Middle Childhood: Physical & Cognitive Development Chapter 9 Development Across the Lifespan Physical Development in Middle Childhood: Slow but Steady ~Beginning at about age 6 and continuing to age 12, children go through middle childhood. This period is often referred to as the "school years". In what ways do children grow during the school years, and what factors influence their growth? Compared with the swift growth during the first 5 years, physical growth during middle childhood is slow but steady. School-aged children grow, on average, 2 to 3 inches per year. This is the only time during the life span when girls are, on average, taller than boys. By age 11, the average girl is 4' 10". The average 11-year-old boy is 4' 9 1/2 ". (physical growth during middle childhood, continued) During middle childhood, both boys and girls gain from 5 to 7 pounds a year. Variations of a half a foot in children the same age are not uncommon. Height and weight variations can be affected by poor nutrition and racial or ethnic background. Smaller children in areas with poor nutrition (possibly related in part to racial/ethnic differences too) Promoting Growth with Hormones: A controversy Available only the last decade, prototropin and other artificial human growth hormones are being taken by over 20,000 abnormally short children. Some developmentalists question whether shortness is serious enough to warrant drug intervention. The drug is costly and may lead to premature puberty (which can restrict later growth). These artificial hormones are effective adding over a foot of height Nutrition is also linked to physical development during middle childhood Proper nutrition is linked to positive personality traits more alert more energy more persistent more self confidence More involved with peers more positive emotions more often less anxiety more investigative Nutritional Benefits Children with more nutritious diets had more energy & self confidence. (Nutrition and physical development during middle childhood, continued) Undernutrition & Malnutrition definitely lead to physical, social and cognitive difficulties for children in middle childhood BUT, Overnutrition (the intake of too many calories) also presents problems! (Nutrition and physical development during middle childhood, continued) Obesity is defined as body weight that is more than 20 % above the average for a person of a given height and weight. 10 % of all children are obese. This proportion has risen 54 % since the 1960s Balanced Diet? Recent studies have found that children’s diets are almost opposite the diet recommended by the US department of agriculture, which can lead to an increase in obesity. (Nutrition and physical development during middle childhood, continued) Despite growing rates of obesity, American society places a strong emphasis on thinness. Concern about weight increasingly borders on obsession in the United States (especially for girls) Research indicates that a substantial number of 6 year old girls worry about becoming “fat” 40+% of 9 & 10 year olds are trying to lose weight! WHY? Mostly due to our society’s preoccupation with being slim Despite the focus on thinness in the U.S., the number of obese children is increasing. Obesity can be caused by a combination of genetic and social characteristics. School-age children tend to engage in little exercise and are not particularly fit. The correlation between TV viewing and obesity is strong. Even without regular exercise, however, children’s gross & fine motor skills develop substantially during the school years. Fine Motor Skills These continue to advance Increased levels of myelin around the nerve cells raise the speed of messages traveling to muscles Gross Motor Skills Important advances, including muscle coordination Gender differences likely the result of societal messages/expectations rather than motor skill Gross Motor Skills Gross motor skills continue to develop and advance across the middle childhood years. Physical in Middle Childhood: Motor Development Main Points School-age children's gross and fine motor skills develop substantially over middle childhood. An important improvement in gross motor skills is muscle coordination. Fine motor skills advance because of increases in the amount of myelin insulating the brain neurons. Health During Middle Childhood For most children in the U.S., the common cold is about the most serious illness that occurs during middle childhood. BUT colds are not uncommon during middle childhood 1 in 9 has a chronic, persistent condition Although life threatening illnesses have declined over the past 50 years, some chronic illnesses have become more prevalent One illness that has increased in prevalence: Asthma ~ASTHMA, a chronic condition characterized by periodic attacks of wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath, has increased significantly in the last several decades. Asthma attacks are triggered by a variety of factors. respiratory infections allergic reactions to airborne irritants Stress exercise (asthma, continued) Children can use an aerosol container with special mouthpiece to spray drugs into the lungs. Some researchers believe the increase in asthma is due to pollution, dust due to better insulated buildings, and poverty Rising Rates of Asthma Sine the 1980’s, the rate of asthma among children has almost doubled! Pollution, and better methods of detecting the disease are reasons this is so. Health during middle childhood: Psychological Disorders ~ It is important that psychological disorders not be ignored in school age children (which often occurs because symptoms are different than those of adults) ~ Childhood depression is one psychological issue often overlooked by teachers and parents. ~ 2-5% of school age children suffer from depression ~ For 1 % depression is severe (express suicidal ideas) Health during middle childhood: Psychological Disorders All kids are sad sometimes. This is different than depression (depth of sadness, length distinguish) Childhood depression is also characterized by the expression of exaggerated fears, clinginess, or avoidance of everyday activities. In older children it may produce sulking, school problems, and acts of delinquency. It can be treated with a variety of approaches. Approaches to treating childhood depression… Psychological Counseling Effective! Drugs Controversial! About 200,000 Prozac prescriptions written in 1996 for kids aged 6-12 (a 300% increase over the previous year!) Criticisms: not approved for use with children and teens; lack of long term effectiveness of the drug; consequences to developing brains; lead in for further drug use Another psychological issue that surfaces during middle childhood: anxiety disorders (8-9% of children) Intense, uncontrollable anxiety about situations that most people would not find bothersome Specific stimuli (germs, school) Generalized anxiety (source can not be pinpointed) It is important not to ignore psychological issues during childhood! disruptive to the child’s life children with psychological problems are at higher risk for future disorders during adulthood More Impacts on Development: Children with Special Needs One student in a thousand requires special education services relating to VISUAL IMPAIRMENT, legally defined as difficulties in seeing that may include blindness (less than or 20/200 after correction) or partial sightedness (20/70 after correction). Visual impairments can also include the inability to see up-close and disabilities in color, depth, and light perception. (Children with Special Needs, continued) AUDITORY IMPAIRMENT, a special need that involves the loss of hearing or some aspect of hearing, affects one to two percent of school-age children and can vary across a number of dimensions. The loss may be limited to certain frequencies. Loss in infancy is more severe than after age 3. Children who have little or no exposure to the sound of language are unable to understand or produce oral language themselves. Abstract thinking may be affected. (Children with Special Needs, continued) Auditory impairments are sometimes accompanied by SPEECH IMPAIRMENTS, speech that is impaired when it deviates so much from the speech of others that it calls attention to itself, interferes with communication, or produces maladjustments in the speaker. 3 to 5 %of school-age children have speech impairments. STUTTERING, a substantial disruption in the rhythm and fluency of speech is the most common speech impairment. (Children with Special Needs, continued) Some 2.3 million school-age children in the U.S. are officially labeled as having LEARNING DISABILITIES, difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities. Some suffer from dyslexia, a reading disability that can result in the reversal of letters during reading and writing, confusion between left and right, and difficulties in spelling (Children with Special Needs, continued) ATTENTION-DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD) is a learning disability marked by inattention, impulsiveness, a low tolerance for frustration, and generally a great deal of inappropriate activity. 3 to 5 percent of school-age children are estimated to have ADHD (3.5 million Americans under age 18!). Ritalin or Dexadrine are stimulants used to reduce hyperactivity levels in children with ADHD. Overprescribing Ritalin? U.S. doctors prescribe Ritalin for ADHD more frequently. Some experts argue the drug is overprescribed. If a child is suspected of having ADHD or a learning disability, it is important that she or he be evaluated by a specialist. Teachers & parents should be alert to the possibility that speech, auditory, and visual problems may be impacting a child (grades, friendships, etc.) Intellectual Development in Middle Childhood: Piagetian Approaches to Cognitive Advances The school-age child enters the CONCRETE OPERATIONAL STAGE, the period of cognitive development between 7 and 12 years of age, Characterized by the active, and appropriate use of logic. Children at this stage can easily solve conservation problems—logic used over appearance. (for example whether the amount of liquid stays the same although poured into different shaped containers) (more about Piaget’s views of intellectual development) Because they are less egocentric, they can take multiple aspects of a situation into account, a process known as DECENTERING They attain the concept of reversibility, realizing that a stimulus can be reversed, returning to its original form. Decentering & Reversibility decentering So, during middle childhood, cognitive advances continue and the development of concrete operational skills becomes more established. Children at this stage can understand such concepts as relationships between time and speed… At the beginning of the concrete operational stage, kids reason that the 2 cars on these routes are traveling the same speed even though they arrive at the same time. Later, they realize the correct relationship between speed & distance. Despite the obvious advances that occur during the concrete operational stage, children still experience a big limitation in their thinking: They are still tied to concrete physical reality! (no understanding of abstract/hypothetical/logic) A brief critique of Piaget’s views of intellectual development Piaget is criticized for underestimating children's abilities and for exaggerating the universality of the progression through the stages. Research suggest that Piaget was more right than wrong. Cross-cultural research increasingly implies children universally achieve concrete operations, and that training with conservation tasks improves performance. Conservation Training Rural Aborigine children trail their urban counterparts in the development of their understanding of conservation; with training,they catch up. Information Processing in Middle Childhood Children become increasingly able to handle information because their memories improve. MEMORY is the process by which information is initially encoded, stored, and retrieved. Encoding is the process by which information is initially recorded in a form usable to memory. The information must be stored, or placed and maintained in the memory system. Information must be retrieved, located and brought into awareness. (Information Processing in Middle Childhood, continued ) During middle childhood, short-term memory capacity improves significantly. META-MEMORY, an understanding about the processes that underlie memory emerge and improve during middle childhood. Children use control strategies, conscious, intentionally used tactics to improve cognitive functioning. Children can be trained to use control strategies and improve memory. Vygotsky's Approach to Cognitive Development & Classroom Instruction Vygotsky's approach has been particularly influential in the development of several classroom practices. Classrooms are seen as places where children should have the opportunity to try out new activities. Specifically, Vygotsky suggests that children should focus on activities that involve interaction with others. (Vygotsky's Approach, continued) Cooperative learning is a strategy used in education that incorporates several aspects of Vygotsky's theory (kids work together to achieve goals). Reciprocal teaching, a technique where students are taught to skim the content of a passage, raise questions about its central point, summarize the passage, and finally, predict what will happen next, help lead students through the zone of proximal development. Significant success rates with raising reading comprehension levels Language Development During Middle Childhood Vocabulary continues to increase during the school years. School-age children's mastery of grammar improves. Children's understanding of syntax, the rules that indicate how words and phrases can be combined to form sentences, grows during childhood. Certain phonemes, units of sound, remain troublesome (j, v, h, zh). (Language Development During Middle Childhood, continued) School-age children may have difficulty decoding sentences when the meaning depends on intonation, or tone of voice. Children become more competent in their use of pragmatics, the rules governing the use of language to communicate in a social context. Language helps children control their behavior. One of the most significant developments in middle childhood is the increase in METALINGUISTIC AWARENESS, an understanding of one's own use of language. (Language Development During Middle Childhood, continued) BILINGUALISM is the use of more than one language. English is a second language for more than 32 million Americans. Being bilingual may have cognitive advantages. greater cognitive flexibility greater metalinguistic awareness may improve scores on IQ tests The Voices of America The number of U.S. residents over the age of five who speak a language other than English at home. (Language Development During Middle Childhood, continued) The effectiveness of language immersion programs where subjects are taught in a foreign language show mixed results. All subjects in a school taught in a foreign language! ~Benefits include increased self esteem ~Negative results common when minority groups immersed in English only programs ~Positive results when children (especially majority group children) are learning languages not spoken by the dominant culture The Ebonics Controversy Issues revolving around Ebonics (derived from combo of ebony and phonics), or Black English, or African American Vernacular English raises important issues that are social as well as linguistic. The word/concept has been in use since the 1970’s, but mainstreamed by the Oakland school district They declared Ebonics a distinctive language, ordered initial instruction to be in Ebonics for those speaking it With a month, the board revoked its decision due to national controversy; the board said they never meant students to learn anything other than standard English, but had wanted recognition that African American students may need instruction to make the leap from Ebonics at home to standard English. (The Ebonics Controversy, continued) Linguists debate: a dialect of standard English? Or a language of it’s own with rules, etc.? ~Most educators/linguists would agree that any nonstandard English is not an inferior form of language, but a different one. The controversy raises important issues about development: social & linguistic! Schooling in Middle Childhood School marks the time when society formally attempts to transfer its body of knowledge, beliefs, values, and accumulated wisdom to new generations. In the U. S., a primary school education is both a universal right and a legal requirement. More than 160 million of the world's children do not have access to education. Close to a billion people (2/3 of them women) are illiterate throughout their lives. The Plague of Illiteracy (Schooling in Middle Childhood, continued) In developing countries, females receive less formal education than males. In developed countries, women still receive less education than men on average, particularly in science & technology topics. ~Why? -Widespread cultural & parental biases favoring males over females When are kids ready for school? Recent research suggests that age is not a critical indicator of when children should start school. Some research suggests that delaying children’s entrance into school based on age may actually be harmful! ~Developmental readiness is a better measure (family support, etc.) Reading: Learning Meaning Development of reading skill generally occurs in several broad, frequently overlapping stages. Stage 0 lasts from birth to the start of first grade children learn the essential prerequisites for reading, including identification of the letters in the alphabet, writing their names, and reading a few words. (stages of reading development, continued) Stage 1 first and second grade is the first real reading, but it is largely phonological decoding skill where children can sound out words by sounding out and blending letters (Development of reading skill, continued) Stage 2, typically around second and third grades, children learn to read aloud with fluency. Stage 3 extends from fourth to eighth grades where reading becomes a means to an end and an enjoyable way to learn. Stage 4 is where the child understands reading in terms of reflecting multiple points of view. (summary table in text) There is an ongoing debate among educators regarding the most effective way to teach reading. Code-based approaches to reading emphasize phonics and how letters and sounds are combined to make words. Whole-language approaches to reading are based on the notion that children should learn to read as they learn to talk, by exposure to complete writing and being immersed in literature. The National Research Council, in a landmark decision in 1998, argued that the optimum approach was to use a combination of elements from both approaches. Educational Trends Schooling in the early 2000’s is changing! Return to the fundamentals (reading, writing, arithmetic) Individual accountability stressed (teachers & students) Increased attention to issues of student diversity & multiculturalism. Demographics in U.S. shifting! Changes in the Face of America By the year 2050, non-Hispanic Caucasians will likely become a minority of the total U.S. population. Multicultural Education Culture is a set of behaviors, beliefs, values, and expectations shared by members of a particular society. Subcultural groups are particular racial, ethnic, religious, socio-economic or gender groups within a given culture. In recent years the goal has been to establish MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION to help minority students develop competence in the culture of the majority group while maintaining positive group identities that build on their original culture Multicultural education is based on several models The CULTURAL ASSIMILATION MODEL fosters the view of the American society as the proverbial melting pot. More recent trends are based on the PLURALISTIC SOCIETY MODEL, which is the concept that American society is made up of diverse, coequal cultural groups that should preserve their individual cultural features (tossed salad ). (Multicultural education models, continued) Today, most educators recommend that children develop a BICULTURAL IDENTITY, by maintaining their original cultural identity while integrating into the dominant culture (the individual as a member of 2 cultures, without having to choose!) Intelligence: Determining Individual Strengths INTELLIGENCE is the capacity to understand the world, think rationally, and use resources effectively when faced with challenges. Alfred Binet's pioneering efforts in intelligence testing left three important legacies. 1) He defined intelligence pragmatically as that which his test measured, 2) Intelligence tests should be reasonable indicators of school success. Binet & Intelligence, continued 3) He invented the concept of IQ, INTELLIGENCE QUOTIENT, a measure of intelligence that takes into account a student's mental and chronological age (MA ) CA X 100 = IQ. a. MENTAL AGE is the typical intelligence level found for people at a given chronological age. b. CHRONOLOGICAL (OR PHYSICAL) AGE is the actual age of the child taking the intelligence test. Binet & Intelligence, continued Scores today are deviation IQ scores, so that the degree of deviation from the average (100) permits a calculation of the proportion of people who have similar scores. 2/3 of all people fall within 15 points of the average. As scores rise and fall beyond the average range, the percentage of people falls significantly. Measuring IQ in the Present Day Intelligence tests today share an underlying premise that intelligence is composed of a single, unitary mental ability factor, commonly called "g". 3 main assessment instruments used today 1) The STANFORD-BINET INTELLIGENCE SCALE is a test that consists of a series of items that vary according to the age of the person being tested. (Measuring IQ in the Present Day, continued) 2) The WECHSLER INTELLIGENCE SCALE FOR CHILDREN-REVISED (WISC-III) is a test for children that provides separate measures of verbal and performance (or nonverbal) skills as well as a total score. 3) The WECHSLER ADULT INTELLIGENCE SCALEREVISED (WAIS-III) is a test for adults that provides separate measures of verbal and performance (or nonverbal) skills as well as a total score. Measuring Intelligence The Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children includes items that assess both verbal and performance skills. Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children takes another approach to assessing intelligence. looks at ability to use step-by-step thinking and integrate stimuli allows the child to use gestures and languages other than English, making testing more valid and equitable for kids that use English as a second language. IMPORTANT POINT! Think critically about assessment instruments (norm groups, locations, ages, etc.) What do IQ scores from these tests mean? Reasonably good predictors of school performance NOT good predictors of performance outside of school Frequently inaccurate at predicting future success, income, etc.! More than IQ tests: Alternative Conceptions of Intelligence The intelligence tests frequently used in schools assume that intelligence is a single, mental ability. Many theorists now dispute the notion that intelligence is unidimensional (that g or a single unitary mental ability factor exists). Some developmentalists believe 2 types of intelligence should be focused on instead: Some psychologists suggest there are two kinds of intelligence. FLUID INTELLIGENCE is the ability to deal with new problems and situations. CRYSTALLIZED INTELLIGENCE is the store of information, skills, and strategies that people have acquired through education and prior experiences, and through their previous use of fluid intelligence Still Another View of intelligence Howard Gardner suggests there are 8 distinct intelligences (that work together at times). Musical intelligence Bodily kinesthetic intelligence Logical mathematical intelligence Linguistic intelligence (See summary Spatial intelligence table in text) Interpersonal intelligence Intrapersonal intelligence Naturalist intelligence Another View of intelligence: Robert Sternberg Sternberg suggests that intelligence is best thought of in terms of information processing (people store material for later use in solving intellectual tasks). Robert Sternberg developed the TRIARCHIC THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE, which states that intelligence consists of three aspects of information processing: componential, experiential, and contextual. (Robert Sternberg developed the TRIARCHIC THEORY OF INTELLIGENCE, continued) The componential element reflects how people process and analyze information. The experiential element is the insightful component. The contextual deals with practical intelligence - the demands of everyday environment. The question of how to interpret differences between intelligence scores of different cultural groups is a major controversy. If intelligence is primarily determined by heredity and largely fixed at birth, attempts to alter intelligence will not be successful. If intelligence is largely environmentally determined, modifying social conditions is a promising strategy for increasing intelligence. The Bell Curve Controversy Hernstein and Murray, in the book The Bell Curve (1994), argue that IQ is primarily inherited & that ethnic differences in intelligence exist. Most developmentalists disagree with The Bell Curve. Environmental factors rather than inherited factors Discriminatory/biased test questions ~Less important to know the degree of intelligence related to genetic and environmental factors and more important to improve conditions and experiences so that all children can reach their full potential. Below Intelligence Test Norms: Mental Retardation MENTAL RETARDATION, defined as a significantly subaverage level of intellectual functioning that occurs with related limitations in two or more skill areas, is found in approximately 1 to 3 percent of the school-age population. Mentally retardation is typically measured by IQ tests. (Mental Retardation, continued) a. 90 percent are classified as MILD RETARDATION, where IQ is in the range of 50 or 55 to 70. b. can reach 3rd to 6th grade level in school c. can hold jobs and function independently (Mental Retardation, continued) a. 5 to 10 percent are classified as MODERATE RETARDATION, where IQ is from 35 or 40 to 50 or 55. b. slow to develop language and motor skills c. generally cannot progress beyond 2nd grade d. capable of training and social skills but typically need supervision (Mental Retardation, continued) a. Those with SEVERE RETARDATION, IQs ranging from 20 or 25 to 35 or 40, and PROFOUND RETARDATION, where IQ is below 20 or 25 are the most limited. b. no speech c. poor motor control d. need 24-hour care Above Intelligence Test Norms: The Intellectually Gifted 3 to 5 % of school-age children are GIFTED AND TALENTED, who show evidence of high performance capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, leadership capacity, or specific academic fields. Contrary to stereotypes, research shows that highly intelligent people also tend to be outgoing, well adjusted, and popular Above Intelligence Test Norms, continued Two approaches to educating the gifted and talented exist. ACCELERATION, where special programs allow gifted students to move ahead at their own pace, even if this means skipping to higher grade levels. ENRICHMENT is an approach through which students are kept at grade level but are enrolled in special programs and given individual activities to allow greater depth of study in a given topic. Mainstreaming: Ending Segregation by Intelligence Levels Public law 94-142 (the Education for all Handicapped Children Act) requires that children with special needs receive a full education in the least restrictive environment (the setting most similar to that of children without special needs). Supporters of mainstreaming point out that special needs children must ultimately function in a “normal” environment, and greater experience with their peers will help with this Full inclusion supporters want all students, no matter how severe the disability, to be included in regular classrooms. Controversial! Some concern exists that these students may be overlooked in a regular classroom environment Children’s physical & cognitive development clearly continues in the middle childhood years. Review Key terms & Concepts, Keep up with your reading!