In this unit, you will discuss physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development through the study of neuroscience, Piagetian theory, Eriksonian, theory, social learning theory, and the expression of cognitive skill through play.
350 word minimum for part 1 and part 2
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During early childhood, the brain reaches about 70% of its total weight with the growth of white matter (protects the brain) and grey matter (responsible for covering cerebral regions). However, the grey matter cells still need to be connected in order to activate the full function of the brain. There are a number of different areas of the brain that will connect during the early childhood period of rapid growth. Using your understanding of brain development and Piaget’s pre-operative stage of cognitive development, respond to the following scenario.
Early Childhood Interventions
You work as an early childhood specialist with an at-risk population of children through Head Start. One of your job functions is to assess children for possible developmental learning delays. To do this, you have to understand how poor nutrition, exposure to infectious diseases, and lack of parental knowledge related to accessing services could interfere with the cognitive development of young children.
1. Using your knowledge of basic brain development and Piagetian theory, respond to the following questions.
- What developmental problems do you expect children in your Head Start program to have because of living in a lower socio-economic neighborhood? Explain your response using support from the Readings.
- According to Piaget, children ages two to seven are in the pre- operative stage of development. Using the scenario above, explain the importance of make-believe play and its uses in working with children. Create a plan for using play with 3-year-old clients that would allow you to assess cognitive development.
2. Because young children’s cognitive systems are still immature, particularly their prefrontal cortex (center of planning and logic), they tend to express emotions as soon as they are felt. Their limbic systems (activates emotions) develop earlier in life than parts of the cerebral cortex, so one of their important tasks is learning to identify and appropriately express emotions. Socializing becomes more important, and they further develop their sense of self through these interactions. Keep this in mind as you respond to the following questions.
- Research child-raising practices of the culture of your choice and predict their psychosocial development (Erikson’s theory) based on your research. Be sure to support your ideas using specific information from the initiative versus guilt stage of development.
- Using the same research that you collected for the first question, develop a plan to help parents (of your chosen culture) teach their young children appropriate ways to express their aggression. Use your understanding of social learning theory to create your plan.