Running essay will cover the childhood development period

Running head: Development during middle childhood
stage of development

 

 

 

 

 

Lifespan
Development and Learning EDC1100

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Written
assignment: Development during middle childhood stage of development

 

 

 

Jason
Ralph

1102318

Word
count: 1955

Due
Date: 24 January 2018

 

 

 

University
of Southern Queensland

 

 

 

 

Introduction

In a person’s life span there are various periods of
development. The different periods in a person’s life are; infancy, childhood,
adolescence, adulthood and old age. Physical, cognitive and psychosocial aspects
play a part in each developmental phase. This essay will cover the childhood
development period (age 6-12), specifically discussing the physical, cognitive
and psychosocial development. It will also discuss the educational and home
environments effect their development and have a brief overview of motor skills
difficulties. The childhood period starts at six, when the child is in their
early years of attending school and finishes the developmental period at 12,
where puberty starts for most humans. The childhood period is extremely
important in relation to a person’s life as it sets up the base for the other
developmental periods in their lifetime.

 

Section 1:

Physical

Middle childhood is a time of great development for
many children. Despite significant individual differences, the rate of increase
in stature during middle childhood is generally similar and regular until the
onset of puberty (Shonkoff, 1983). Middle childhood typically sees children
develop a slimmer and more athletic appearance. Both boys and girls tend to
grow five to seven centimetres and gain about 3 kilograms a year until reaching
puberty (Houghton, Mifflin and Harcourt, 2018). Boys and girls will have similar body types until
they both reach the puberty stage. During this stage, children may experience
growing pains from their muscles lengthening and broadening. Skeletal growth in
middle childhood is also associated with losing the deciduous teeth, or baby
teeth (Houghton, Mifflin and Harcourt, 2018). It is essential that children of this age have
proper nutrition for standard growth and health. Middle childhood is a
relatively healthy period; most children are immunised against major illnesses,
and the death rate is the lowest in the life span. Although accidents are the
leading cause of death in middle childhood, from use of trampolines and other
dangerous activities (Papalia, Olds and Feldman, 2018).

At this age, you are usually required to participate in a physical education
class while attending school. Children participating in sport is important, especially
at this age where creating habits are easier than in other stages in life. Many
children, mostly boys, go into organised, competitive sports. A sound physical
education program should aim at skill development and fitness for all children (Papalia, Olds and Feldman, 2018).

 

Cognitive

The cognitive
changes children undergo during the middle childhood era are often more
pronounced and noticeable than their physical changes (Morelli,
2018). This is because there is a significant amount of brain
development throughout this time, and when paired with increasing life
experiences, allows the child to develop their way of interpreting external
information. Children’s thinking styles gradually become more logical, organised,
and flexible as they enter Piaget’s “Concrete Operational” thinking
stage (Morelli, 2018). At the start of middle childhood,
the child enters the stage of concrete operations. The child begins to move out
of his egocentric mind frame and becomes mindful of other people’s needs and
wants. This development of a caring attitude allows the children to be more
humble in their everyday lives. There are three significant aspects of
cognitive development consisting of centration, decentration and conservation.

Decentration normally occurs in middle childhood. Piaget discusses decentration
in a video by testing the children’s ability to compare
the volume of juice in each glass. Younger children tend to get fixed on
only one dimension of a situation, such as the height of a container, and make
their judgment of how much stuff can be fit into that container based on that
single dimension. Other dimensions simply are not accounted for (Morelli,
2018). As children come through middle childhood they develop decentration
skills, where you are able to pay attention to numerous things at a time. Once
children develop decentration skills it advantages their everyday lives. It
helps children enhance their math and reading skills by memorising the symbols
they’ve learnt. Children who have not yet achieved decentration would not see
and appreciate words when they look at written sentences; instead, they would
more likely pay attention to the individual letters (Morelli,
2018).

 

Psychosocial

School?age
children spend more time away from home than they did as younger children, however
their most important relationships continue to be established at home.

Children’s family relationships normally include their parents, grandparents,
siblings, and extended family members (Houghton, Mifflin
and Harcourt, 2018). Although their relationships tend to be more important at
home, peer relationships are more prominent than ever before. Peer
relationships can include friends in classes and around the school grounds,
friends that live in the neighbourhood or nearby or if the child participates
in a team sport they may have teammates. During this middle
developmental period, as communication and cognitive skills continue to
improve, children develop increased interpersonal awareness (Morelli, 2018). As a result of improving interpersonal
awareness, children in the middle childhood stage start to respond to other
children’s emotions, intentions and needs. If children find a similarity in
these social skills it lays out the foundation of a close friendship. Most
friendships that occur in the middle childhood stage are from the same gender.

This period in a child’s life generally sees a decrease in friends, as they
situate themselves with a smaller group of peers and maintain more valued
friendships. Although, some children struggle to find themselves being part of
larger peer groups because of bullying. In some of these cases, children are
physically or emotionally harmed by bullies who taunt, tease, threaten or
actually violently assault them (Morelli, 2018).

 

Section 2:

Educational
Environment

A child entering the middle childhood development stage
is starting off their formal education at primary school. By the end of middle
childhood, they are concluding primary school and beginning high school or in
some cases, middle school. Children in this stage tend to spend more time away
from their families because of time at school and other activities.

During the middle
childhood development, children are thought to be performing basic literacy and
mathematics. The educational environment plays an enormous part in a child’s
cognitive development. The child will learn how to remember, problem solve and
make decisions. The education development also plays an important part in
psychosocial development. For several children, attending school for the first
time they will be faced with their first exposure to a group setting, therefore
acquiring new social skills while interacting with their classmates. Physical
development in an educational environment is key to fine and gross motor skills
for a child in the middle childhood stage, where schools expose various activities.

From physical education to the art classroom, students learn all different
motor skills.

 

Home
Environment

Middle
childhood is a transitional stage—a time when parents begin sharing power and
decision making with their children (Houghton, Mifflin
and Harcourt, 2018). Although a child will experience an increase of
responsibility, parents must continue to have rules and boundaries. A child during the middle childhood
period may have increased freedom, such as going for a game of soccer with
their friends. Although having more freedom can be delightful, it can also come
with additional chores around the house. The majority of school?age
children appreciate and enjoy their parents’ acceptance of their more adult?like
role in the family (Houghton, Mifflin and Harcourt,
2018). While children spend less time in their home environment than ever
before, their parents still have a major influence in their life. The home environment
doesn’t have such an impact regarding to physical and cognitive development as
the education environment does, although psychosocial does. Children’s parents
help middle childhood children become who they are, reward them when they do
something right, or discipline when they do something wrong.

 

Section 3:

Motor Skills Difficulties and its effects on
development during middle childhood

Motor skills are behavioural abilities or capacities. Gross motor skills
involve the use of large bodily movements, and fine
motor skills involve the use of small bodily movements. Both
gross and fine motor skills continue to refine during middle childhood (Houghton, Mifflin and Harcourt, 2018).

Although by middle childhood some motor skills would have been achieved. Motor
skills can involve sitting upright and cutting a piece of paper and also more
advanced motor skills are catching and kicking a football and writing a story
neatly.

During
middle childhood, children continue to build on and improve gross motor skills;
the large-scale body movement skills such as walking and running that they
first learned during earlier developmental stages (Morelli, 2018). In the middle childhood stage, it is a time
in a human’s life that you run faster, jump higher, throw further and skip
longer than previously possible. The reason being, middle childhood aged
children are able to gain their improved control and coordination due to
increases in their flexibility, balance and agility. Kids at this age
also learn how to synchronize the movement of their body’s various parts,
allowing for the development of smoother, more coordinated whole-body movement
routines such as are needed for participating in organized sports (Morelli,
2018). Young children learn from a young age how to use their hands in a
detailed way, from cutting, drawing and painting. They learn life skills, such
as tying and untying their shoe laces and also brushing and flossing their
teeth, which help them in the future. Due to their progress with regard to the
growth and maturity of motor, cognitive, and social skills, many children will
now become capable and competitive participants on sports teams (Morelli, 2018).

Children
in middle childhood also continue to hone their fine motor skills which can be
distinguish from gross motor skills in that they require hand-eye coordination
(Morelli, 2018). Middle childhood aged children show vast improvements over
their schooling years. Their gross motor skills help their handwriting and
their ability to write in cursive letters. The perfect example of a child’s
hand-eye coordination is art class, where they improve dramatically every
class, semester and year throughout their childhood. Children at this age
usually participate in lunch time activities, such as passing a ball or playing
handball. Middle childhood aged children usually play computer games, in most
scenarios children need to have good hand-eye coordination. Children’s easy use
of communications tools such as cell phones and computers, which becomes
possible as they master increasingly complex fine motor skills (Morelli, 2018).

Learning to play and instrument is another way to enhance different motor
skills, as it can improve hand-eye coordination and create great confidence if
performing in front a crowd.

Middle childhood aged children can improve their
motor skills in the school environment or a home environment. Night reading to
a child before they go to sleep is great, however reading a book with a child
at a time they are ready to learn is extremely important. While in the car with
a child, Simon says is always a great game to play for surrounding awareness.

Taking a child to the playground to swing and climb around the obstacles will
also improve their motor skills. There are numerous activities such as
swimming, hop scotch and wheelbarrow racing where you can enhance a child’s
motor skill.

 

Conclusion

Physical, cognitive and psychosocial are three types
of development over a middle childhoods person’s life. This essay discussed the
physical, cognitive and psychosocial development and how educational and home
environments effect a child’s future. This essay also explained the importance
of developing motor skills in educational and home environments. To conclude,
the middle childhood period is vital for physical, cognitive and psychosocial
development in future developmental periods.

 

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