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Health Studies
Jason Ramsay

LECTURE 2: The Ecological Model of Child Development May 14, 2012 -by modern age, childhood was worthy of study and soon mothering was worthy of study starting to draw away from the botanical view of child development (add onto the same like a plant) -Freud: little devils; Piaget: little scientists/thought sacks; Vygotsky: little apprentices -three approaches to understanding development: -Jean Piaget -Lev Vygotsky -Bowlby and Attachment Theory -* Bronfenbrenners Ecological approach to understanding child development is best suited to our project of linking macro variables to child outcomes -Jean Piaget -Swiss philosopher-scientist -believed in genetic epistemology as an approach to understanding development (wanted to know where genetic structure came from) structuralist -thought that children were little thought-sacks -was a constructivist he thought that we used thoughts like building blocks -Jean Piaget and Cognitive Development -children actively participate in their own development -scientists in the crib -construct their understanding of the world through hypothesis testing -the basic processes of development are: 1) organization (how children organize stimuli in surroundings) 2) adaptation -assimilation: -you receive information about the world and assess the information -it fits with your pre-existing theory -NO NEED to change your theory -accommodation -you receive information about the world and assess the information -it DOES NOT fit with your pre-existing theory -you CHANGE your theory -assimilation and accommodation: -it is the basis of how we organize our world -this forms the basis of how we develop cognitively throughout life -it is also a good explanation of learning -the complexity of assimilation/accommodation increases with each stage -schemas: -a schema is a mental model of an aspect of the world -we operate through schemas -schemas can be scripts, plans and goals -schemas are dynamic and continually updated through assimilation and accommodation -schemas are visual and verbal -the higher the stage of development, the greater the schema -schema is also used as a term in the cognitive therapy literature -famous inventor of cognitive therapy, Aaron T. Beck called schemas -a cognitive structure for screening; coding and evaluating the stimuli that impinge on the organism -schemas develop as efficient, automatic ways of responding quickly to the world -Beck believed that children go through four stages (operation): sensorimotor, pre-operational, concrete and formal -sensorimotor stage: -child begins to coordinate her body and senses -develops from instinctive reaction toward the beginnings of symbolic through at end of stage -symbol use is extremely limited -development of primitive symbols and basic words and very basic social skills (facial emotions, social referencing) -pre-operational stage: -chid develops language skills -can represent the world through symbols -these symbols go beyond the connection of physical activity and action -words, images, drawings -develops an understanding of the social world (perspective taking) -development o pretense and imagination -concrete operations: -occurs around 10-11 years of age -child can now reason logically about concrete events and classify objects into different sets -logical reasoning replaces intuitive thought -symbol use is complex and rich -still, not up to algebra -executive functions need to develop need to control impulse = class of action in which consequences were not planned (but the action was planned) now called self-regulation -formal operations: -reasoning is increasingly abstract -reasoning explicit and logical -development of executive and decision making abilities develop -new evidence that our frontal lobes dont stop developing until we are 25 years old -do all of us reach formal operations? -criticisms of Becks stages: -the stages are not pure -makes no provision for individual differences in development must all children develop the same way? -what is the role of parents and society -what is the role of collaborative learning? -Vygotsky: -believed that all cognition started in the social realm -children learned how to do things as apprentices to adults or teachers -adults provided scaffolding, like training wheels for childrens cognitive processes -all leaning starts as a social interaction and only later becomes internalized in our heads -self-talk is a good example -what did Vygotsky add to Piaget?: -Piaget wasnt interested in interpersonal growth (study of child as if it were in a bubble) -Vygotsky was interested in childs social aspect (is a constructivist too) -had more to say about the processes whereby children became competent -performing a task or behaviour was always within the zone of proximal development which is how far the child can go with/without adult help-his legacy is the social approach to learning and education (especially computers and internet) Attachment Development -early emotions: -infants react to emotional expression in their caregivers -react to tone of voice -parents learn to read their infants expressions -attachment is based on responsiveness of parents to babys emotional displays -parenting influence becomes bi-directional (occurring both ways) -learning complex emotions: -4-6 weeks: social smile -3-4 months: anger, surprise, sadness -5-7 months: fear -6-8 months: shame-shyness -contempt/guilt: 2 years -the older the child gets, the more the emotions involve imagining what others are feeling (empathy) -stranger anxiety: -tends to appear in the second half of the first year -infant displays a fear and wariness of strangers -infants show it less in familiar settings -less when in physical contact with parents -less fearful of child strangers -Erik Erikson called the first stage of life Trust vs. Mistrust -attachment -the close emotional bond we have with other is called attachment -attachment begins in
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