Santrock Edpsych Ch02

Topics: Jean Piaget, Theory of cognitive development, Child development Pages: 34 (18709 words) Published: April 4, 2015
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Physical and Cognitive
Development
Preview
Examining the shape of children’s development
allows us to understand it better. Every childhood
is distinct, and is the first chapter in a new biography. This chapter is about children’s physical and cognitive development. These are some of the
questions we will explore:
• Do children develop in distinct stages, or is their
development smoother and more continuous?
• How do children develop physically, and how
does this affect their behaviour and learning?
• What is the best way to characterize students’
cognitive development? How might knowledge
of students’ cognitive development influence
the way you teach?
• How does language develop? What is the best
way to teach students to communicate verbally?

PHYSICAL AND COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT

Exploring How
Children Develop

Language
Development

Developmental
Why Studying
Issues
Children’s Development
Processes,
Is Important
Periods, and Stages
Physical
Development
and Health
Growth in Childhood

Pubertal Changes

Child Health and Education

32

What Is
Language?

Biological and
Environmental
Influences

Cognitive
Development

Piaget’s Theory

Vygotsky’s Theory

Case’s Neo-Piagetian Theory

How
Language
Develops

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N o bubble is so iridescent or
floats longer than that blown
by the successful teacher.
Sir William Osler
Canadian Physician, 20th Century

Teaching Stories: Debra Bankay
Debra Bankay is an elementary-school teacher who,

wanted students to use their research skills to learn

prior to her certification in Ontario, taught at a private

about the Fathers of Confederation. I also wanted

school based in the Froebel philosophy. Friedrich

to incorporate play-based activities that would help

Froebel, best known as the founder of kindergarten,

them develop a deeper understanding of these

believed that play is critical for healthy child develop-

early Canadians.

ment. Below, Debra explains how she incorporates the

“As part of the unit, students were required to use

Froebel methodology into her classroom instruction.

their research findings to create a detailed character

“I was fortunate to have received training in the

sketch of one of the “Fathers.” Specifically, they

Froebel approach prior to teaching in the public

needed to know how their characters lived and

system. I try to incorporate the elements of this

behaved. Toward the end of the unit, students re-

very child-centred approach in my classes. The

enacted the Day of Confederation. They came

Froebelian approach encourages teachers to con-

dressed in costume, made oral presentations, and

sider students’ emotional, spiritual, mental, physi-

participated in debates using language that was

cal, and social experiences when planning lessons or

consistent with the 1800s. They also created activi-

assessing student learning.

ties and games that were representative of the era.

“Based on my experiences, I believe that play is

The next day, the class discussed the meaning and

an important tool for encouraging students’ lan-

impact of Confederation on modern-day Canada.

guage skills and cognitive development. However, I

The students loved the project and I was able to inte-

have also come to realize that as students progress

grate many elements of the curriculum into the unit.

through the elementary grades the nature and

By providing students with opportunities to express

design of this play needs to be modified in order to

their learning across a number of authentic, playful

be developmentally appropriate. For instance, while

activities, I was able to tailor instruction to meet their

teaching a Grade 7–8 unit on Canadian history, I

diverse developmental levels and learning...
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