Second Reading Response

In this weeks reading, we read about how children develop physically, socially, and how children shape their identity and self-concept. One topic in the reading that was new to me was the difference between self-concept and self-esteem. As the reading states, I believed the two terms were interchangeable, but that is not quite the case.

Something I found interesting was the section on why students cheat. As a budding teacher, learning why students would cheat despite the risks associated with it, and when students are more or less likely to cheat is fairly useful and rather interesting to learn about.

One other topic that caught my eye in the reading was that girls mature faster than boys. I’m not positive why, but I had always thought it was the other way around. One reason I could possibly think of was because I thought myself as more “mature” because I was confident in my maturity, and I took that concept of my own “maturity” and applied it to all boys, but I am not entirely certain.

Something the article talked about that I was somewhat previously aware of was the differences in self-concept for boys and girls. In most schools, it’s fairly easy to see what the article states: more boys in things such as sports, and more girls in things like the arts. My school was no different, in fact; though there were quite a few from both sides in each group.

Another thing I connected with was how the media affects child development. With the modern world being engulfed with the media and the way it portrays people, it’s only natural that it effects the way children behave or develop; for most children, the media is a heavy part of their life, basically from birth.

One question that I have after reading the article is about the development of morals. Specifically, how long (on average) does it take to move from the stage of ‘moral realism’ to ‘morality of cooperation’? The article mentions that it is a “gradual shift”, but does not outright state any timeline.  On top of that, with it being a “gradual shift”, do children fully understand the concept, or do bits and pieces of the concept come over time?


First Reading Response

In this weeks readings, we read about brain and cognitive development of children and the argument about nature versus nurture in regards to how a child best develops. One topic in the reading I particularly found interesting was the division on the different kinds of developments; that being, physical development, personal development and social development. Most people don’t think of ones development as being different stages, most just lump it all into one form of development, where there are in fact, more than that.  I also learned about Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Perspective and the differences between his and Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development. Specifically, Vygotsky focused much more on the environment and cultural surrounding a child, whereas Piaget’s focus leaned toward human nature, as in genetics. Another topic the reading touched on was the importance of brain and cognitive of development in relation to teachers. Understanding how a child’s brain develops is a very handy thing to know when deciding on how you are to teach a subject, as you can avoid things that may be lost on a not fully developed brain.

During the reading, there were quite a few connections I made back to my Psychology 30 class I took in Grade 11 of High School. I distinctively remember learning about Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development, specifically the four stages of cognitive development (Sensorimotor, Preoperational, Concrete Operational, and Formal Operational). We focused on those four stages quite heavily when I took that course, though I am not entirely positive if we ever talked about Vygotsky’s. Another connection I made was specifically on page 42, figure 2.4 – the diagram of the the tasks given to children, the change of situations, and the questions that are asked to the children. I don’t remember exactly what class or year it was, but during my middle school years, I recall watching a few clips of these sorts of situations and learning very briefly on brain and cognitive development. Obviously, at the time we were developed enough to understand the “correct” answers to the scenarios, but did not really consider the importance of brain and cognitive development.

One question I have after the reading is in regards to the research of cognitive development not featured in the book. Are there any other, perhaps less well-known but still credible theories of cognitive development? The “nature plus nurture” theory seems pretty sound, but when it comes to the theoretical, it is always interesting to read multiple different angles on a subject.