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Chapter 12: Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood
Terms in this set (50)
Piaget: Concrete Operational Stage
-Extends from 7 to 11 years
-Compared to early childhood, thought is more logical, flexible, and organized.
-The ability to pass conservation tasks provides clear evidence of operations- mental actions that obey logical rules
-Capable of Decentration: focusing on several aspects of a problem and relating them, rather than centering on just one.
-Capable of Reversibility: the capacity to think through a series of steps and then mentally reverse direction, returning to the starting point
-Reversibility is solidly achieved in middle childhood.
-Between ages 7 and 10, children pass Piaget's "class inclusion problem"
-This indicates that they are more aware of classification hierarchies and can focus on relations between a general category and two specific categories at the same time- on three relations at once
-Children at this age are better able to inhibit their habitual strategy of perceptually comparing the two specific categories (blue flowers and yellow flowers) in favor of relating each specific category to its less-obvious general category (flowers)
-This ability shows in children's tendency to collect things like baseball cards- resorting them, grouping them by league, team, by playing position and batting average
-The ability to order items along a quantitative dimension such as length or weight, is called seriation.
-to demonstrate seriation: ask children to arrange sticks of different lengths from shortest to longest.
-The concrete operational child can also seriate mentally, an ability called transitive inference.
Piaget: Spatial Reasoning
-Cognitive maps: their mental representations of spaces, such as a classroom, school, or neighborhood. In drawing or reading a map, because the entire space cannot be seen at once, children must infer its overall layout by relating its separate parts.
-With respect to large-scale outdoor environments, not until age 9 can many children accurately place stickers on a map to indicate the location of landmarks.
-Around this age, the maps children draw of large-scale spaces become better organized, showing landmarks along an organized route of travel. At the same time, children are able to give clear, well-organized instructions for getting from one place to another by using a "metal walk" strategy- imagining another person's movements along one route
-At the end of middle childhood, most children can form an accurate overall view of a large scale space. And they readily draw and read maps.
-Cultural difference: Indian children represented a rich array of landmarks and aspects of social life, such as people and vehicles, in a small area surrounding their home, the US children, in contrast, drew a more formal, extended space, highlighting main streets and key directions but including few landmarks.
Limitations of Concrete Operational Thought
-Children think in an organized, logical fashion only when dealing with concrete information they can perceive directly. Their mental operations work poorly with abstract ideas.
-Children master concrete operational tasks step by step, not all at once. For example, they usually grasp conservation of numbers first, followed by length, liquid, and mass, and then weight. This continuum of acquisition (or gradual mastery) of logical concepts is another indication of the limitations of concrete operational thinking. Rather than coming up with general logical principles that they apply to all relevant situations, children seem to work out the logic of each problem separately
The impact of culture and schooling
-In village societies, conservation is often delayed but they are often better skilled in different areas such as street vending and basket weaving
-Some investigators have concluded that the forms of logic required by Piagetian tasks do not emerge spontaneously in children but rather are heavily influenced by training, context, and cultural conditions.
An Information-Processing View of Concrete Operational Thought
-Suggests that operational thinking should be understood in terms of expansion of information- processing capacity rather than a sudden shift to a new stage.
-Once the schemes of a Piagetian stage are sufficiently automatic, enough working memory is available to integrate them into an improved representation. As a result, children acquire central conceptual structures- networks of concepts and relations that permit them to think more effectively in a wide range of situations.
-Compared with Piaget's theory, neoPiagetian approaches better account for unevenness in cognitive development.
-During the school years, a time of continued development of the prefrontal cortex, executive function undergoes marked improvement.
-Children handle increasingly difficult tasks that require the integration of working memory, inhibition, and flexible thinking, which in turn supports gains in planning, strategic thinking, and self-monitoring and self correction of behavior.
-Heritability evidence suggests substantial genetic influence on executive function including areas such as combining information in working memory, controlling attention, and inhibiting inappropriate responses.
Working Memory Capacity
-Working memory is supported by brain development
-Children with learning difficulties in reading and math are often deficient in working memory
-Compared to their economically advantaged age-mates, children from poverty-stricken families are more likely to score low on working-memory tasks.
Selectivity and Flexibility
-Over middle childhood, selectivity and flexibility of attention become better controlled and more efficient. Children can focus and adapt their attention in the face of increasingly complex distractors- skills that contribute to more organized, strategic, and planful thinking.
-First strategy is rehearsal: repeating the information to oneself (for example, repeating state capital names over and over to memorize)
-Second strategy is organization: grouping related items together (for example, all state capitals in the same part of the country)
-The more strategies children apply simultaneously, the better they remember.
-By the end of middle childhood, children start to use elaboration: creating a relationship, or shared meaning, between two or more pieces of information that are not members of the same category. For example, to learn the words fish and pipe, you might generate the verbal statement or mental image, "the fish is smoking a pipe."
-rehearsing or organizing is better than looking or naming
-Organizing is better than rehearsing
Knowledge and Memory Performance
-Knowing more about a topic makes new information more meaningful and familiar, so it is easier to store and retrieve
Children with ADHD
- 3 to 7% of US school age children have it
-Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): involves inattention, impulsivity, and excessive motor activity resulting in academic and social problems.
-Boys are diagnosed 3-9 times as often as girls.
-For a child to be diagnosed with ADHD, these symptoms must have appeared before age 12 as a persistent problem.
-ADHD runs in families and is highly heritable
-Identical twins share it more often than fraternal twins.
-Brains of the children with ADHD grow more slowly and are about 3% smaller in overall volume, with a thinner cerebral cortex. Disrupted serotonin and dopamine are also associated.
-Stimulant medication is the most common treatment for ADHD. If the stimulant is initiated late, after ages 9 or 10, it does not reduce the decline in academic performance associated with ADHD
-Most effective treatment is one that combines medication with interventions that model and reinforce appropriate academic and social behaviors.
-ADHD is usually a lifelong disorder. Adults with ADHD continue to need help in structuring their environments, regulating negative emotion, selecting appropriate careers, and understanding their condition.
Knowledge and Cognitive Capacities during middle childhood
-Remembering is crucial for understanding and understanding strengthens memory
-Mental inferences expand and this enables knowledge of false beliefs to expand.
-Appreciation of second- order false beliefs enables children to pinpoint the reasons that another person arrived at a certain belief. It requires the ability to view a situation from at least two perspectives- that is, to reason simultaneously about what two or more people are thinking, a form of perspective taking called "recursive thought"
-We think recursively when we make such statements as "Lis believes that Jason believes the letter is under his pillow, but that's not what Jason really believes, he knows the letter is in his desk."
-The capacity for recursive thought greatly assists children in appreciating that people can harbor quite different interpretations of the same situation.
-During this age, they activate an area connecting the right temporal and parietal lobes (known to play a crucial role in theory- of -mind processes), just as adults do.
-The process of continuously monitoring progress toward a goal, checking outcomes, and redirecting unsuccessful efforts.
-School age children are not very good at this- they have difficulty putting what they know into action
-Example: Lizzie is aware that she should attend closely to her teacher's directions, group items when memorizing, and reread a complicated paragraph to make sure she understands it but she does not always engage in these activities.
-Cognitive self-regulation develops gradually
-Children who acquire effective self-regulatory skills develop a sense of "academic self- efficacy": confidence in their own ability, which supports future self-regulation.
Reading during Middle Childhood
-As children make the transition from emergent literacy to conventional reading, "phonological awareness" -the ability to reflect on and manipulate the sound structure of spoken language - continues to facilitate their progress
--Debate over how to teach beginning reading:
1. Whole language approach: argues that from the beginning, children should be exposed to text in its complete form- stories, poems, letters, posters, and lists- so that they can appreciate the communicative function of written language
2. Phonics approach: believing that children should first be coached on phonics- the basic rules for translating written symbols into sounds. Only after mastering these skills should they get complex reading material.
-Many studies show that children learn best with a mixture of both approaches.
Sequence of Reading Development
1. Preschool 2-5 years: "pretends" to read; recognizes some familiar signs (ON, OFF, PIZZA); pretends to write; prints own name and other words
2. Kindergarten 5-6 years: knowns the most frequent letter- sound correspondences; recognizes some familiar written words; decodes simple, one- syllable words; retells story main events in sequence.
3. Grades 1 and 2 years 6-7: knows letter- sound correspondences for common double consonants; decodes regularly spelled one-syllable words; recognizes some irregularly spelled words; reads grade-level texts with increasing accuracy on repeated readings.
4. Grades 2 and 3 years 7-8: reads grade-level stories more fluently; knows letter- sound correspondences for common vowel combinations; decodes multi-syllable words and an increasing number of irregularly spelled words; reads grade-level stories more fluently and expressively, while also comprehending
5. Grades 4 to 9 years 9-15 years: reads to acquire new knowledge, usually without questioning the reading material; understands different types of texts, including biographies, fiction, and poetry.
6. Grades 10 to 12 years 15-18: reads more widely, tapping materials with diverse viewpoints.
Mathematics in Middle Childhood
-Arguments about how to teach math resemble those about reading, learning the basics or understanding. Again, a blend of both approaches is most beneficial.
-Cultural difference: in Asia, the use of the metric system helps Asian children grasp place value. The consistent structure of number words in Asian languages (ten-two for 12, ten-three for 13) also makes this idea clear. And because Asian number words are shorter and more quickly pronounced, more digits can be held in working memory at once, increasing speed of thinking. Compared with lessons in the US, those in Asian classrooms devote more time to exploring math concepts and less to drill repetition
Defining and Measuring Intelligence
-Test designers use a complicated statistical technique called factor analysis to identify the various abilities that intelligence tests measure.
-Distinct clusters are called factors, each of which represents an ability.
-Individually administered tests demand considerable training and experience to give well. The examiner not only consider's the child's answers but also observes the child's behavior, nothing such reactions as attention to and interest in the tasks.
-The contemporary descendent of Alfred Binet's first successful intelligence test is the Standford-Binet Intelligence Scales for individuals 2 to adulthood. It tests five intellectual factors: general knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing, working memory, and basic information processing.
-The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV (WISC-IV) is the fourth edition of a widely used test for 6 through 16 year olds. A downward extension of it, the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised (WPPSI-III) is appropriate for children 2 years and 6 months through 7 years and 3 months.
-The WISC-IV has four broad intellectual factors: verbal reasoning, perceptual reasoning, working memory, and processing speed. It is considered the most "culture fair" intelligence test available and it is also the first test to be standardized on children representing the total population of the US, including ethnic minorities.
What is associated with higher IQs?
-Individuals whose nervous systems function more efficiently, permitting them to take in more information and manipulate it quickly, appear to have an edge in intellectual skills.
-Fast, strong ERPs (EEG brain waves in response to stimulation) predict both speedy cognitive processing and higher mental test scores.
-Measures of high working memory capacity correlate well with IQ
-Flexible attention, memory, and reasoning strategies also contribute
Sternberg's Triarchic Theory
-Triarchic Theory of Successful Intelligence: is made up of 3 broad interacting intelligences:
1. Analytical Intelligence, or information processing skills
2. Creative Intelligence, the capacity to solve novel problems
3. Practical Intelligence, application of intellectual skills in everyday situations.
-Intelligent behavior involves balancing all three intelligences to achieve success in life according to one's personal goals and the requirements of one's cultural community
Sternberg: Analytical Intelligence, Creative Intelligence, and Practical Intelligence
1. Analytical Intelligence:
-Acquire task- relevant and metacognitive knowledge
-Engage in self-regulation
2. Creative Intelligence:
-Solve novel problems
-Make processing skills automatic to free working memory for complex thinking
3. Practical Intelligence :
-Shape.. and/ or
-Select... environments to meet both personal goals and the demands of one's everyday world
Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences
-Theory of Multiple Intelligences: defines intelligence in terms of distinct sets of processing operations that permit individuals to engage in a wide range of culturally valued activities. Dismissing the idea of general intelligence, Gardner proposes at least eight independent intelligences
-Gardner believes that each intelligence has a unique neurological basis, a distinct course of development, and different expert, or "end state" performances.
-He emphasized that a lengthy process of education is required to transform any raw potential into a mature social role
-Gardner accepts the excepts the existence of innately specified, core domains of thought, present at birth or emerging early in life. Then, as children respond to the demands of their culture, they transform those intelligences to fit the activities they are called on to perform.
Gardner's Multiple Intelligences
1. Linguistic: Sensitivity to the sounds, rhythms, and meaning of words and the functions of language. End-State Performance Possibilities: Poet, journalist.
2. Logico- Mathematical: Sensitivity to, and capacity to detect, logical or numeral patterns; ability to handle long chains of logical reasoning.
End-State Performance Possibilities: Mathematician
3. Musical: Ability to produce and appreciate pitch, rhythm (or melody) and aesthetic quality of the forms of musical expressiveness. End State Performance Possibilities: Instrumentalist, composer.
4. Spatial: ability to perceive the visual- spatial world accurately, to perform transformations on those perceptions, and to re-create aspects of visual experience in the absence of relevant stimuli. End State Performance Possibilities: Sculptor, navigator
5. Bodily- Kinesthetic: Ability to use the body skillfully for expressive as well as goal-directed purposes; ability to handle objects skillfully. End State Performance Possibilities: Dancer, Athlete
6. Naturalist: Ability to recognize and classify all varieties of animals, minerals, and plants. End State Performance Possibilities: Biologist
7. Interpersonal: Ability to detect and respond appropriately to the moods, temperaments, motivations, and intentions of others. End of State Performance Possibilities: Therapist, salesperson
8. Intrapersonal: Ability to discriminate complex inner feelings and to use them to guide one's own behavior; knowledge of one's own strengths, weaknesses, desires, and intelligences. End of Stat Performance Possibilities: person with detailed, accurate, self-knowledge
Group Differences in IQ
-Black children score, on average, 10 to 12 point below American white children. Although the difference has been shrinking over the pas several decades, a substantial gap remains.
-Hispanic children fall midway between black and while children
-Asian Americans score about 3 points higher than their white counterparts
-IG gap between middle-SES and low-SES children- about 9 points.
-Identical twins have more similar IQ scores than fraternal twins.
-Researchers estimate that about half the differences in IQ among children can be traced to their genetic makeup.
-Adoption research confirms that heredity and environment jointly contribute to IQ.
-IQs have increased steadily from one generation to the next
-Evidence for the Flynn effect now exists for 30 nations.
-This dramatic secular tend in intelligence test performance holds for industrialized and developing nations, both gender, and individuals varying in ethnicity and SES.
-The fear of being judged on the basis of a negative stereotype- can trigger anxiety that interferes with performance.
-From third grade on, children become increasingly conscious of ethnic stereotypes.
-An innovation consistent with Vygotsky's zone of proximal development, the adult introduces purposeful teaching into the testing situation to find out what the child can attain with social support. While intervening, the adult seeks the teaching style best suited to the individual child and communicates strategies that the child can apply in new situations
-The ability to think about language as a system
Vocabulary in Middle Childhood
-During elementary school years, vocabulary increases fourfold, eventually exceeding comprehension of 40,000 words.
-Children learn about 20 new words each day
-By second to third grade, reading comprehension and reading habits strongly predict later vocabulary size into high school
Cultural difference in narratives in middle childhood
-Instead of the "topic-focused style" of most American school-age children, who describe an experience from beginning to end, African-American children often use a "topic-associating style" in which they blend several similar experiences.
-Like adults in their families and communities, African-American children are more attuned to keeping their listeners interest than relating a linear sequence of story events.
-They often embellish their narratives by including fictional elements and many references to characters' motives and intentions. As a result, African American children's narratives are usually longer and more complex than those of white children.
- 11 million (22% of) children speak a language other than English at home
-Children can become bilingual in two ways:
1. by acquiring both languages at the same time in early childhood
2. by learning a second language after mastering the first.
-Like many bilingual adults, bilingual children sometimes engage in code switching- producing an utterance in one language that contains one or more guest words from the other- without violating the grammar of either language.
-Although mastery must begin sometime in childhood for full development to occur, a precise age cutoff for a decline in second- language learning has not been established.
Language Immersion Program
-English- speaking children typically are taught entirely in French from kindergarten through second grade. Gradually, English is introduced as a subject in third grade, though French continues to be the main classroom language.
-Though initial delays in English literacy achievement are common, by grade 6 immersion students achieve as well in readying, writing, and math as their counterparts in the regular English program.
What is the optimum class size?
-Small class, 13 to 17 students
-Is no larger than 18 to 20 students
-the teacher is the sold authority for knowledge, rules, and decision making and does most of the talking
-Students are relatively passive- listening, responding when called on, and completing teacher-assigned tasks.
-Their progress is evaluated by how well they keep pace with uniform set of standards for their grade.
-encourages students to construct their own knowledge
-although constructivist approaches vary, many are grounded in Piaget's theory which views children as active agents who reflect on an coordinate their own thoughts, rather than absorbing those of others
-a glance inside a constructivist classroom reveals richly equipped learning centers, small groups and individuals solving self-chosen problems, and a teacher who guides and supports in response to children's needs. Students are evaluated by considering their progress in relation to their own prior development.
Social- Constructivist Classrooms
-grounded in Vygotsky's sociocultural theory
-children participate in a wide range of challenging activities with teachers and peers, with whom they jointly construct understandings.
-as children appropriate (take for themselves) the knowledge and strategies generated through working together, they become competent, contributing members of their classroom community and advance in cognitive and social development.
-Vygotsky's emphasis on the social origins of complex mental activities has inspired the following educational themes:
1. teachers and children as partners in learning
2. Experience with many types of symbolic communication in meaningful activities
3. Teaching adapted to each child's zone of proximal development.
-Vygotsky inspired teaching method
-a teacher and two to four students form a cooperative group and take turns leading dialogues on the context of the text passage.
-Within the dialogues, group members apply four cognitive strategies: questioning, summarizing, clarifying, and predicting.
Communities of Learners
-Vygotsky based innovation
-Classrooms become communities of learners where teachers guide the overall process of learning but no other distinction is made between adult and child contributors: all participate in joint endeavors and have the authority to define and resolve problems
-Classroom activities are often long-term projects addressing complex, real- world problems
Educational Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
-children may adopt teacher's positive or negative views and start to live up to them.
-small groups of classmates work toward common goals- by considering one another's ideas, appropriately challenging one another, providing sufficient explanations to correct misunderstandings, and resolving differences of opinion on the basis of reasons and evidence.
Video games in middle childhood
-Young school age children, on average, devote 20 minutes per day to gaming, older school age children and adolescents 73 minutes.
-Boys are two to three times more likely than girls to be daily players.
-Boys devote their time to downloading music, creating Web pages, writing computer programs, and using graphics programs.
-Girls emphasize information gathering and social communication
-In addition to the usual curriculum, the emphasize a specific area of interest -such as performing arts, math and science, or technology. Families outside the school neighborhood are attracted to magnet schools by their rich academic offerings.
-Often magnets are located in low-income, minority areas, where they serve the neighborhood student population
-Other students, who apply are admitted by lottery are bussed in- many from well to do city and suburban neighborhoods. In another model, all students, including those in the surrounding neighborhood must apply. In either case, magnet schools are voluntarily desegregated
students with learning difficulties learn alongside typical students in the regular educational setting for part or all of the school day- practice designed to prepare them for participation in society and to combat prejudices against individuals with disabilities.
-great difficulty with one or more aspects of learning, usually reading. As a result their achievement is considerably behind what would be expected on the basis of their IQ
-The problems of students with learning disabilities cannot be traced to any obvious phsycial or emotional difficulty or to environmental disadvantage. Instead, deficits in brain functioning are involved. Some learning disabilities run in families, and in certain cases specific gens have been identified that contribute to the problem. In many instances, the cause is unknown.
-displaying exceptional intellectual strengths
-One or two students in every grade have IQ scores about 130, the standard definition of giftedness based on intelligence test performance.
-people usually demonstrate expertise and creativity in only one or a few related areas.
-Gifted children are more likely than their typical classmates to experience social isolation.
-More often girls than boys try to become better liked by hiding their abilities.
-The ability to produce work that is original yet appropriate- something that others have not thought of that is useful in some way
Divergent vs. Convergent thinking
-Divergent Thinking: the generation of multiple and unusual possibilities when faced with a task or problem
-Convergent Thinking: involves arriving at a single correct answer and is emphasized on intelligence tests.
How does education in the US compare to other parts of the world?
-Young people in China, Korea, and Japan are consistently top performers
-Among Western nations, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, and Switzerland are also in the top tier.
-US students typically perform at or below the international averages
The type of assessment that allows students to be creative in their solutions to problems, questions, and requires higher level thinking
Learning that occurs rapidly as a result of understanding all the elements of a problem is .
What type of mindset does someone have if they believe that you are in control of your abilities?
66) An individual with the personality trait of extroversion tends to be quiet and reserved.
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