Effects of EarlyChildhood Development through Case AnalysisBrittany CleghornWalden UniversityAbstractThe objective of this observation analysis is to see how differentchildren act around others and how past theorist work in conjunction with thesubject being analyzed. As young children play, they express themselves byexploring ideas about the past, where they live, fairness and respect forothers, their families’ cultural traditions, and how to use money to purchasethings. They also are naturally interested in scientific inquiry, theproperties and characteristics of nonliving objects and materials, livingthings, and the earth and materials. Observation of young children’s play givesinsights into how to build on their interests and expand their learning. The Effects of Early ChildhoodDevelopment through Case Analysis Children are complex,and the way achild develops differs from individual to individual.
The study ofchildren is a field that researchers, scientists, theorists and educators havebeen exploring fordecades. An observation allows one to study the foundations of childhood development andallows the obsever to look at children develop through different lenses. Many conclusions havebeen drawn,observing how, when and why children develop the way they do. Depending on thelens in which an individual looks through when analyzing the development of children,interesting and intriguing conclusions can be drawn regarding the broad topicof understanding howchildren develop. Part 1: Case Study #1- Angelica at Play Angelica is 9months old. She has brown eyes and short curly, brown hair. She as big, almond shaped eyes and avery light complexion. She is movingaround an area in a classroom where she is able to reach objects that are eyelevel to her.
Angelicasits on the floor with her toys around her. His caretaker sits on the floornext to her, and she grabs books and toys ff the shelves as her caretaker isreading a book to her. She is interested in the reaction of her caretaker asshe is reading to her. Angelica hits on the book and tries to grab it as she isbeing read to. Angelica leans into her caretaker, tries to grab the book andeven laughs as she is being read to. After while she seems to become uninterestedin the story and begins to move around and find something else that is ofinterst to her.
Next, she begins to pick up balls and throw them around andmoves onto more toys. Angelica seems to understand what her caretaker says, forinstance, when rolling the ball around, she proceeds to go after the ball andher caretaker ask ” can I have it?” and Angelica hands her the ball. Angelicasits up with ease.
She seems very balanced and sure of herself. Her legs arespread apart, and his feet point outward. She can lean forward with her stomachto the floor and sit back up with some effort. Angellica crawls across thefloor with her hands flat on the ground and fingers spread wide. When Angelicabegins to crawl, she crawls up a stair over to wall with toys and mirrors whereshe pulls objects off the shelf. She also crawls down the stairs where she sitsand beging to throw/roll plush balls. Angelicacan carry, push and pull objects.
She is observed throwing/rolling a ball onthe floor and then reaching and grabbing the ball where she then hands it toher caretaker. Angelica seems to display typicl behavior for her age. She seemsto have good motor skills, both fine and gross for her age. She is able to grabitems that can fit in her hand while crawling, sitting and attepting to stand.Overall, Angelica’s behavior istypical for her age. Shes seems to be very social and enjoys interacting withothers as well as playing independently for short periods of time.Part II: Case Study2- Nathan Sociallywithdrawn children frequently refrain from social acivities in the presence ofpeers.The lack of social interaction in childhood may result from a variety ofcauses .
In this case study, Nathan is a 4 year old boy who does well with hisclasswork on seems to be on target academically, but has a tough timeinteracting with his peers, especially when more than one or two. Nathan’smother as well as his teacher have noticed he is very shy and timid around alarger group of kids. When the teacher asked if there were any concern hismother stated that even though he plays with just one or two kids, she is veryconcerned about Nathan’s shyness and she does not want it to have any affect onhis leaning or confiedence in school. Shyness refers to an individual’sfeelings of uneasiness or hesitation when faced with a novel or unfamiliarsituation. Parents often believe that their children’s social skills are afundamental part of who they are.Some children ae shy while others areoutgoing, and with these traits come a particular set of social skills.
Research has shown that most of a child’s personality is determined byenvironmental factors. These environmental factors are frequently subtle, oroccur so early in life that parents fail to notice their influence. The early years of life present aunique opportunity to lay the foundation for healthy development. It is a timeof great growth and of vulnerability.Research on early childhood has underscored the impact of the first fiveyears of a child’s life n his/her social-emotioal development.
Negative, earlyexperiences can impair children’s mental health and effect their cognitive,behavioral, social- emotional development.PartIII: Analysis and Recommendations The early childhood stage is fromthe time from the end of infancy to around age 5 or 6,during this stagechildren learn to become more slf- sufficient and to develop the basic skillsneeded to care for themselves, they also develop reading skills and spend muchtime playing with other children and learning social skills.Early childhood isand exciting time for both th child and the caregivers. During this stage, achild goes through many physical,cognitive and socioemotional changes anddevelopments.PhysicalDevelopment Whentalking about contributions to the physical development of children in theearly childhood stage physical growth is one of the first indicatorsofdevelopment. Growth is the most dramatic and obvious indicator of phsycialdevelopment in early childhood. Changes in the brain and nervous system,at thestage, are just as significant to healthy cognitive development as is healthydiet and nutrition to physical development (Goldstein, 2009).
Ethincand genetic factors dictate physical growth and development, however nutritionplays just an important role ( Santrock, 2009), that is why children can attimes grow to be taller and healthier than both parents are.MotorSkills Motorskills are a learned series of physical actions that come together to producesmooth, well- organized, seamless movements. There are two major types of motorskills, gross motor skills, which are the larger and more cumbersome movements,and fine motor skills, which are the smaller more delicate movements.
Examplesof gross motor skills include moving, rolling over, sitting up, crawling,walking and running. Generally large muscle develop before smaller ones,therefore, gross motor skill development is the foundation for developing finemotor skills. All physical development generally begins in the upper parts ofthe body and move to the bottom. For example, the first motor skill a babyusually learns to master is in the eyes. Finemotor skills include the ability to manipulate tiny objects,move abjects fromone hand to the other, and hand-eye coordination.
Fine motor skills may involvethe use of every precise motor movement in order to achieve a delicate task.Examples of fine motor skills are drawing, coloring, writing or threadingbeads. Fine motor development refers to the development of skills involving thesmaller muscle groups ( Joanne Hui-Tzu Wang, 2004).Recommendations Physicalactivity is natural and life- longactivity that should be encouraged from birth. Parents and/or caregivers areencouraged to be positive role models and provide daily physical activityopportunities incorporating developmentally- appropriate ativities whichpromote motor skills. Both structured and unstructured physical activityopportunities should be provided safe indoor and outdoor environments and theemphasis should be “fun” and “participation” rather than competition. Thedevelopment of prescriptive evidence- based physical activity recommendationsfor children under 5 years is imperative as it will facilitate monitoring andsurveillance of the health and development of children.
It will also help earlyyears educational settings foster an inclusive and comprehensive educationalenvironment from an early age, which arguably provides the best possible startfor children. Establishing healthy physical activity habits from a youg age,through implementation of evidence-based physical activity recommendations,will only be beneficial.Cognitive Development Basiccognitive skills allow children to process sensory information they collectfrom the world. Including the ability to evaluate, calculate, retain information, recallexperiences, make comparisons, and determine action. Whle cognitive skills dohave inherent component, most cognitive skills must be learned.
Piaget’sTheory of Cognitive Theory Piaget’s theory is the mostcited theory in cognitive development and states the children go throughsuccessive stages. According to Piaget, these stages are completed in set orderin all children. The age range however can very from child to child. Thissection will discuss the stages that relate to early childhood development, thefirst stage in that regard is the preoperational stage.Piagest’ssecond stage, the Preoperational Stage last from approximately age 2 to 7.
During this stage, the language development occurs. Children learn how tointeract with their environment through the use of words and images.This stageis earmarked by egocentrism, the belief that everyones sees the world in thesame way, and magical thinking and beliefs. As the name of this stage suggests,the child cannot yet perform “operations” or reversible mental actions thatallow them to do mentally what they formally do physically, stated in Santrock,(2009). For example, the ability to imagine things that have been establishedin actual behavior. Furthermore, this stage can be divided into two sub-stages,” the symbolic function” and the intuitive thought stage” (p.217).
TheSymbolic Function sub-stage (ages 2-4), is marked by the ability tomentally represent an object that is not present , the ablity too thinksymbolically, scribbled drawings to represent people, and imagination orpretend play.ThIntuitive Thought sub-stage (4-7 years), is marked by the use of primitivereasoning, asking questions, centration ( the tendency to focus on one aspectof a situation and neglect others), and the lack of conversatin (Goldstein,2003).Language Language development is perhapsone of the most important stages of childhood growth and development because itserves as a vehicle of future literacy and education. People who are successfulin life are usually articulate and have good interpersonal communicationskills, these skills originate in early childhood development (Fujise, 2008).Recommendations Whencognitive development does not naturally occur, in a healthyenvironment,cognitive shortfalls are the result.
These shortfalls lessen achild’s capacity to learn and are difficult to correct later in life, thereforespecific and appropriate involvement to maximize cognitive development in earlychildhood should be recommended to all caregivers. Like language and motorskills, cognitive skills can be practiced and improved with the right training.Early education is key, such as a pre- school and then a child- centeredkindergarten that emphasizes physical, cognitive, and social development, and focuson experimenting, exploring, discovering, speaking and listening skills.Socioemotional DevelopmentSocialand emotional experiences with primary caregivers as well as interactions withother children and adults early in life set the stage for future academic andpersonal outcomes, and undergird other areas of development (Denham,2006). As children develop social and emotional skills, they gain theconfidence and competence needed to build relationships, problem-solve, andcope with emotions (NationalResearch Council & Institute of Medicine, 2000). Social and emotional competencies as theyrelate to school readiness have gained enormous attention. Research indicatesthat social skills and accompanying process skills (e.
g., attention andapproaches to learning) evident at school entry (i.e. by about age 5) are thebest predictors of later social and emotional competencies, such as managingbehavior, making social connections, and tolerating frustration with peers (Blair & Diamond, 2008). Social and emotional competenciesalso often uniquely predict academic achievement, even when other factors suchas earlier academic success are taken into account (Denham, 2006 ). Inaddition, children with greater self-control (an aspect of self-regulation) aremore likely to grow into adults with better health (e.g.
, better physicalhealth, less substance abuse), have higher incomes and fewer financialstruggles, and fewer criminal convictions than those with weakerself-regulatory skills (Moffitt et al., 2011).RecommendationsChildrenare born with the need and desire to connect with those aroud them. Whenteachers and providers establish positive relationships with children frombirth through the early years, and value their diverse cultures and languages,children feel safe and secure, laying the foundation for healthy social andemotional development. This process affects how children experience the world,express themselves, manage their emotions, and establish positive relationshipswith others.
Socialand emotional development involves several interrelated areas of development,including social interaction, emotional awareness, and self-regulation. Beloware examples of important aspects of social and emotional development for youngchildren. Social interaction focuses on therelationships we share with others, including relationships with adults andpeers. As children develop socially, they learn to take turns, help theirfriends, play together, and cooperate with others. Emotional awareness includes the abilityto recognize and understand our own feelings and actions and those of otherpeople, and how our own feelings and actions affect ourselves and others. Self-regulationis the ability to express thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in sociallyappropriate ways.
Learning to calm down when angry or excited and persisting atdifficult tasks are examples of self-regulation. Earlychildhood teachers and providers play an important role in nurturing children’ssocial and emotional development. Supporting children’s social and emotionaldevelopment can be both rewarding and challenging. Critical to providingsupport is having realistic expectations of children’s development at differentages.
Realistic expectations of when infants are able to experience emotions (hint:early!), how easy or difficult it is for a toddler to take turns, and whenyoung children are able to follow simple directions can bring greater success –and less frustration – for young children and teachers and practitioners.ConclusionThephysical, cognitive and socioemotional development of young children has adirect effect on their overall development and on the adult they will become.That is why understanding the need to invest in very young children isimportant, so as to maximize their future well- being. ReferencesBlair and Diamond, 2008. Biological processes inprevention and intervention: The promotion of self-regulation as a meansof preventing school failure. DevelopmentalPsychopathology, 20 (3) (2008), pp. 899-911 Denham, 2006. Social–emotional competence as support for schoolreadiness: What is it and how do we assess it? Early Education& Development, 17 (1) (2006), pp.
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