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Chapter 2&3

Chapter 2&3 Educational Psychology

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYCH 212
Professor
Maureen Drysdale
Semester
Fall

Description
Exam 1 Reading Requirements: Chapter Two: Physical, Cognitive and Language Development EXPLORING STUDENT DEVELOPMENT What Is development? Development is the pattern of biological, cognitive and socio-emotional changes that begins at conception and continues through the lifespan. - involves maturation and growth, aging and decay - development can be viewed from physical, cognitive, social and individual/personal perspective - educational psychologists and educators focus on positive developmental changes that increase student’s capabilities, adaptability and/or efficacy from infancy to adulthood - important concept in education related to development is that education should be age- appropriate Processes, Periods and Stages - pattern development is the product of processes: biological, cognitive, and socio-emotional - they are all interwoven and influence each other, socio-emotional processes can shape cognitive processes, cognitive processes can promote or restrict socio-emotional processes, biological processes can influence cognitive processes Biological, Cognitive, and Socio-emotional Processes: Biological processes involves changes in the body in which genetic inheritance plays a large part o development of the brain, height and weight gains, changes in motor skills and puberty’s hormonal changes Cognitive processes involves changes in thinking, intelligence, and language o enables students to memorize a poem, imagine how to solve a mat problem, come up with a creative strategy or string together meaningfully connected sentences Socio-emotional processes involves changes in relationship with other people, changes in emotion, and changes in personality Periods of Development - development periods are infancy, early childhood, middle and late childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood Developmental Issues Maturation and Experience (Nature and Nurture) - development produced also by the interaction of maturation and experience Maturation is the orderly sequence of changes dictated by an individual’s genetic blueprint - extreme environments can harm development - they believe that basic growth tendencies are genetically wired into everyone’s makeup Nature-nurture controversy- the debate about whether development is influenced primarily by maturation or by experience - nature refers to biological inheritance, nurture to environmental experiences - “nature” claims that biological inheritance is what mainly determines development - “nurture” argue that environmental experiences are more important Kurt Lewin proposed a mathematical relationship where human behavior (B) is a function (F) of the interaction between personality variables (P) and environmental ones (E) - B= F (P X E) captures the endless possibilities that exist for innate capabilities to be honed or modified by worldly experiences or events Continuity and Discontinuity Continuity in development refers to gradual, cumulative change Ex. when students become better in math - psychologists who emphasize experience describe development as gradual and continuous Discontinuity in development refers to more distinctive, stage-like change - each of us passes through a sequence of stages in which change is qualitative rather than quantitative - development produces something different 1 - ex student becomes capable of writing a meaningful sentence, which the student could not have done before, this is qualitative, discontinuous change PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT AND HEALTH Functions of the Brain - the brain has considerable plasticity Plasticity is the ability to change and adapt based on experience Brain Cells and Regions - the number and size of brain’s nerve continue to how until adolescence - brains increase due to myelination Myelination- a process in which many cells of the brain and nervous system are covered with an insulating layer of fat cells, which increases the speed at which information travels through the nervous system - myelination in the areas of the brain related to hand-eye coordination is not complete until about 4 years of age - myelination in brain areas that are important in focusing attention is not complete until the end of the elementary school years - believed that occasional short breaks sustain students’ energy and motivation to learn - one of the last areas of the brain to mature involves the frontal lobes o maturation in this area corresponds with increasingly sophisticated reasoning and abstract thinking abilities o when this area is not fully developed, students may behave impulsively and are less likely to consider the consequences of their behaviors Synapses are tiny gaps between neurons where connections are made o nearly twice as many of these connections are made than ever will be used o connections that are used become strengthened and will survive while the unused ones will be replaced by other pathways or disappear - the visual, auditory and prefrontal areas of the brain are critical for higher-order cognitive functioning such as learning, memory and reasoning - middle to late adolescence the adult density of the synapses is achieved - child’s brain undergo substantial anatomical changes between the ages of 3-15 - overall size of brain did not change from 3-15 years of age, rapid growth in the frontal lobs occurred from 3-6 years of age Anderson says there are four areas of executive functioning that develop between childhood and adolescence - areas include attentional control, cognitive flexibility, goal setting, and information processing - as students acquire greater control and abilities across these four areas, they are better able to plan, control and monitor their learning experiences Lateralization is the specialization of functions in one hemisphere of the brain or the other o the cerebral cortex (the highest level of the brain) is divided into two halves, or hemispheres Individuals with intact brains, there is a specialization of function in some areas: 1) Verbal processing o speech and grammar are localized to the left hemisphere but not all language processing is carried out in the brain’s left hemisphere o understanding such aspects of language as appropriate use of language in different context, metaphor and much of humor involves the right hemisphere 2) Nonverbal processing o right hemisphere is usually more dominant in processing nonverbal information, such as spatial perception, visual recognition, and emotion o the right hemisphere is when they process information about peoples faces o it is more involved when people express emotions and when they recognize others’ emotions 2 - “left-brained” (more logical) and “right-brained” (more creative) to indicate which hemisphere is dominant Motor Skills Gross motor skills- skills that involve large-muscle activities, such as running and playing basketball Fine motor skills- skills that involve finely tuned movements, such as the finger dexterity required for writing and drawing - gross motor and fine motor skills develop extensively during childhood - teachers use appropriate activities for the exercise of gross motor skills that include exercise that involve fundamental movement, daily fitness and perceptual-motor activities - development of fine motor skills allows them to draw, print and write with more control and skill - boys tend to be better at gross motor skills and girls better at fine motor skills Health and Education - students who enjoy a balanced lifestyle, including good nutrition and physical activity, perform better in school - Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health had indicated that from 1981-1996, the overweight children increased from 15%-35.4% for boys, and 15%-29.2% for girls Gingas argues that internet, television and computer games aren’t part of it and that obesity is a complex problem that is partly genetic and partly environmental o She suggests that reducing time in doing those things, you could increase time on homework and school-related activities not only for improved physical fitness - A major concern for children obesity is that obese children tend to become obese adults - DPA (daily physical activities) programs in an effort to increase the physical activity levels o Schools participate 59% decrease in the number of overweight students and 72% reduction in the number of obese children - The Saskatchewan “in motion” program is a physical activity and health promotion initiative for secondary school students o Schools incorporate physical movement into daily routines like announcements, posters and activity challenges - Heart healthy kids is designed to enhance students’ physical well-being o Promotes the development of proper eating habits, exercise and healthy lifestyle choices by including life experiences to which students can readily make personal connections Pubertal Changes Puberty is a phase of maturation that occurs mainly in early adolescence and involves a height and weight spurt and sexual maturation - change starts at 10½ females and 12½ for males - children experience puberty at earlier ages since the beginning of 20 century as a result of improved health and nutrition - in 1990’s, girls first menstruation (called menarche) occurred at an average of 14 years of age, today it is 12 - early-maturing girls are vulnerable to developing a number of problems, early-maturing girls are more likely to smoke, drink, be depressed, have an eating disorder, request earlier independence from their parents, have older friends and date earlier - as a result of their socio-emotional and cognitive immaturity, combined with their early physical development, early-maturing girls appear to be more susceptible to participating in risky behaviors COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT - all these theorists are constructivists: they believe that students actively construct knowledge and understanding Piaget’s Theory Cognitive Processes: - children use schemas to construct their world 3 Schema is information, such as concepts, knowledge and events at individuals already possess - Piaget’s focused on how children organize and make sense of their current experiences - He said that the two processes are responsible for how children use and adapt their schemas: assimilation and accommodation Assimilation occurs when individuals incorporate new knowledge into existing knowledge. - ex: when given a hammer that she has never used and seen others do this, she realizes that the hammer is an object to be held and is swung by the handle to hit the nail so she fits her behavior into this schema she already has Accommodation occurs when individuals adjust to new information that is, when children adjust their schemas to the environment - ex. the hammer is too heavy so she holds it near the stop, she swings too hard and the nails bend so she adjusts the pressure of her strikes, these adjustments reflect her ability to alter her conception of the world Piagetian Stages - he also believed that cognitive development unfolds in a sequence of four stages 1) The Sensorimotor Stage lasts from birth-2 years of age o infants construct an understanding of the world by coordinating sensory experience (seeing and hearing) with motor actions (reaching, touching) - in the beginning, infants show little more than reflexive patterns to adapt to the world - by the end, they display far more complex sensorimotor patterns - he believed that an especially important cognitive accomplishment in infancy is object permanence Object permanence involves understanding that objects and events continue to exist even when they cannot be seen, heard or touched 2) The Preoperational Stage lasts from approximately 2-7 years old, it is more symbolic than sensorimotor thought - children begin to represent the world with words and images - it is egocentric and intuitive rather than logical - expanded use of language and emergence of pretend play - young children begin to use scribbled designs to represent aspects of the world - in elementary school years, their drawings become more realistic, neat and precise - preoperational thought has two important limitations: egocentrism and animism Egocentrism is the ability to distinguish between one’s own perspective and someone else’s perspective Animism is the belief that inanimate objects have lifelike qualities and are capable of action o it also characterizes preoperational thought Centration focuses or centres attention on one characteristic to the exclusion of all others - it is present in young children’s lack of conservation Conservation is the idea that some characteristic of an object stays the same even though the object might change in appearance Ex. to adults it is obvious that a certain amount of liquid stays the same regardless of a container’s shape but not obvious to all young children - they are struck by the height of the liquid in the container - 2 identical beakers, each filled to the same level with liquid and they would say the same amount of liquid - liquid from one beaker poured into another, the child now children from 7-8 usually says it isn’t equal by saying the height/width of the beakers but older children say yes by saying that if you pour the liquid back, the amount is the same Operations are mental representations that are reversible 3) The Concrete Operational Stage lasts from 7-11 years old - it involves operations, logical reasoning replaces intuitive reasoning, but only in concrete situations - classification skills are present, but abstract problems are difficult - he focused on the way children reason about the properties of objects 4 - students can do mentally what they previously could do only physically and they can reverse concrete operations - an important concrete operation is classifying Classifying is dividing things into different sets or subsets and considering their interrelationships Ex. understanding that a person can be a father, brother and grandson at the same time Seriation- concrete operation that involves ordering stimuli along some quantitative dimension (such as length). Ex. teacher places 8 sticks of different lengths and asks them to order the sticks by length, they understand that each stick must be loner than the one that precedes it and shorter than the one that follows it Transitivity is the ability to combine relations logically to understand certain conclusions Ex. three sticks different length, A longest, B intermediate in length and C the shortest, that understand that A > B, B > C, A> C. 4) The Formal Operational Stage emerges between 14-15 years old - individuals move beyond reasoning about only concrete experiences and think in more abstract, idealistic and logical ways - the concrete operational thinker needs to see the concrete elements, A, B and C to make the logical inference that if A=B and B=C, then A=C o the formal operational thinker can solve this problem when verbally presented - they think more logically, they devise plans to solve problems and systematically test solutions Hypothetical-deductive reasoning embodies the concept that adolescents can develop hypothesis about ways to solve problems and systemically each a conclusion Evaluating Piaget’s Theory - Piaget underestimated children’s competence and overestimated adolescence’s abilities, some cognitive abilities emerge earlier than he thought o Ex. conversation as early as 3 but he thought 7 - His theory assumed that various aspects of a stage should emerge at the same time - He thought that teaching developmentally advanced concepts would be unsuccessful o But training is especially likely to be successful if the task demands associated with working memory are considered - Working memory plays a much larger role in the growth of cognitive abilities than estimated by Piaget - He relied predominantly on the logical system and children’s understanding of logical operations, such as classification, seriation and transitivity - Culture and education exert stronger influence on children’s development than Piaget believed Non- Piagetian are developmental psychologists who argue that the direction of Piagetian study should be toward how students process information through attention, memory and strategy use Vygotsky’s Theory - he also believed that children actively construct their knowledge 1) the children’s cognitive skills can be understood only when they are developmentally analyzed and interpreted; o taking a developmental approach means that in order to understand any aspects of children’s cognitive functioning, we must examine its origins and transformations from earlier to later form 2) cognitive skills are mediated by words, language and forms of discourse which serve as psychological tools for facilitating and transforming mental activity o to understand cognitive functioning it is necessary to examine the tools that mediate and shape it, led him to believe that language is the most important of those tools o he argued that in early childhood, language begins to be used as a tool that helps children plan activities and solve problems 3) cognitive skills have their origins in social relations and are embedded in a socio-cultural backdrop - he portrayed children’s development as inseparable from social and cultural activities 5 - believed that the development of memory, attention and reasoning involves learning to use the inventions of society, such as language, mathematical system and memory strategies - knowledge is situated and collaborative o knowledge is distributed among people and environments, which include objects, books, artifacts and the communities in which people live o this suggests that knowing can best be advanced through interaction with others in cooperative activities The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is the range of tasks that are too difficult for children to master alone but that can be learned with guidance and assistance from adults or more skilled children - lower limit of ZPD is the level of problem-solving reached by children working independently - the upper limit is the level of additional responsibility children can accept with the assistance of an able instructor - involves children’s cognitive skills that are in the process of maturing and heir performance level, with the assistance of a more skilled person o “buds” or “flowers” of development, to distinguish them from the “fruits” of development, which the child already can accomplish independently Scaffolding is a technique of changing the level of support over the course of a teaching session with a more skilled person adjusting the amount of guidance to fit a student’s current performance level - when the task the student is learning is new, the more-skilled person might use direct instruction - as the student’s competence increases, less guidance is provided - dialogue is an important tool of scaffolding in the ZPD - he viewed children has having rich but unsystemic, disorganized and spontaneous concepts - through ongoing dialogues between children and skilled helpers, children’s concept becomes more systematic, logical and rational Language and Thought - believed that young children us language not only for social communication but also to plan, guide and monitor their behavior in a self-regulatory fashion - use of language for self-regulation is called inner speech or private speech - for Piaget, private speech was egocentric and immature but for Vygotsky it is an important tool of thought during the early childhood years - he believed that language and thought initially develop independently of each other and then merge - he thinks that all mental functions have external and social origins on their own thoughts - children must communicate externally and use language for a long period of time before the transition from external to internal speech takes place o this transition period occurs between 3-7 involves talking to themselves o self-task becomes second nature to children and they can act without verbalizing after a while and when this occurs, children have internalized their egocentric speech in the form of inner speech which becomes their thoughts - he believed that children who use a lot of private speech are more socially competent than those who don’t o argued that private speech represents an early transition in becoming more socially communicative - Vygotsky said that language is socially based but Piaget emphasized young children’s egocentric and non-social speech - For Vygotsky, when young children talk to themselves they are using language to govern their behavior and guide themselves, whereas Piaget believed that such self-talk reflects immaturity Case’s Neo-Piagetian Theory - took some of Piaget’s most classical theoretical components and combining them with more current concepts that provided greater explanatory power - well known member of this group is Canada’s Robbie Case o played a major role in the development of the neo-Piagetian movement 6 1) Sensorimotor (0- 1½ ) o children attempt to understand the world by using a range of sensory experiences particularly touch o children particularly interested in cause and effect 2) Interrelational stage (1½ - 5 ) o children’s mental representation consists of objects, people and action o thinking is still dominated by relationships between cause and effect 3) Dimensional stage (5-11 ) o focus on multiple dimensions simultaneously, and they begin to make finer discriminations between these operations o their mental representations involve categories of relational and dimensions such as height and weight and happy and sad 4) Vectorial stage (11-19 ) o individuals can operate on mental elements o these elements tend to be abstract concepts and have properties similar to vectors - difference between Piaget and Case’s, it differs in that it presents a cyclical pattern for processing through each stage o he defines this movement as consisting of a series of sub stages through which children consolidate singular capabilities into a coordinated whole o children’s progression through these sub stages is defined by the number of mental element that they can represent simultaneously while completing any one task Substage 0: Operational consolidation (individual elements) - various operations are consolidated but they are not coordinated into one cognitive structure - ex. 4 year olds are able to hold separate items in their minds, they cannot combine them to form one concept - ex. a student may understand the difference between heavy and light weights and how each affects the movement of a balance beam, and the number system realizing that higher number means “more” but they cannot put the two ideas together to predict how placing more weights on one side of the balance beam will affect the movement of the beam Substage 1: Unifocal coordination (single representation) - 6 year olds are able to coordinate these 2 qualitatively different types of operations, resulting in a qualitative as well as quantities shift - ex. they can combine knowledge about the relationship between heavy and light weights on a balance beam with knowledge about the umber system to predict which way the balance beam will move by counting the number of weights on either side Substage 2: Bifocal coordination (two representation) - two pairs of similar operations can now be coordinated - 8 year olds can solve the balance beam problem where the number of weights on either side of the beam is held constant but the distance between weights and fulcrum is changed Substage 3: Elaborated bifocal coordination (integration of two representation) o 10 year olds are able to coordinate and integrate all operations o balance beam problems where both number of weight and distance vary can be solved - he believed that students’ developmental progression across the stage is a function of more efficient use of working memory which provides them with a greater ability o process information that is more complex Three factors contribute to maturational gains in the capacity of working memory: 1) Neurological development - he thinks that synaptic growth and pruning the increased development of myelin sheaths (which acts as a neural insulator and improve neural transmission) increases the efficiency of mental operations and facilitates children’s progression from one stage to the next 2) Automatization through practice - by practicing certain operations repeatedly, children achieve automaticity in those processes 7 - automatization frees up attention resources that in turn can be used for other activities, including the execution of more complex operations - ex. when people learn to drive, all the driver’s attentional capacity is on keeping the car on the road but as operations such as checking the rear mirror become automatic, other operations such as reading street signs or adjusting the radio can be performed more readily 3) Social experiences and cultural variations - social experience and cultural variation plays a major role in children’s development Modification of Developmental stages Central conceptual structures (CCS)- integrated networks of concepts and cognitive processes that form the basis of students’ conceptual development across domains that share similar conceptual underpinnings - existence of three CSS: quantitative, spatial and narrative - centre refers to the conceptual kernel of children’s understanding across any array of situations, problems or experiences that share similar conceptual features - CSS for narrative structure proposes to rest on two core abilities: the ability to understand general scripts or “rules” about sequencing of social events such as teacher-student interactions o The second core ability is related to the “theory of mind” acquisition, which involves understanding the mental states of self and others o As children mature, they become more able to combine these two core abilities into powering social templates that guide their social interactions - As they mature, these structures undergo several qualitative transformations (stages) as well as quantitative changes (substages), allowing them to think about problems in more complex and advanced ways - Argues that learning depends on the patterns of quantitative organization, narrative structure and social and cultural factors that cut across disciplines, reminding educators to involve more than content acquisition - “complexity” to be a critical variable in learning, a critical variable in teaching Evaluating and Comparing Cognitive and Social Constructivists Theories - constructivist theories emphasize that children actively construct knowledge and understanding rather than being passive receptacles of learning - Vygotsky’s theory is a social constructivists approach that focuses on the importance of language and social contexts - Piaget’s theory focuses instead on cognitive development and its impact on learning - Case’s theory combines elements of Piaget’s cognitive development theory and Vygotsky’s social constructivism by proposing that students’ capabilities for constructing knowledge are facilitated by a skillfully directed social process - Piaget, student’s construct knowledge by transforming, organizing and reorganizing previous knowledge - For Vygotskys, students construct knowledge through social interaction with others - Case’s model argues that while children construct knowledge by organizing information into more meaningful cognitive structures, this process is facilitated by social interaction and instructional design that is sensitive to their individual memory capacities - Piaget’s theory stresses the need to have students explore the world around them and discover knowledge - Vygotsky’s theory suggests that discovery and learning are facilitated by skillful teachers and student’s interactions with more-skilled peers - Case’s theory calls attention to the need for teachers to plan learning activities that balance learners’ individual memory capabilities with he complexity of task requirements and a supportive social environment - Teachers function as facilitators rather than directors of student learning in each of these theories LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT 8 Language is a form of communication, whether spoken, written or signed, that is based on a system of symbols Infinite generativity is the ability to produce an endless number of meaningful sentences using a finite set of words and rules - all human language follows the organizational rules of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics Phonology is a language’s sound system - spoken language is made of basic sounds, or phonemes - ex. of phoneme is k, in the word ski, the letter c in cat, etc - phonological rules allow some sound sequenc
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