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- Growth rate slows during the prechool years.
- Height: 2-3 inches/yr
- Weight: 4-6 lbs/yr
- Children become more slender as they get taller and lose baby fat.
- Boys generally become slightly taller and heavier than girls.
- By 2 yrs old: 75% of adult weight (brain weight)
- By 5 yrs: 90% of adult weight (" ")
- Growth is due to continued myelinization.
- Myelinization of the corpus collosum allows integration of logical and emotional functioning.
- Brain shows plasticity.
- The brain's ability to compensate for injuries to particular parts of the brain.
- Is greatest in the first 2 years of life. Preschoolers with damage to language areas can overcome them due to plasticity.
- Sprouting (growth of new dendrites) may contribute to the brain's plasticity; redundancy of neural connections may also contribute.
Gross Motor Development
- Movement which involves the large muscles used in locomotion.
- As nervous system matures, maovements become more precise and coordinated.
- Boys and girls are similar in motor skills.
- Girls have slight advantage in balance and precision.
- Boys have slight advantage in throwing and kicking
- Rough and tumble play: Running, chasing, hitting, laughing, making faces.
- Helps develope physical and social skills.
Is rough and tumble play the same as aggression
- Aggressive behaviour: Hitting, pushing, taking, grabbing, anger.
- Aggression does nothing to develope social skills.
- Preschoolers spend an average of: 25 hours/week in large muscle activity.
- The more physically active the parent, the more physically active the child.
- Twin studies suggest heredity components of activity.
Fine Motor Development
- Fine motor skills include: control of wrists and fingers.
- Developes slowly and lags behind gross motor skills
- Buttoning, tying shoelaces, and stocking blocks, etc.
- Emerges during infancy
- By 7-11 months preferences for particular hand increases
- By age 4 clear preference for handedness
- Lef-handedness associated with dyslexia, stuttering, high blood pressure, epilepsy, schizophrenia and depression.
- Also associated with higher math ability, success in athletics, success in musical fields, architectural fields, and the arts.
- Heredity contributes to handedness.
- 4-6 yr-olds need: 1400 cal/day.
- 1-3 yr-olds need: 1000-1300 cal/day.
- Appetite becomes erratic during 2nd and 3rd year of life.
- Children are often fed too much salt and sugar.
- Food preferences are somewhat enviornmental.
- Repeated exposure to a food increaes the liking of it
- Parents are the role model for which types of food a child will like to eat.
- Lasts from age 2-7.
- Characterized by the use of symbols to represent objects and relationships among them.
- Language ability greatest symbolic activity during this stage
- Scribbling/drawing begins at start of this stage.
- Symbolism is also expressed as symbolic or pretend play.
The preoperational Stage is Characterized by:
- 1. Symbolic play
- 2. Egocentrism
- 3. Precausal thinking
- 4. Conservation
- 5. Appearance as reality
1. Symbolic Play
- Engaged in from 15 months of age, increases in complexity as child ages.
- Requires cognitive sophistication because it requires child to use and recollect symbols (things he has learned about or experienced).
- First engaged in pretend play at:
- 12-13 mo: Perform familiar activites (feed self/doll)
- 15-20 mo: Feed a doll (shift focus from self to others)
- 30 mo: Doll is feeding self.
- 4-5 years: dolls comb hair, have teaparties, help doll drink, etc.
- Children do not understand that others do not see the world as they do.
- One dimensional thinking: ME! (The "self.") Incapable of seeing another person's perspective.
- Measured by Three Mountians Test. (Developed by Piaget)
- Reasoning about events that is egocentric and not based on science.
- Exhibited in 3 ways:
- 1. Transductive reasoning: Reasoning by going from one specific isolated event to another.
- 2. Animism: Attribution of life and intentions to inamimate objects.
- 3. Artifacialism: Assumes environmental factors such as rain and thunder have been designed and made by people.
- Preoperational age children can only focus on one dimension at a time = CENTRATION.
- Conservation: law that holds that properties of substances such as volume, mass and number remain the same even if you change their shape or arrangement.
- Preoperational child has not mastered reversibility. Quantities are the same when whole is broken into parts.
Appearance as Reality
- A belief that an objecct's appearance tells you what the object is really like.
- Appearance vs. Reality distinction: Understanding the difference between real events and mental events.
- Including new objects or catagories in broader mental classes or categories
- Requires child to focus on two aspects of a situation at once.
- This skill is not observed during preoperational stage.
- Example: 4 cats and 4 dogs. Are there more animals than dogs? Requires child to undertand that cats count as animals but do not count as dogs.
What are the 3 factors that influence a child's cognitive development?
- 1. Scaffolding: Temporary support provided by a parent or teacher to learning children; guidance by adult decreases as child is capable of carrying out task on their own.
- 2. Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD): The gap between what chilren are capable of doing alone and what they could do with help from others; adults or older children help in guiding by gearing assistance to children's capabilities.
- 3. Inner Speech: At first children's thoughts are spoken out loud, which serves to regulate their behavior.
- Gradually thoughts become internalizied, which is the ultimate binding of language and thought.
- Tend to "talk it through" during difficult tasks or after mistakes are made.
Effects of Early Childhood Education
- Preschool education enables children to get an early start on achievement in school
- Higher the SES, the greater the performance of standardized intelligence tests. Because of this, preschool programs such as Head Start began in the 1960's.
- Environmental enrichment as well as parent eduction can enhance cognitive development of economically disadvantaged.
Development of Memory
- By age 4, children can remember events from 1.5 yrs earlier.
- Young children form scripts when describing what happens during a particular event; the script becomes more elaborate as it is told
- Autobiographical memory (episodic memory): Memory for specific events is facilitated by childrren talking about them with others.
What are the factors that influence memory?
- Order: Remember events that follow a logical order more easily.
- Interest: Remember events that are more personal/intimate to them.
- Cues from others: Remember more details when prompted from others.
KNOW THIS ABOUT MEMORY!!!!
Parental interest and questioning increases a preschooler's memory.
- preschoolers learn an average of 9 new words a day
- Word learning does not occur gradually
- Fast -Mapping:
Development of Grammer
- Children's sentence structure increases during 3rd year of life, due to grammer exposion including:
- Articles (a, an, the)
- Conunction (and, but, yet, or)
- Possessive adjectives (yours, his, hers, my/mine)
- Pronouns (she, him, one)
- Overregulization: children acquire grammatical rules as they learn language; young ages apply rules rigidly even in cases where there are exceptions, ie: sat vs. sitted, saw vs. seed, etc.
- First questions tend to be telegraphic (trunkated sentences with questioning inflection)
- After 3yrs, why questions (what, who, where) appear earlier than others (why, when, which, how)
- Later the child will add the verbs is, did and will to indicate whether the question concerns the present, past or future.
- Social language
- Practical application of language; children demonstrate pragmatics when they adjust speech to fit the social situation.