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PSYC3800 final.docx

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PSYC 3800
Dan Yarmey

Unit 1 Article by CooperFeatures that distinguish education change the ways research evidence is incorporated into policy and practiceevidence based decision makingThe rise in role of evidence in policy and practice is the result of these factors growth of an increasingly welleducated and wellinformed public explosion of available data developments in technology growth and capabilities of research community and increasing emphasis on accountability in the government Rationale for use of evidence more informed policy higher quality decisions more effective outcomeshowever not everyone agrees it is desirableUniversities are especially trying to include more research information on their websites newsletters etcGovernment policy documents in many countries make explicit mention of the importance of research in formulating policyGovernments have also created and supported third party organizations dedicated to knowledge mobilization and many of these also support networks of different kindsAlthough many researchers and research institutions still have no organized approach to making their work readily availableIssues and challenges little empirical evidence on most of the issues little is known about how practice organizations find share and use research etc Article by Gage Obviousness has practical importance Schlesingers critique thought book was obvious Lazarfeldstated it is hard to find a form of human behavior that has not already been observed somewhereJust making things sound more complicated than they actually areConants position commonsense generalizations about human nature Each person is basically saying that social and educational research yields results that would not already be known to any intelligent and thoughtful personThe allegation of obviousness may now be countered with the research result that people tend to regard even contradictory research results as obviousUnit 2 Chapter 2 Cognitive Development and LanguageDevelopmentThe term development refers to certain changes that occur in human beings between conception and death This is not applied to all changes but more so those that appear in an orderly way and last for a long period of timeFor example getting the flu would not be part of development Human development can be divided into different aspects o Physical development o Social and emotional development o Cognitive development o Maturation 3 Questions of DevelopmentNature vs Nurture o Today the environment is seen as critical but so are biological factors ad individual differences o Current views emphasize complex coactions joint actions of nature and nurtureWhat is the Shape of Development Continuity vs Discontinuity o A continuous change would be like gradual improvement in your running endurance through systematic exerciseo Discontinuous change would be like many of the changes that occur in humans during puberty such as the ability to reproduce o Continuous or quantitative can be seen as change such as walking up a ramp to go higher and higher o Discontinuous or qualitative change is more like walking up stairsTiming is it too late o Is there a critical period wherein one needs to learn languageo Today people say there are sensitive periods no critical periods o Sensitive periods are when a person is especially ready for or responsive to certain experienceso Therefore the best time to learn a second language is during childhood General Principles of DevelopmentPeople develop at different ratesDevelopment is relatively orderlyDevelopment takes place gradually The brain and cognitive developmentCerebellum plays a higher role in cognitive functioning such as learningThe hippocampus is critical for recalling information and recent experiencesAmygdala regulates emotionsThe cerebral cortex allows for the greatest human accomplishments such as problemsolving o It accounts for 85 percent of the brains weight in adulthood and contains the greatest number of neurons Neuronscells that store and transfer information o Send out axons and dendrites o They share information by releasing chemicals that jump across the tiny spaces called synapses between fiber ends o They transmit information that control muscle glands or neurons dendrites receive information and transmit information o By the time we are born we have all the neurons we need 100200 billion o However only the neurons we use survive and the rest die off also known as being pruned o Two kinds of pruningExperience expectant because synapses are overproduced in certain parts of the brain during certain developmental periods awaiting and expecting stimulationExperience dependent wherein synaptic connections are formed based on the individuals experiences new synapses are formed in response to neural activity in very localized areas of the brain when the individual is not successfully processing information o Stimulating environments may help in the pruning process in early life experience expectant period and support increased synapse development in adulthood experiencedependent periodo It is clear that extreme deprivation can have negative effects on brain developmento Mylination is the process by which neural fibers are coated with a fatty sheath called myelin that makes message transfer more efficientThe development of the brain Cerebral Cortex o The cerebral cortex develops more slowly than other parts of the brain and parts of the cortex mature at different rates o Controls physical and motor movement mature first followed by the areas that control senses such as vision and hearing o Laterization is the specialization of the two hemispheres of the brain cortexeso Damage to the right side of the brain will affect movement of the left side of the body and vice versa o Plasticity is the brains tendency to remain somewhat adaptable or flexibleo Both sides of the brain work together to maximizePiagets Theory of Cognitive development o Influences on developmentBiological maturation ActivitySocial experiencesEquilibrium o Maturation is one of the most important influences that refers to the unfolding of the biological changes that are genetically programmed in each human being at conception o Activity is another influence on cognitive development which refers to the ability to explore and mobilize in ones environment therefore increase cognition o Thus we act on environment o Social transmission refers to learning from other people Basic Tendencies in thinking
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