Child Development Child Development is a topic a teacher


Child Development is a topic a teacher will come across daily. As a teacher it is your job to assess students on their ability to grasp both abstract and concrete thoughts. Understanding the development stages will help to identify the course structure.

When you type in cognitive development stages of children in any search engine you will surely come across Jean Piaget. He is considered by many to be the 'Father of Developmental Psychology.' His key concepts are assimilation, accommodation, equilibration, and schemata.

Assimilation occurs when the brain uses existing structures to deal with the new event. Adults and children alike use this in daily activities. When a new piece of information is given to us.

Accommodation is when the internal reality has to adjust to fit the external reality.

Equilibration is the brains desire to make sense of what the brain believes and reality.

Schemata is where the brain begins to see patterns and organize thoughts to better understand the external reality.

The cycle begins much like learning physics. First, your brain tries to understand the information with the tools at hand, assimilation. Only to find that the tools are not at hand. So the brain makes and accommodation by trying to develop the tools to understand the problem. As we begin to understand the problem and the solution and both the internal reality and external reality match we have reached equilibrium. Last stage of this is schemata, which allows the brain to categorize the information for use in future assimilation.

The key concepts above span all ages. . Piaget's theories on cognitive development in children are broken down into four stages. Sensorimotor, (birth-2 yrs.), Preoperational (2-7 yrs.), Concrete operational (7-11yrs.), and Formal operational (adolescence to adulthood). We will talk about Concrete operational and Formal operational as our most likely audience.

The Concrete operational stage normally develops between 7-11. In this stage the use of logic and understanding of concrete objects. The student will think of external factors such current events.

Formal operational is from 12 through adulthood. This stage the student can think of abstract ideas and form new concepts. Piaget believed that this process was a continuing process.

This information has not told you the teacher how this affects the classroom. As a teacher with students in the Concrete stage you will have to present ideas in a step-by-step format. Students at this stage rely on concrete ideas and logical thinking. Of course at this level students attention span may be limited. So keep the lesson plan varied.

The Formal Operational stage teacher will have a variety of things to deal with in the classroom. At this age you have to deal with the physical development of the student. This stage will pose the greatest difficulty. As a teacher you have to be careful not single out a student as there self-esteem is lacking at this age. The good part is they are capable of hypothetical questions and explain why a base verb changes in the past simple form.

Child development is constantly changing. It is the teacher's job to understand the basic development stages so they match the lesson.

References:

' Bruner, J. (1966). Studies in cognitive growth : A collaboration at the Center for Cognitive Studies. New York: Wiley & Sons.

' Bruner, J. (1974). Toward a theory of instruction. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

' Dewey, J. (1997a). Experience and education. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co.

' Dewey, J. (1997b). How we think. New York: Dover Publications.

' Kuhn, D., Langer, J., Kohlberg, L., & Haan, N. S. (1977). The development of formal operations. in logical and moral judgment. Genetic Psychology Monographs, 95, 97-188. http://chiron.valdosta.edu/whuitt/col/cogpsys/piagtuse.html

' Neisser, U. (1967) Cognitive psychology. New York: Appleton-Century Crofts.

' Piaget, J. (1972). The psychology of the child. New York: Basic Books.

' Piaget, J. (1990). The child´s conception of the world. New York: Littlefield Adams.

' Piaget, J., Gruber, H. (Ed.), & Voneche, J. J. (Ed.). The essential Piaget (100th Anniversary Ed.). New York: Jason Aronson.

' Renner, J., Stafford, D., Lawson, A., McKinnon, J., Friot, E., & Kellogg, D. (1976). Research, teaching, and learning with the Piaget model. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.

' Vygotsky, L. (1986). Thought and language. Boston: MIT Press.

' Vygotsky, L., & Vygotsky, S. (1980). Mind in society : The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.