This assignment discusses the theories of development of life span and how it will relate to the early childhood field when interacting with the families, children and co-workers. It is our profession to try to understand cultures and outlooks of others in order to create a positive anti-bias community in the child care setting.
The difference between assimilation and accommodation according to Berk, (2011) is that assimilation involves how children interpret the world around them. While accommodation refers to how a child adjusts his/her way of thinking after the environment around the child is not consistent to their external environment (p. 204). An example of assimilation is when a child sees a frog for the first time and uses the word "cat." The child will have this scheme in their mind that the frog is a cat. Accommodation is when the parent corrects the child, telling him/ her that the "cat" the child referred to is a frog. The scheme the child is modified their thinking and come to the conclusion that the animal that was referred as "cat" is now "frog".
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Equilibration is the dynamics of cognitive thinking between assimilation and accommodation. It is the force that the child balances his/her experiences from the external world to his knowledge he/she gained. Piaget believed that cognitive development did not process at a steady rate but rather leaps and bounds. (McLeod, 2009). As a childhood educator, my responsibility is to teach children about their external environment. In my future placements, I can do activities such as read a book to children, and play educational games that will help the child's cognitive learning. These terms will help me understand where the children are cognitive and give me different strategies on how they can improve on their learning.
The nature vs. nurture controversy is a debate about which is more influential in childhood development - the environment such as family, community, school, or the genetics. I believe both are important to child development because nature refers to our talents, capabilities and traits that we inherited from our parents while nurture refers to our social environment that shapes our behaviour. For example, in terms of nature, if a woman smokes while she is pregnant it will leave long lasting effects to the child that can lead to complications in the future. Nurture is referring to our environment and the people around us. Example for these is: parents who are one of the biggest role models in molding our behaviour. The social cognitive theory states that we learn our behaviour by observing others thus our family can become an influence that shapes our behaviour.
Freud's five psychosexual stages are oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital, which is similar to Erikson's eight stages of psychological development. This theory talks about how children go through different stages where pleasure and personality is formed on a particular body parts.
The Oral stage is important when meeting the basic needs of the child such as food, water, avoidance of pain etc. They will learn to trust the caregiver. In my placement one of my responsibilities is to serve the children's breakfast, lunch and snack. If the child's needs are not met it may lead to the child becoming insecure of them and have a negative view about people around him or her. As an early childhood educator, especially working in a day care, we have to meet to the child's needs all the time. In order for the children to learn to how to trust others, early childhood educators should show the child that they are able to trust us and this affect the child in the future.
The next stage is the 'anal stage' children begin to explore their surroundings. They want to try to be more independent by doing activities on their own, for example, dressing themselves or going to the toilet. It is important for children to try new things, even if it will lead to failure. In my placement, children are encouraged to try new activities often. The teacher would always give encouraging remarks to the children which helps them become more motivated to do their work and feel accomplished when they finished their activity all by themselves.
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Phallic stage refers to children become more self-aware about themselves and the people around them. They start to be aware of the same values as their parents. While the 'latency stage' they have an understanding about the social value from adults and their peers. The children want to interact with their own gender. In these two stages, I can help children in my placement by encouraging them to talk about what activities they do at home with their parents in order to interact with all the children. This will help the other children understand diversity of how each parent raises their children.
Lastly, the genital stage is about empathy starts to grow in this stage. This is important in my work because children learn to form relationships with each other. In my placement, I can encourage the children to understand their feelings, so when they are in a conflict with each other, the children need to understand why they are upset and help them solve the conflict together.
The three factors that affect identity development are gender, family and friends. Society expects women to be more 'feminine' and this is represented by the way we dress, act etc. Children learn behaviours from friends and family on what they believe is 'masculine' and 'feminine' at a young age. This is caused by the behaviours that we display and how the environment that we live in. For example, when a mother and daughter are shopping in the mall the majority of toys, clothes, notebooks etc. that are targeted for girls are pink, purple, light blue. The child's assimilation will believe that only girls can wear those colours. This will affect my role as an educator because all children are unique, some girls love 'feminine' products while other girls would not or some boys would be curious and take interest in these products, which can cause a conflict in the classroom due to these 'gender roles'. In the social cognitive theory, it states that children's role models are what shape their behaviours, so as an early childhood educator I am with the children all day, it is important to have an anti-bias attitude towards the children in order to have a positive environment in the classroom.
In the Infed article, it discusses whether or not young adults stay in the 'emerging' stage than their parents/grandparents. I agree to this research because Levinson, (1995) states that transitioning between each generation requires basic change of an individual's life (p.3). We are all individuals and according to Piaget's general principles, each stage that a person spends can vary, and these stages never end (Wood et. Al, 2001). For example, if students were admitted to college after graduating high school, there would be a conflict between the students emerging into adulthood because of their new environment and responsibilities. The emotional stress of this new experience will affect the other members because our mood is contagious. If someone is feeling stressed then the whole family will feel stressed. In Erikson's psychosocial theory the interactions with our family will help us understand our knowledge as members of society. For example, the student might look for guidance from their parents and grandparents about their experience or advice in college often and might look for reassurance due to their stress because of lack of maturity. In the article it states that " 'maturity' is something that is presumably demonstrated in action- and what may be appropriate behaviour in one setting or situation to endpoints like adulthood."(Levinson, 1995, p. 2) I feel that in order to mature out of the 'emerging' stage it requires a lot of time and different experiences to help transition young adults to the next stage.
It is important to learn about the life span as an early childhood educator because this course has helped me understand the stages that humans go through in their lifetime, especially learning about theories on behaviour such as operant conditioning which is a way promotes positive or negative behaviours so that the child will react in the same manner as before. However, it also can lead to a negative effect for example, if a child wanted to be left alone he or she might misbehave in order to be excluded from a group. This taught me that what one child considers a punishment can actually be a reward. This made me realize that I should be more aware of how I react to the children in my placement. This class gave me a lot to think about, during our class discussion about death. What shocked me was how death is so common, because people at my age don't think about death, and mostly believes that this will not occur anytime soon.
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