement gap-refers to the multitude of ways that impoverished children, fail to keep up academically – early prevention some argue is a solution to problem • Compensatory education/ early intervention/ now called enrichment education – are used to prevent future problems of children at risk Prevention Programs • Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 “War on Poverty” – one project was Head Start to reach children between 3-5 from low income families, a comprehensive program to meet childrens mental, emotional and educational needs – federal government pays for- its now largest of its kind • Head start programs reflect community psyc- they are tailored to each community, one of first programs to demonstrate that single intervention is insufficient (parents are extremely involved) • Research is difficult on head start- programs vary, doesn’t use random assignment , programs have evolved over time , research cant agree what constitutes progress In children, larger ecological environment is constantly changing • Short term gains have been assessed- head start narrows the gap between disadvantaged children and all other children in vocabulary and writing skills , improved social skills , better knowledge , letter recognition and math and writing skills compared to non program children , modest gains in health and improved parenting • Long term effects –head start students comparable to non program students in regard to highest grade completed, sense of personal mastery, health and mental health • Seems cost effective- children in head start are more likely to complete high school and more likely to attend college , reduced chances of being arrested • Other programs used participatory learning –the child selects his/her own activities from among a variety of learning areas the teacher prepares Self-Care Children • Between 5-13 years children are lacking supervision when come home from school- referred to as self-care children – lack of after-school child-care , or at home with an older sibling • Lower income family children spend higher amounts of time on their own • Those alone are more likely to have social and emotional problems, more vulnerable to risky behaviors • Academic assistance (eg tutoring) and enrichment activities (eg. art, physical rec) results in better work habits, academic achievement and pro-social behavior THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS Desegregation, Ethnicity and Prejudice in the Schools • Seymour Sarason(expert on U.S schools) called nations schools our Achilles Heel HISTORICAL CONTEXT • 1954 US supreme court heard testimony from social scientist about detrimental effects of segregation on African American pupils –Brown vs. Board of Education – despite ruling it did little to alter society- ie work places still segregated PREJUDICE AND ITS COMPANIONS • Prejudice-is an unjustifiable attitude (usually negative) toward members of some group, based solely on their group membership • Discrimination-involves prejudice actions toward particular groups based on group membership – it is often influenced by stereotypes • Stereotypes- beliefs that all members of of a certain groups share common traits or characteristics • Study- b
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