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Chapter Six Vocabulary


Process by which speed of information traveling though nervous system increases, due to a fatty layer of cells on nerve cells in the brain

Gross Motor Skills

Large muscle skills resulting from physical development enabling children to perform smooth and coordinated physical acts

Fine Motor Skills

Small muscle skills involving hands and fingers that result from physical development

Preoperational Period

Piaget's second stage of cognitive development, extending from about 2 to 7 years


A child's application of abstract thinking during the preoperational period


Children's preoperational activity in which they consider inanimate objects to possess human thought, feelings, and actions

Deferred Imitation

Children's preoperational behavior that continues after they witnessed the original action or event

Symbolic Play

Children's mental representation of an object or event and reenactment of it in their play; one object may represent a different object in the play


Piaget's term for the child's focus on self in early phases of cognitive development


Feature of preoperational thought; the centering of attention on one aspect of an object and the neglecting of any other features


Ability to group objects with some similarities within a larger category


The understanding that an object retains certain properties even though surface features change


A cognitive act in which a child recognizes that she can use stages of reasoning to solve a problem and then trace the steps back to the original questions or premise


The belief that children create, organize, and transform knowledge through active engagement in their environment

Social Constructivism

The belief that children construct knowledge through social interactions

Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)

The range of ability a child possesses on a given task, from working independently to working with assistance from adults or older chlidren


The systematic use of support to assist a child in his or her performance on a given task


Mnemonic strategy that entails discovering and imposing and easy-to-remember structure on items to be memorized


Memory strategy that enables obtaining information from memory; includes recognition and recall

Theory of Mind

Children's understanding of their own thoughts and mental processes

Constructivist Approach

Learning approach in which children are encouraged to be active participants in constructing knowledge and learn by interacting with their environment

Sensitive Periods

Montessori's term for periods of children's development marked by sensitivity/readiness to learn

Head Start

Government-supported early childhood program that provides education, health, and parenting education services to low-income families

Receptive Language

The ability of the child to understand written and spoken language

Expressive Language

The language children use to express their ideas and needs


A language irregularity in which children apply a word in a broad manner to objects that do not fit


Children's strict application of language rules they have learned

Authoritarian Parenting

Baumrind's term for parents who are demanding and want immediate obedience as the most desirable trait in a child

Authoritative Parenting

Baumrind's term for parents who respond to their child's needs and wishes; they believe in parental control and attempt to explain the reasons for it to their child

Permissive Parenting

Baumrind's term for parents who take a tolerant, accepting view of their child's behavior and rarely make demands or use punishment

Uninvolved/Neglectful Parenting

Term for parents who are undemanding and emotionally unsupportive of their child

Sibling Underworld

Familial subsystem, or coalition, of brothers and/or sisters

Day Care

Services and care for children provided outside the children's home


Biological maleness or femaleness


Social/psychological aspects of being male of female

Gender Identity

The conviction that one is either male or female

Gender Stereotypes

Rigid beliefs about characteristics of males and females

Gender Role

Culturally defined expectations about how females and males should act

Sex Cleavage

Youngsters of the same sex tend to play and do things together


Activity people engage in because they enjoy it for its own sake

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