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Early to Middle Childhood Essay

If you ever seen a preschooler rushing off to play with a neighborhood friend, you know the enjoyment that children derive from being with their peers. Aside from this enjoyment, peer relationship is significant to a child’s social development. At the beginning of early childhood up to the middle childhood, children become less dependent on their parents. At the age of 2, children play independently with their toys but later in this period, children will tend to play with interaction. This change in the mode of playing of children will be formalized in the start of school age.

Other than enjoyment, play becomes a material for social improvements. It allows children to be more competent in their social interactions with others and serves as a way to develop self-control. They avoid hitting an opponent who outlasted them and they tend to develop control of emotions (Selman et al. , 1983; Feldman, 1982). Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development The theory of psychologist Jean Piaget is the most well known of all the theories in cognitive development. He suggested two stages during early childhood and middle childhood.

The movement from one stage to another requires a proper amount of maturation and experiences. Preoperational Stage (2 to 7 years) The use of language is the major development during the preoperational stage. In this stage, children develop their sense of representation of the world that allows them to describe people, events, and feelings. They even use symbols in play to represent a particular object. For example, a book that was pushed across the floor is a car for them. Concrete Operational Stage (7 to 12 years) The mastery of the concept of conservation marked the beginning of the concrete operation stage.

During this stage, children develop their ability to think in a more logical manner. The egocentrism characteristic of the preoperational period is slowly disappearing in this stage. One of the things that the children learn at this stage is the principle of reversibility, the idea that some changes can be undone by reversing the earlier action that result to the change. Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development In trying to trace the course of social development, Eric Erikson developed the most comprehensive theory of social development.

He included two stages during childhood which include the initiative versus guilt stage and the industry versus inferiority stage. Initiative versus Guilt Stage (age 3 to 6) In this stage, the major conflict is the desire of a child to initiate an activity independently but feeling the guilt that bring by the consequences of such activity. Parents take a big part in helping their child to adapt with this stage. They should react positively and take time to resolve problems under this stage. Industry versus Inferiority Stage (age 6-12)

During this period, successful psychosocial development is featured by increasing competency across all tasks, may it be social interactions or academic skills. Intelligence Intelligence can take on many different meanings. A person who reason logically and identify more solutions in a problem is considered intelligent. Another is verbal abilities which are also attributed as being intelligent. Intelligence in a more focused meaning is the capacity to understand the world, think critically and rationally and use resources in an effective manner when face with challenges.

The first formal intelligent test was performed by Alfred Binet. He used this test to identify the dullest student in Paris school system in order to provide them with corrective assistance. However, theories of intelligence began to unravel the mysteries of our intellect. One of the first theory in intelligence assumed that there was a single factor contributing to mental ability, called the g-factor (Spearman, 1927). Consequently, psychologist L. L. Thurstone suggested that there are several primary mental abilities underlying general intelligence.

By using innovative statistical technique, he classified a variety of subcomponents of intelligence which includes numerical ability, reasoning, verbal fluency, memory and verbal comprehension. Other than that, Howard Gardner proposed an idea that we have seven multiple intelligence. In these seven multiple intelligence, musical intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic, linguistic, and interpersonal intelligence can be seen during childhood years. Gender Identity Our society holds well-defined stereotypes about men and women, and they prevail regardless of age, economic status, and social and educational background.

Although the difference in many studies about men and women may conclude large difference, still it is not the reality. In considering the differences that were documented, it can be seen that there are more similarity than difference between men and women. One of the most known differences between men and women is their degree of aggression. By the time they are 2 years old, boys tend to show more aggression than girls and this continues throughout their lifespan. Furthermore, during the middle childhood, children are quite different in the level of self-esteem.

Girls, on the average, have lower self-esteem compared to boys. References Feldman, R. S. (1982). Development of non-verbal behavior in children. New York: Spriner-Verlag. Harder, A. F. “The Developmental Stages of Erik Erikson”. Learning Place Online. Retrieved April 3, 2009 @ http://www. support4change. com/stages/cycles/Erikson. html Selman, R. L. , Schorin, M. Z. , Stone, C. R. & Phelps, E. (1983). A naturalistic study of children’s social understanding. Developmental Psychology, 19, 82-102 Spearman, C. (1927). The Abilities of Man. London: Macmillan.

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