Infant Capacities and the Process of Change. Chapter 4 The Development of Children (5 th ed.) Cole, Cole & Lightfoot. What does this mean?.
The Development of Children (5th ed.)
Cole, Cole & Lightfoot
“Babies control and bring up their families as much as they are controlled by them; in fact, we may say that the family brings up a baby by being brought up by him.”
Erik Erikson in Childhood and Society
Compared with many animals that are able to negotiate their environments at birth almost as well as their parents, human beings are born in a state of marked immaturity…. For many years, human offspring must depend on their parents and other adults for their survival.”
Cole, Cole & Lightfoot, p. 114
At birth, the brain has all the cells it will have, yet it is ¼ the size of an adult brain. Why?
Because Experience Matters!
Why the difference?
Based on studies of infant eye movement when a striped visual field passes in front of the eyes, it is evident that visual capacity increases dramatically over the first few months of life.
Due to brainmaturation
Neutral stimulus (water)
Newborns sleep ~16½ hours /day, but the longest period of sleep is only 3-4 hours.
Development occurs over time, in a set sequence of events,
and is directly related to brain growth and maturation
BF Skinner, J Watson
Children grow on a schedule, and developmental shifts happen when the child’s brain is ready
The child learns as a result of interacting with the environment. Behaviors that are reinforced will increase
and behaviors that are punished will decrease.
Sight of a light (CS) elicits no particular response
Loud sound of gong (UCS) causes baby to blink (UCR)
Sight of light (CS) is paired with sound of gong (UCS), which evokes an eyeblink (UCR)
Sight of light (CD) is sufficient to cause the baby to blink (CR), evidence that learning has occurred
Classical and Operant Conditioning
Children grow predictably, and developmental shifts happen when the child is interested and adds new information to what s/he already knows
added into anexisting schema)
Accommodation(Modification of aprior schema to include
the new information)
Adding new knowledge and skills leads to development
Children’s growth is impacted by their culture and environment, and developmental shifts happen when the child is engaged in social and cultural experiences
Presence of milk stimulates infant sucking, which in turn triggers the release of hormones that increase milk production and release
Case in PointBottle-feeding vs. Breast-feeding
Occurs at 2½ MonthsSocial Smiling!