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Physical Development in Early Childhood


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Height and Weight
in Early Childhood
Avg child grows 2.5"/year (2 important contributors to difference is ethnic origin and nutrition)
Avg child gains 5-7 lbs/year
Between 3-5 yrs old, brain grows 75-90% of adult size
Reason for brain increase
# and size of nerve ednigs within and between brain areas and myelination
Most brain growth occurs...
In the fontal lobes, which are important for planning, organizing new actions and maintaining attn to tasks.
Motor Development
Gross Motor Skills
3 yrs old: MOST ENERGY in life; run, jump, hop for the fun of it; s/b able to ride tricycle
4-5 yrs old: Are more confident, more adventurous, they're organized in their motro skills...s/b able to ride bicycle
Motor Development
Fine Motor Skills
3 yr olds: can pick up small things and place puzzle pieces, but are rough in doing it
4 yr olds develop better fine motor skills: can build towering block towers that are straight
5 yrs olds don't want to build block towers,rather more detailed structures
Avg preschooler needs 1700 c a day
BMR (basal metabolism rate) min energy required at rest by person.
Leading cause of deaths in early childhood in the USA
car accidents
Leading cause of deaths world wide
dehydration and malnutrition due to diarrhea
Cognitive Development in Early Childhood
Piaget's Preoperational Stage
2-7 years old
Stabel concepts are formed
Mental reasoning emerges
Egocentrism weakens
Operational skill is to be able to
do mentally the opeation before doing it physically
Two stages of Preoperational 2 substages
Symbolic Function: 1st stage
occurs between 2-4 year olds
Child is able to represent an object that is not present
Intuitive Thought Substage: (the 'why' stage) occurs between 4-7 yr olds. Start using primative reasoning
Piaget's Preoperational substage
Symbolic Function
-Egocentrism: (terrible twos) Inability to distinguish between one's own perspective and someone els's perspective
Animism: belief that inanimate objects have 'lifelike'qualities and are capable of action
Piaget's Preoperational substage
Intuitive Thought
Centration-focus, attn centers on one characteristic and exludes all others
Conservation: the awareness tht altering an objects or substances appearances does not change it's basic properties. INABILITY to reverse actions
Vygotsky's Theory of Developement
a range of tasks too difficult for children to master alone
Vygotsky's Theory of Developement
like in ZPD use of skilled person to get the task done, and changing the level of support as you go
Vygotsky's Theory of Developement
Use of Language: Private speech
talk to self in helping 'self-regulate' in order to be able to plan, guide and monitor.
Important tool for cognitive development, whereas Piaget thought it was egocentric and immature.
Vygotsky's Theory of Developement
Teaching strategies
-use of ZPD
-use of scaffolding
-use of more skilled peers as teachers
-monitor and encourage Privatge speech
Assess the childs ZPD not IQ
Piaget vs Vygotsky
P-more indivudal
V-more collaborative
P-ends w/formal op's thought
V-end can differ depending on which skills are considred to be the most importan in a particular culture
Information Processing
2 major aspects
attention and memory
Information Processing
Control of attention: toddlers wander from 1 activity to another, by preschool age, the focus on one item
salient vs. relevent dimensions, planfulness: Salient prop are what stand (clown ex)out and are not necesarily relevant to the solution
Information Processing
The retention of info over time is a central process in childrens' development
Information Processing
Short-term Memory
retain info up to 30 sec (assuming no rehearsal)
Information Processing
task used to assess short term memory: short list of stimuli are prsented rapidy and recall is measured:
span increased from 2 digits in 2-3 yr olds to 5 in 7 yr olds
Information Processing
How accurate is long-term memory in early childhood?
With cue and prompts they can remember;
Rehearsal and organization are 2 strategies

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