Physical and Cognitive
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
Periods, and Stages
Growth in Childhood
Child Health and Education
Case’s Neo-Piagetian Theory
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-
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...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document