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The Emergence of Thought and Language: Cognitive and Development in Infancy and Early Childhood Chapter 4
Piaget’s Account • Learning Objectives • -How do schemes, assimilation and • accommodation provide the foundation for • cognitive development throughout the life • span? • -How does thinking become more advanced • as infants progress through the • sensorimotor stage? • -What are the distinguishing characteristics • of thinking during the preoperational stage? • -
Basic Principles of Cognitive Development • Children make sense of the world through schemes • Children adapt to their environment as they develop by adding and refining their schemes • Schemes change from physical to functional, conceptual and abstract as the child develops
Assimilation and Accommodation • Assimilation -new experiences fit into existing schemes -required tobenefit from experience Accommodation -schemes have to be modified as a consequence of new experiences -allows for dealing with a completely new data or experience
Equilibration • Equilibrium • -balance between assimilation and • accommodation • Disequilibrium • -more accommodation the assimilation • Equilibration • -inadequate schemes are replaced with • more advanced and mature schemes • -occurs three times during development • -4 stages of cognitive development
Period’s of Cognitive Development • Sensorimotor Period (0-2 years) • -Infancy • Preoperative Period (2-7 years) • -Preschool and early elementary school • Concrete Operational Period (7-11 years) • -Middle and late elementary school • Formal Operational Period (11 years and up) • -Adolescence and adulthood
Senorimotor Thinking • Object permanence • Using symbols
Preoperational Thinking • Egocentrism • Animism • Centration • Conservation • Appearance is reality
Criticism’s of Piaget’s Theory • Piaget underestimates cognitive ability in infants and overestimates in adolescents • Piaget is vague about mechanisms and processes of change • He does not account for variability in children’s performance • His theory undervalues the influence of sociocultural environment
Children’s Naïve Theories • Naïve Physics • -Studies that investigate the age at which children learn there is conflict between current understanding and the true nature of objects Naïve Biology -4 year olds know that living things move, grow, and heal themselves -know that inanimate objects have to be move, do not grow, and have to be fixed
Information Processing • Learning Objectives • What is the basis of the information-processing approach? • How well do young children pay attention? • What kinds of learning take place during infancy? • Do infants and preschool children remember? • What do infants and preschoolers know about numbers?
Information Processing:General Principles • Human thinking is understood along a computer model • Mental hardware are neural and mental structures that enable the mind to operate • Mental software are mental programs that allow for the performance of specific tasks
Information Processing:Attention • Attention -sensory information receives additional cognitive processing -emotional and physical reactions to unfamiliar stimulus causes an orienting response Habituation -a lessening of the reaction to a new stimulus
Information Processing:Learning • Classic Conditioning • -A neutral stimulus becomes able to elicit a • response that was previously caused by • another stimulus • Operant conditioning • -Behaviors are affected by their • consequences • Imitation • -Older children learn by observing others
Information Processing:Memory • Studies show that as early as 2-3 months children remember past events, forget them over time, and remember them again with cues • During the preschool years, children develop autobiographical memory for significant events in their own past
Preschoolers on the Witness Stand • Children’s responses to questioning about facts are quite vulnerable to suggestion and leading questions • Preschoolers have limited ability to use source monitoring skills: the ability to remember the source of the information they recall • This may lead to answers that reflect their memories without regard to whether they experience the event, or were told about it
Information Processing:Learning Number Skills • Ordinality: • -Knowing the numbers can differ in size and • being able to tell which is greater • One-to-one principle: • -There is a number name to each object • counted • Stable order principle: • -Number names must be counted in the • same order • Cardinality principle: • -The last number in a counting sequence • denotes the number of objects
Mind and Culture: Vygotsky’s Theory • Learning Objectives • What is the zone of proximal development? • How does it help explain how children accomplish more when they collaborate with others? • Why is scaffolding a particularly effective way of teaching youngsters new concepts and skills? • When and why do children talk to themselves as they solve problems?
Leo Vygotsky (1896-1934) • -a Russian psychologist • -cognitive development is an apprenticeship • in which children advance by interaction with others more mature - he died young and did not fully develop his theory beyond childhood
Mind and Culture: Vygotsky’s Theory:Major Contributions • Zone of Proximal Development • -The difference between what children can • do with and without help from a more • experienced guide • -Teachers should attempt to keep students • in this zone in order to achieve maximum • achievement • Scaffolding • -Give just enough assistance to the child • -Studied show that students do not learn as • well when told everything to do, nor when • left alone to discover on their own
Private Speech • Children talk to themselves as they go about difficult tasks • The speech is not intended for others, but for self guidance and regulation • Eventually this private speech becomes internalized and becomes inner speech • _Vygotsky’s term for thought
Language • Learning Objectives • When do infants first hear and make speech sounds? • When do children start to talk? How do they learn word meanings? • How do young children learn grammar? • How well do youngsters communicate?
Language:The Road to Speech • Perceiving Speech • -Phonemes -the smallest sound • -as early as of 1 month old infants can • distinguish between sounds • -Different languages use different sets of • phonemes • -Children practice all phonemes, gradually • restricting their use to only those • phonemes to which they are exposed • -Eventually, they lose the ability to • distinguish unused phonemes
Language:Indentifying Words • Children learn to pay more attention to often repeated and emphasized words • Parents use infant-directed speech in which they speak slowly and exaggerate changes in pitch and volume • Sometimes call motherese because it was first observed in mothers
Language:Steps to Speech • At 2 months, infants begin cooing • Around 6 months, toddlers begin babbling • At 8-11 months, children incorporate intonation, or changes in pitch that are typical of the language they hear
Language:First Word and Many More • Around the 1 year, children use their first words, usually consonant-vowel pairs such as “dada” or “wawa” • By 2 years, children have a vocabulary of around a few hundred words • By age 6, children know around 10,000 words • Some children use a referential style vocabulary to name objects, persons, or actions • Other children use an expressive style to make statements resembling single words
Language:Fast Mapping of Words • Connecting new words to that which they refer helps to infer the meaning of the new word • Parents pay attention to what children are attracted to and provide guidance, which is called joint attention • Children seem to understand constraints on word names that help to infer meaning
Types of constraints on word names include: • -If an unfamiliar word is heard in the presence of objects that already have names and objects that don’t, the word must refer to one of the objects that doesn’t have a name -Names refer to the whole object and not just a part of it
Children use sentence cues to infer the meaning of unfamiliar words • Cognitive factors, such as better attentional • and perceptual skills, assist in learning language • Naming errors result from underextension (defining words too narrowly) and overextension (defining words too broadly)
Language:Individual Differences in Word Learning • Vocabulary ranges from 25 to 250 words at 18 months • Phonological Memory • -the ability to remember speech sounds • briefly • Referential Style • -Mainly naming objects, persons, or actions • Expressive Style • -Includes social phrases
Language:Encouraging Language Growth • Parents assist in learning language by: • -Speaking to children frequently • -Naming objects of children’s attention • -Using speech that is more grammatically • sophisticated • -Reading to them • -Encouraging watching television programs • with an emphasis on learning new words • such as Sesame Street
Language:Speaking in Sentences • Two and three word sentences, called telegraphic speech, begin at 18 months • Children may leave out grammatical morphemes, or words and endings that make a sentence correct • The application of rules to words that are exceptions to the rules is called overregulation
How do Children Acquire Grammar? • The Behaviorist answer • -Imitation and answer • The Linguist answer • -Innate mechanisms that simplify the task • of learning grammar • The Cognitive answer • -Look for patterns, detect irregularities, create rules The Social-Interactive answer -Eclectic use of all of the explanations to describe language development
Language:Communicating with Others • Effective communication requires: • -Taking turns as speaker and listener • -Making sure to speak in language the • listener understands • -Paying attention while listening and • making sure the speaker knows if he/she • is being understood